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CRS Farmer-to-Farmer Program

Posted: November 7, 2014

Opportunity for women farmers to assist Catholic Relief Services in farmer-to-farmer learning in East Africa through short term assignments.

PA-WAgN is passing on this opportunity for our women farmers to share their farming experience with their fellow farmers in Africa. read the following announcement for details.

CRS Farmer-to Farmer Program

Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) Farmer-to Farmer (F2F) program sends U.S. volunteers with agricultural expertise to share skills, and helps build capacity for East African farmers through short-term training and technical assistance projects. This volunteer technical assistance from U.S. farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives and universities helps developing countries in many ways:

  • improving productivity,
  • accessing new markets,
  • conserving environmental and natural resources, and
  • developing the local capacity necessary to increase food production and rural incomes.
This person-to-person exchange promotes international goodwill, greater understanding of U.S. foreign assistance programs and private involvement in development activities.
 
The USAID F2F program has been active for more than 28 years, serving individual farmers, communities, and government agencies around the globe. established in 1943, CRS is engaged in humanitarian relief and development efforts in nearly 100 countries worldwide.
 
What type of projects do CRS farmer-to Farmer volunteers work on?
The CRS F2F program is focused on providing technical assistance within Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
 
CRS currently works to strengthen the resiliency of the small farmers, cooperatives and local/regional governments through promotion of improved practices such as:
  • promotion of improved health and nutrition education;
  • training/capacity-building to increase off-farm incomes;
  • use of improved practices for animal health and productivity (varieties/breeds, fertility and pest management);
  • changes in cropping patterns;
  • crop storage and preservation practices to reduce losses;
  • promoting savings and lending groups to offer loans at favorable repayment rates.
Who may apply?
Volunteers may be individuals, farmers, and industry leaders with a range for expertise in agriculture including grains and animal husbandry, agribusiness, nutrition and food supply.
 
The duration of a volunteer assignment is normally 3 weeks with travel, lodging, meal costs, travel insurance, visas and other basic expenses covered by F2F.
 
I'm not a farmer nor do I have any agricultural experience. Can I still volunteer?
Yes, it is still possible for you to volunteer. You will be assigned if and where your skillset is needed. While many of the projects rely on expertise, CRS also has assignments for areas such as finance, marketing, business planning, management, leadership, etc. 
 
Who do I contact if I am interested in learning more?

Beth Hyser, Development Coordinator, Catholic Rural Life - beth@ncrlc.com, phone 651-962-5955.
 
CRL staff is available to assist you throughout the process. We can help you:
  • understand the CRS/F2F timelines and requirements.
  • make connections with CRS staff.
  • answer questions throughout the application process.
Where can I find more information?
Visit http://farmertofarmer.crs.org/ which lists current project assignments, FAQs and the on-line application.
 
How do I apply?
  • CRS online application http://crs.org/farmer-to-farmer/farmer_to_farmer_app.cfm 
  • Please complete the application in one session as there is no save and return feature.
  • You will need to have a resume or CV to reference and attach as you complete the online application.
  • Type of information collected: contact information, questions on interest in the program and your strengths, skills/experience, employment history, references, academic background and language skills (not required).
  • There is also a "Referred by:" question at the very end of the application. please write "Catholic Rural Life" in this area. This will help us track how many volunteers that CRL has referred to the program.
  • Please remember to upload your resume or CV prior to submitting your completed application.
How are applications reviewed?
  • The recruitment process is ongoing and volunteer applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Applications must be complete and references will be checked.
  • CRS staff may contact you to clarify your experience.
  • You will be notified by CRS staff if an assignment is found that would benefit from your expertise. Assignments will be available throughout the year.