U.S. Farmers Volunteer to Assist Ugandan Farmers

KAMPALA- U.S. Mission Uganda today announced a program that connects farmers in the United States with their counterparts around the world for training and technical assistance. U.S. Mission Uganda, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), will place 125 American volunteer farmers with projects that assist local farmers in Uganda. The projects under consideration are maize and oil seed crops such as ground nuts, sunflower, and sesame value chains.

Farmer-to-Farmer is 28-year-old flagship USAID program that transforms agricultural sector development through volunteer assistance targeted at small farmers, agribusinesses and associations, and support services enterprises.  This is the first time CRS is partnering with the Farmer-to-Farmer Program. This partnership is a five-year program to include nearly 500 volunteer assignments in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.

“The program will use the expertise of U.S. farmers, to help impoverished communities that we serve in this part of Africa,” said Bruce White, director for the program. Volunteers will spend two to four weeks in Uganda, focusing their efforts on agriculture, food security, and nutrition.

“One thing we are certain of is that this program will be beneficial not just to the farmers in East Africa, but also to the volunteers from America,” White said. “It’s going to make the world a little bit smaller for everyone involved.”

In his kickoff remarks, USAID Deputy Director Mark Meassick noted, “The ambitious but achievable goal of the Farmer-to-Farmer program is to improve the livelihoods and nutritional status of 10,000 low-income households. Since the program initiation, over 12,000 volunteer assignments have been completed in over 80 countries; and so far, approximately 43% of all individuals trained by Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers are women.”

Agriculture is central to the Ugandan economy, accounting for more than 48 percent of exports, and 73 percent of employment. From 2011- 2016, the United States will invest over $150 million on agriculture and nutrition related  activities that support the implementation Uganda’s Agricultural Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP).

For additional information, please contact:
Peter Eriki
Information Assistant
U.S. Mission Uganda
Tel: +256-414-250-314×6104 Cell: +077222-14-12, 0784846334