NCBA CLUSA in the news

NCBA CLUSA currently operates programs across three continents working with a variety of groups and institutions, including farmer cooperatives, civil society organizations, youth associations, women’s groups and local and national governments. NCBA CLUSA builds capacity at the grassroots level to create innovative, sustainable solutions for communities. Our programs continue to receive positive feedback from our clients and farmers as well as in the host countries’ National Press. See below for some of the recent international news on NCBA CLUSA programs around the world:

El Salvador – Diario Co Latino – Lanzan Proyecto de Apoyo a la Rehabilitación de la Caficultura y Diversificatión Agrícola (SPANISH)

Working to diversify the coffee plants and rehabilitate farms across El Salvador after the recent coffee rust epidemic (which decreased production in some areas up to 80 percent), NCBA CLUSA is working with local El Salvadorian cooperatives to introduce rust resistant plants.

Burkina Faso – Sidwaya – Agriculture de conservation: Mariam Zoré, une productrice modèle à Kayara dans le Namentenga (FRENCH)

NCBA CLUSA is teaching conservation agriculture techniques to 1,550 farmers in the northern part of Burkina Faso. These techniques will improve crop resilience to climate change in the Sahel region. In addition to agriculture techniques, NCBA CLUSA also works to get producers linked to credit and finance.

Namibia – All Africa – More Than 4,000 Farmers Register for Rip Furrow Services (ENGLISH)

The Namibian Conservation Agricultural project (NCAP), which recently closed in September, has already seen sustainability through local partner continuation. Using conservation agriculture techniques, such as rip furrowing, taught through NCBA CLUSA’s lead farmer extension strategies, 27 rip furrow service providers have come together to form the NCAP 2 consortium with Kongalend Financial Services, a local Namibian firm.

 (November 16, 2015)



IMPACT: Leading by Example

Mr. Eusebio in soy field PROMAC 43908Mr. Eusebio in soy field PROMAC 43908Mr. Eusebio showing off his soy field using the covered plot technique, a Conservation Agriculture practice

Getting farmers to adopt new agriculture practices, and thereby improve yields and impact food insecurity only works if farmers can see the impact for themselves. This is exactly what happened to get Mr. Eusebio to try the conversation techniques on his farm.

Mr. Eusebio, who plants soy, maize and beans began experimenting with conservation agriculture after attending a field training day hosted by of NCBA CLUSA's Lead Farmers.

After seeing the difference for himself, he began using conservation agriculture on his own plots. Techniques like soil cover, adequate seed spacing and others help protect the plots from torrential rains, create healthier soil that can withstand drought and produce more yield. On average, yield increases have been 60% or higher.

Mr. Eusebio owns five hectares in which he produces soy, maize and beans and says he plans to expand conservation agriculture practices to his entire production area.

Demo plots and lead farmers, 71 percent of whom are women, have been instrumental in demonstrating the practical usefulness of new agriculture techniques. Beyond increased yields, farmers are also earning more off their land through applying for land titles, receiving business training and numeracy skills so they have more access to markets.

PROMAC is implemented by NCBA CLUSA with funding from the Government of Norway.

(September 1, 2015)




IMPACT: Drip by Drip

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 2.40.45 PM 497d0Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 2.40.45 PM 497d0Work begins on Mama Taciana's farm where she lays the black drip tape to irrigate her seeds.Drip irrigation is part of the SEEDS' training strategy to not only provide quality inputs, like seeds, but to also provide training and information on how best to grow these inputs. Training up the farmers who grow seeds, means there will be better quality seeds for Mozambique.

Ten of the top seeds farmers in Malema district were selected to undergo a two day training for Oruwera Seed Company. During the training, Tanzanian drip irrigation specialist Miraji Ndege showed the group how to install water systems.

Ndege showed Mama Taciana Estevao how to set up her system and allowed her to practice inserting the drip tape to the main feeding tube using a system of valves. Mama Taciana showed she was not intimated by the process and got to grips with it so quickly that she became the first to get the system installed on her own farm.

Malema district is blessed with several strong all year round rivers, which is important for drip irrigation. This is the first time these farmers will use drip irrigation and the first time they will apply irrigation to growing seed.

Mama Taciana hired neighbors to help her plough the field to set up the irrigation system and was able to install the first system in her fields. Drip irrigation will allow her to grow quality seed for Oruwera Seed Company, which helps her livelihood, improves the quality of Oruwera seed, and ultimately improves the livelihoods of farmers down the value chain.

SEEDS is implemented by NCBA CLUSA in partnership with Fintrac under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

(August 20, 2015)





Impact: Beyond Farmers, Nurseries Bring in New Producers

Ervina seedlings 650f0Ervina seedlings 650f0Ervina Morais, Seedling Nursery Owner, tends to her coffee and pepper seedlings for the NCBA CLUSA Agribusiness Development Project, funded by USDA

Ervina Morais lives in the small village of Fuiloro on the far eastern side of East Timor. She has four children and is the main income earner in her home. Though she has no land, Morais took advantage of the opportunity to raise seedlings to sell to farmers by starting a nursery behind her home.

Bringing women in to the production chain process is cross-cutting strategy for NCBA CLUSA programming. While Morais did not have land to farm, she did have enough space to develop her own nursery, add value to the seedling market, and develop new business skills through training.

With the ongoing guidance of NCBA CLUSA's Agricultural Extension Officers through the USDA funded Agribusiness Development Project, she works to grow 5,000 Robust coffee seedlings and 100 Black Pepper seedlings. Nurturing her own talent for gardening, she built a pandanus palm shade structure to keep the seedlings health.

The fragile seedlings were initialy given to Morais through the NCBA CLUSA program, and she has raised them to mature, locally acclimated seedlings that will be purchased back for cash and provided to eager crop farmers in surrounding villages.

Asked what she would do with the profits from her seedlings she repied that she would use the increase in family income to pay for school fees for her children and "give her family a chance at a better life."

(November 6, 2015)




National Farmers Union member and Farmer-to-Farmer veteran returns to Zambia for a third time

IMG 0455.CR2 60c87IMG 0455.CR2 60c87Bob Shumaker, center, visits NCBA CLUSA headquarters ahead of his assignment with wife Yasinta, left, and friend

October 15, 2015

Bob Shumaker will return to Zambia for a third time to work with the Chipata District Farmers Association (CDFA) on soil fertility and management specifically focusing on peanuts. He first began work with the group in 2012 training on vegetable production and returned soon after to establish a cooperative based on the seven international co-op principles.

On this trip he will share his expertise in soil testing, management and fertilization for peanuts, including blended fertilizer demonstrations for CDFA farmers.

Shumaker first heard about the Farmer-to-Farmer program through his membership in the National Farmers Union – one of NCBA CLUSA’s member organizations. And after his first trip, he came back to volunteer again and again.

“It is the real thing. Hands on, hit the ground running, and finish with a sense of accomplishment!... I can tell you I miss them and will be happy to again be working towards a common goal,” said Shumaker.

In total, Shumaker has gone on four assignments through NCBA CLUSA's Farmer-to-Farmer program, including one with his wife, who he met in Zambia, in 2013 to lead trainings in Senegal for women farmers. The two worked with 150 women in two groups, training them in marketing and market access, including skills like financial literacy, business plan development and communication strategies.

“I go back because we make a difference. NCBA [CLUSA] sets the parameters of the responsibility, and just takes care of the details, which allows you to get things done,” he said. The two to three week Farmer-to-Farmer assignments are requested by organizations on the ground and are fully funded through the project, volunteers simply bring their expertise to groups who have a specific need.

In addition to soil fertility, Shumaker will be checking in on the cooperative he helped to form years ago, meeting with the cooperative leaders and discussing some of the management issues. He hopes to see the same energy and life in the cooperative as when he left.

“It is an awesome adventure. You learn about people, a different place and life,” Shumaker said, when asked if he would recommend the program. Mr. Shumaker lives in Alaska and has raised livestock for over 20 years and farmed vegetables for over 15 years. He is the president of the Alaska Farmers Union.

The Zambia Famer-to-Farmer assignments are implemented by NCBA CLUSA through a Volunteers for Economic Growth (VEGA) Special Program Support Project (SPSP). In Senegal, NCBA CLUSA implements this program under an agreement with ACDI/VOCA. The Farmer-to-Farmer program is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). To learn more about NCBA CLUSA's Farmer-to-Farmer program, click here.






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