NCBA Expresses Concern Over President’s FY14 Budget - Consolidation Proposal of Rural Development Programs

April 10, 2013

Contact: John Torres
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NCBA Concerned Over Consolidation Proposal of Rural Development Programs Outlined in President’s FY14 Budget

NCBA Expresses Concern Over President’s FY14 Budget - Consolidation Proposal of Rural Development ProgramsNCBA Expresses Concern Over President’s FY14 Budget - Consolidation Proposal of Rural Development Programs

(WASHINGTON, DC) – In its initial review of the recently released President’s FY14 budget, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) is seriously concerned with the elimination of the only program in the federal government solely focused on cooperative owned businesses.

“In the President’s budget that was released today, there is a proposal to consolidate a number of rural development programs including the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG). The RCDG program provides technical assistance for cooperative expansion and development,” said Mike Beall, president and CEO of NCBA. “I am concerned that consolidating the RCDG program with unrelated rural development programs will diminish the agency’s focus and mission of supporting the advancement of cooperatives. I look forward to discussing this concern with USDA and the White House to learn more on the consolidation proposal.”

Over the next few days, NCBA will host talks with leaders in all cooperative sectors to discuss the effect this outcome will have on cooperative development centers and cooperatives in rural America.

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)





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