East Timor: President of Timor-Lesté and US Ambassador Dedicate NCBA CLUSA Supported Training Center


June 10, 2013

Contact: John Torres
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East Timor: President of Timor-Lesté and US Ambassador Dedicate NCBA CLUSA Supported Training Center

(DILI, TIMOR-LESTE) – Recognizing nearly 20 years of collaboration between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA), U.S. Ambassador Judith Fergin, along with Timor-Leste President Taur Matan Ruak, dedicated a newly built research and training center in the mountains just outside Timor-Leste’s capital city of Dili.

Web CCT Training Center OpeningWeb CCT Training Center Opening“Today we are inaugurating a facility that enable Timor-Leste's farmers to increase their productivity, raise their incomes, and benefit their families. May I express my sincere congratulations to all the organizations and people who are making the dream come true,” stated Ambassador Fergin.

This training center will accelerate the continued improvement of Timor-Leste’s coffee crops and provide instruction in cooperative learning to better educate the farmers in cooperative practices and methodologies. The 17 hectares on which the training center is built was donated by the Diocese of Dili.

The collaboration of USAID and NCBA CLUSA in 1994 brought about the first project to aid coffee farmers in the mountains of Timor-Leste, providing much needed assistance to coffee farmers to increase their incomes and provide a better quality of life for their families. Out of this project, the Cooperative Café Timor (CCT), one of the largest single employer of coffee farmers in the country, with more than 21,000 members.

“Agriculture has always been a major source of national wealth and employment for both Americans and Timorese. In both countries, the introduction of new technologies has allowed farmers to become more and more productive,” said Ambassador Fergin during the dedication. “In both countries, the productivity of our agricultural sectors has a direct impact on our citizens' health, nutrition, and incomes.“

The success of the CCT has spread as it diversified into other crops and livestock. In all of its endeavors, CCT focuses on supporting farmers to increase the quality and volume of their output and guaranteeing a market for their product.

"This wonderful center is a testament to NCBA CLUSA's long-term commitment to the farmers and people of Timor-Leste, and marks a new level of building capacity of the country's agricultural sector to grow and thrive," said Mike Beall, president of NCBA CLUSA.

Additional attendees included Reverend Bishop of Dili Alberto Ricardo da Silva, the New Zealand Ambassador to Timor-Leste Tony Fautua, USAID Director Rick Scott, Chairman of the CCT Board Amaral dos Reis, and NCBA CLUSA Regional Director Sam Filiaci.

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the apex association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, support, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has grown its international development portfolio to over $34 million of active programs in 14 countries.


U.S. Ambassador Lauds NCBA CLUSA’s ARZIKI Project


May 9, 2013

Contact: John Torres
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Ambassador Williams Lauds NCBA CLUSA International’s ARZIKI Project as an Example for Women’s Empowerment in Food Security In Niger

(NIAMEY, NIGER) – NCBA CLUSA International hosted Ambassador Bisa Williams, U.S. Ambassador to Niger, on Friday, April 26 to tour the work being done in food security and women’s rights by the CLUSA-implemented USAID-funded Niger Food Security Project, ARZIKI.

NCBA_CLUSA_Niger_Arziki_ProjectAmbassador Williams shares land use title presented by Badaguichiri Mayor to the local women’s group. Ambassador Williams spent the day advocating for women’s rights to land for resiliency and food security – Nagaro Village – Badaguichiri Commune, Illela.

Ambassador William’s visit, focusing largely on innovative Climate Change Adaptation techniques implemented by ARZIKI, included stops in Tahoua, Zouraré Sabara, Ibarogan, Nagaro, and Awilikiss in the Tahoua region of Niger. Since 2010, ARZIKI, a local Hausa word meaning “prosperity,” has been working across multiple sectors to increase food security across the drought-stricken Sahelian belt of southern Niger. The project focuses on rehabilitating water sources, grant application literacy, mirco-finance linkages, reclamation of bio-degraded land, livestock, and improved agriculture techniques. ARZIKI is one of the first USAID-funded projects to see success in its implementation of Climate Change Adaptation activities such as using contour stone bunds to retain rain water and natural run-off, and providing women with long-term land lease contracts to turn the reclaimed land into productive space for income generating crops.

Ambassador Williams spent much of the day praising this technique and the villages partaking in it saying, “I commend the initiative to provide land access to landless women through the ARZIKI project, whereby women can now rehabilitate barren land by building contour stone bunds and produce food for themselves and their families.”

Women of Niger have struggled historically for a right to their own land. This particular success is a two-fold win as bio-degraded land is being rehabilitated while simultaneously providing a space for women to grow crops to feed their families and animals, as well as for income generation.

ARZIKI Chief of Party, Tom Gardiner says of this duel success, “These women are working hard to gain secure and long-term land use tenure documents, and they are tirelessly laboring to make these lands productive once again. By constructing contour stone bunds and digging zai planting pits, they consciously engage in two water harvesting technologies proven to guarantee production of food and cash crops. The men in their villages are seeing the impact of their efforts; some are even copying the technologies on their own farming plots; others are supporting them in their work.”

Before concluding her visit, Ambassador Williams said of NCBA CLUSA International’s ARZIKI project, “You are proof of success in Environmental Management. Keep doing it and share your knowledge and skills with others.”

Headquartered in Washington, DC, NCBA CLUSA International is a trade and international development organization with programs in 10 countries including Senegal, Niger, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, El Salvador, Indonesia and Timor-Leste providing sustainable community development in agriculture and food security, community based healthcare, democracy and governance, and natural resource management.


US Cuba - USCCWG Members

Coming soon!

Photo Gallery

EngageCuba Party Alan Amy MarcusEngageCuba Party Alan Amy MarcusAlan Knapp, NCBA CLUSA Vice President of Advocacy; Amy Coughenour Betancourt, CLUSA COO; and Marcus Laws, NCBA CLUSA Program Manager, attend the Government of Cuba/Engage Cuba’s event at the Embassy in December 2015.
AMY SCENIUS MOUAMY SCENIUS MOUAmy Coughenour Betancourt with Luis Dueñas Casal in November after signing MOU between NCBA CLUSA and SCENIUS.
Carlos Padilla CUSANCarlos Padilla CUSANCarlos Padilla, CLUSA El Salvador Agroecology Specialist, attends Cuba – U.S. Agroecology Network (CUSAN) 5th Annual Conference on Agroecology in November 2015.
Union station group picUnion station group picCuban delegation for May 2015 Co-Op Week at Union Station in Washington, DC. From left to right: Nancy Varela Medina, President, Confecciones Model Cooperativa; Eric Leenson, President of Sol2 Economics; Osmaglis Savineg Martinez, Vice President, Mercado Agropecuario Especial 101 Cooperativa; Alfonso Valentín Larrea Barroso, Commercial Manager, SCENIUS Cooperative; Luis Alberto Dueñas Casal, President, SCENIUS Cooperativa; Lumirt de la Cruz Arocha, President, Credit and Services Cooperativa “Sabino Pupo Milian."
Cubans at AU panel.JPGCubans at AU panel.JPGCuban delegation participates in public panel discussion hosted by American University in Washington, DC during May 2015 Co-op Week.
 2014USCCWGathavana 08d212014USCCWGathavana 08d21Members of the U.S.-Cuba Cooperative Working Group during the July 2014 exploratory trip to Cuba.
July4th celebration US ambassador residence5July4th celebration US ambassador residence5Fourth of July Celebration at the Ambassador’s Residence in La Havana, Cuba, July 2015.
cooperativa servipascooperativa servipasPublic transportation cooperative, SERVIPAS. July 2014
Screen Shot 2016 01 15 at 12.35.38 PM f4aeaScreen Shot 2016 01 15 at 12.35.38 PM f4aeaMembers of the Novedades automotive and mechanic cooperative in Cuba during July 2014 exploratory trip.

US Cuba - Events/Activities

July 2014

NCBA CLUSA led a research and education trip to Cuba in July 2014 to gain a clearer picture of the cooperative movement there, which observers say is playing an increasingly significant role in the country's push for economic development.
U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group researches Co-op movement in country

December 2014

United States President Barack Obama announced plans in December 2014 to normalize diplomatic ties with Cuba, marking a historic shift in U.S. – Cuba relations and better positioning the U.S. cooperative movement to support Cuba's emerging co-op sector.
NCBA CLUSA prepared to engage with growing Cuban co-op sector through U.S. cooperatives

March 2015

NCBA CLUSA's March 2015 launch of the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group took place simultaneously with negotiations by the U.S. Government to begin rebuilding the economic relationship between the two countries and drew the attention of Washington, D.C.-area media and officials.
< NCBA CLUSA promotes Cuba's emerging co-op sector at formal launch of U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group

April 2015

During his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Mike Beall said co-ops are the bedrock of a market-based economy in Cuba.
Watch NCBA CLUSA CEO Mike Beall testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on U.S. – Cuba trade

May 2015 

NCBA CLUSA's U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group hosted a delegation of five Cubans from Cuba's emerging cooperative sector in May 2015 as part of Co-op Week. The delegation met with members of Congress, toured local co-ops and spoke on a panel at American University.
NCBA CLUSA's U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group highlights Cuban experience during American University panel discussion

June 2015

Nearly one year after its initial research and education trip to Cuba, the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group returned to the country to participate in an international workshop focused on local development, including the role of cooperatives.
Second NCBA CLUSA trip to Cuba advances U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group

November 2015

As part of its work to promote and link U.S. and Cuban cooperatives, NCBA CLUSA signs an historic agreement with SCENIUS, a non-agricultural professional services cooperative. It is the first formal agreement between the countries' co-op sectors.
NCBA CLUSA sign MOU with Cuban cooperative to advance the sector


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