COOPERATION : USAID Launches Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Madagascar

The government of Madagascar, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer program, and implementing organization Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) reaffirmed their shared commitment to strengthening agriculture and resilience in Madagascar at a launch event at the ValBio Center in Ranomafana.

The five-year, USAID-funded John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program provides technical assistance by highly qualified American volunteers to farmers, farmer groups, agribusinesses, and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries. The program aims to generate sustainable, broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector and increase understanding of international development issues and U.S. development programs through people-to-people diplomacy.

In Madagascar the Farmer-to-Farmer Program will focus on adding value to horticulture, livestock, aquaculture, and rice production with the potential to benefit many farmers and earn high returns on investment. The program will bring 33 American agricultural specialists to Madagascar. Each specialist is partnered with a Malagasy counterpart from a host farm or organization. Together, the pair work side-by-side to address specific challenges or develop new opportunities. Training and support provided through the Farmer-to-Farmer Program focuses on strengthening the organizational and marketing capacity of agribusinesses, improving production, promoting conservation of natural resources, and improving incomes of smallholder farmers and other members of the agricultural value chain.

Over the course of the program, American volunteers will train thousands of smallholder farmers in Madagascar how to grow sales and improve business management practices in order to increase household incomes, strengthen livelihoods, and build community resilience.