Growing Opportunity : Farmer - to - Farmer in Mali

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
F2F Volunteer, Dan Miller Trains Katibougou Cooperative on Small Ruminant Production
Winrock International

The Katibougou Farmer’s Cooperative in Koulikoro, Mali, hosted its first Feed the Future Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) assignment in September 2010 when American expert Alan Leo led a people-to-people exchange to help members build and strengthen their agribusiness co-op. Since that time, F2F Mali has connected skilled American volunteers with the Katibougou Farmer’s Cooperative to participate in trainings on topics ranging from agro-forestry to animal husbandry and entrepreneurship development. When asked about the impact, Amadou Diaby, President of the Cooperative, responded “Honestly, I will need a few hours to explain my satisfaction.”

Diaby started his small ruminant farming operation with just six local variety goats. He struggled to realize a profit due to insufficient milk yield. Following trainings led by three F2F volunteers from the United States, Diaby adopted improved animal husbandry techniques that increased productivity and income. Following F2F volunteer recommendations on best-practices for health, nutrition, and herd management, Diaby has expanded his goat herd to more than 200 animals including improved, higher value breeds.

Diaby proudly states, “Now I can farm staple crops such as peanuts and cowpeas for my family consumption and use the crop byproducts to support my primary animal husbandry business. Each year I am selling goats at a profit and have more orders for my goats than I can deliver. Having been trained by the American F2F volunteers, I am now providing fee-for-services to other herders and planting forage trees to improve my animals’ productivity and therefore increase my profit!”

Diaby is proud to show his progress and share his knowledge and skills with the 45 members of his cooperative. Neighbors frequently ask him for advice, and interns from the agricultural university in Koulikoro seek his guidance.

The John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F) is a long-standing program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Through the engagement of skilled American experts as volunteers, F2F promotes sustainable economic growth, food security, and agricultural development worldwide. In Mali, F2F is currently implemented by Winrock International and the Browse and Grass Growers Cooperative and has directly assisted more than 5,300 farmers and others in the agricultural sector since 2010.

Reflecting on the importance of F2F volunteers, Diaby notes: “You know, I do not have to go down a mine shaft because F2F brought me a diamond mine. This program totally changed my life! The same is true for all the cooperative members in addition to the producers in the Koulikoro region who now ask for our cooperative services. I am deeply grateful to all the volunteers, whom we call our brothers and sisters and have given local names. Thank you to USAID for such a great and unique initiative to make our world better!”

Last updated: December 18, 2020

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