URBANA, Ill. – The Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL), the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), and the USAID-funded Southern Africa Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) have partnered to provide support to agro-processors in Southern Africa.
The F2F program provides technical support to farmers and agribusinesses in developing countries to promote sustainable advancement in food security and agro-processing. By leveraging the expertise of volunteers from US-based agricultural organizations, F2F is able to respond to the local needs of host-country farmers, agribusinesses, and other agricultural organizations and improve agricultural sector productivity and profitability.
“We are really excited about the partnership with SIL and CNFA in support of the F2F program,” said Patrick Donnelly, CEO of AOCS. “Together, our organizations bring all of the pieces necessary to advance the science and technology in the oilseed processing sector in developing countries.”
The CNFA-implemented F2F program, currently active in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Moldova, posts mid-to senior-level U.S. volunteers to farmer groups, agribusinesses and other agriculture sector institutions for two- to four-week, in-person assignments. It is the goal of SIL and CNFA to present AOCS members with opportunities to volunteer their technical support and expertise to agro-processing leaders and professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
In addition to exhibiting at the recent AOCS virtual annual meeting, the three organizations plan to host a webinar to educate AOCS members about the F2F program and volunteer experience. Given the current travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19 risks, AOCS members may volunteer their expertise and mentorship virtually. Educating AOCS members on the specific needs of SSA agro-processors and thoughtfully matching them where their areas of interest and expertise will be best utilized will be critical to the success of this collaboration.
Many agro-processors in SSA lack ready access to the research, development, implementation science expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, and skilled labor available in the U.S. and Europe. As demand for soy products continues to increase across the African continent, SIL and CNFA recognize the need to connect SSA soy processors with US-based industry experts to generate sustainable, broad-based economic growth across the agricultural value chain.
The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.
About Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA)
CNFA is an international agricultural development organization that specializes in the design and implementation of sustainable, enterprise-based agricultural initiatives. We work with businesses, foundations, governments, and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. Since our inception in 1985, we have designed and implemented enterprise-based, agricultural development initiatives to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity, and improve access to inputs and financing in 46 countries around the world.
About Soybean Innovation Lab
The Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) works to improve food security and nutrition around the world. SIL is a team of technical soybean experts that provide evidence-based innovations, tools, and technologies across the value chain to enable sustainable livelihoods through profitable soybean production and utilization across Sub-Saharan Africa.
About the American Oil Chemist’s Society (AOCS)
Founded in 1909, AOCS is an international scientific society dedicated to advancing the science and technology of oils, fats, proteins, surfactants and related materials, enriching the lives of people everywhere. The members of AOCS include the leading experts in oilseed processing around the world.