Many times our stories reflect the preliminary impact our volunteers have on a community of farmers. The training people receive has a lasting impact where they are able to build their skills. The Katibougou Farmer’s Coopertive in Koulikoro is a great example of taking skills, putting them in action and passing it on to others.
In September 2010, volunteer Alan Leo visited the Cooperative to lead an organizational capacity building people-to-people exchange to improve and strengthen their agricultural production. Amadou Diaby, the President of the Cooperative, was impressed by the training that has been provided by the volunteers and is motivated to continue passing on the knowledge from the training to others.
Since then the Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F) has connected Diaby with three other American volunteers to work on training on multiple topics including agroforestry, animal husbandry and entrepreneurship development.
“Farmer-to Farmer brought me a diamond mine. This program totally changed my life! The same is true for all cooperative’s members,” said Diaby.
In the beginning of his small ruminant farming journey, he had only six local variety goats. With an insufficient milk yield, he was unable to provide himself with profit from his herd. The training provided by F2F led him to adopt new husbandry techniques which increased productivity and his overall income. In time, Diaby has been able to increase his goat herd to over 200 animals with expansion to improve the breeds which has increased the productivity and higher sale of the offspring.
Diaby is proud of all the progress he has witnessed since attending the trainings. He has been able to grow staple crops for his family and to use the leftover green material to sustain his animals. There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of people who are willing to buy his goats—so many that he can’t always keep up.
Funded by the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), F2F promotes sustainable economic growth, food security and agriculture development. Connecting American farmers around the world has helped many others have successful outcomes like Diaby.
“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,” said Diaby.
This blog is adapted from a Winrock Success Story.