Monday, August 17, 2015

The Road Less Traveled: F&FP in Africa (Part 1)
by Laura

This is one of two suitcases packed full of Oyster mushroom spawn, and some cloths too of course!
Recently Field & Forest Products was given the opportunity to participate in a program called Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F). This program is sponsored by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) and is part of USAID. The concept behind this program is to take farmers from more developed countries, like the United States, and send them to assist farmers in other less developed countries. In this case, the country of Malawi in Africa.

With that said, here I sit on my plane ride from Atlanta, Georgia to Johannesburg, South Africa. This 15 hour flight should give me enough time to reflect on the assignment I am about to embark upon. I will travel to the city of Mzuzu in Malawi where I will meet with a small group of farmers referred to as the Tisange Group. This group of farmers is growing…mushrooms, more specifically oyster mushrooms. They need the assistance of someone with growing experience to help them overcome issues they are having. These issues are affecting the profitability of the crop. Marketing the mushrooms is also a challenge for the farmers.

Saying goodbye to the U.S., Georgia below.
This experience will be valuable to the company; the knowledge gained will be shared with our customers and countless others. Hopefully this trip will inspire others to be more proactive in humanitarian efforts, the mere thought of the help I will give is rewarding already. My absence from Field & Forest Products means that many of my co-workers are doing my job, so a big thanks to all of them! Also, Joe and Mary Ellen, the owners of our company were gracious enough to let me participate instead of themselves. I truly could not ask for more. The family support I have for a trip like this is incredible as well. As a mother of four, leaving home is never easy, especially when leaving for over two weeks. 

I will do my best to document this trip and share this amazing experience with as many people as I can. With uncertainties of internet availability and frequent power outages I am not sure how much I will share, but I will do my best. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow - sounds like an amazing opportunity. I can't wait to hear more.