For 20 years, Julia Moore’s father, Bill Eyman, traveled the world as an ACDI/VOCA volunteer for USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program and assisted local farmers on 29 different assignments in developing countries. When his daughter retired from Syngenta, he strongly encouraged her to do the same.
Julia recently left her hometown of Waterloo, Nebraska, to pick up where her father left off. She spent two weeks on her first volunteer assignment in Liberia, where she met with local farmers of the Tehr District Farmers Cooperative. As a former credit manager for Syngenta, Julia taught them the basics of credit. She also worked with them to build a business plan to help them secure financing in the future.
In much of Liberia, farmers like those who make up the Tehr District Farmers Cooperative grow just enough food for themselves to eat, if that. Climate events, such as long droughts, can devastate local crops and put communities at risk for hunger. That’s why ACDI/VOCA and F2F support volunteers with expertise in helping farmers improve productivity or business management to access greater opportunities. ACDI/VOCA’s work in sustainable agriculture also supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger and achieve food security through better farming practices, including climate-smart agriculture.
Julia said the cooperative’s next steps could be finding banks that will loan to them, as they also improve farming practices and even build storage facilities as production increases. On the last day of Julia’s assignment, members of the cooperative presented her with a dress made from local fabrics, despite having little income to spare. The experience left her with a desire to do more. Julia said she plans to continue to volunteer at least once a year.