Winrock International's Erin Hughes recently sat down with Sarah Tully, AAAS Fellow at USAID, to discuss Winrock’s successful Education for Income Generation (EIG)
project in Nepal. EIG combines literacy and life skills education; technical and vocational training linked to employment; training to increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes; and targeted scholarships for disadvantaged youth to increase access to higher-level education. Watch the interview with Hughes in its entirety
On April 20, in El Dorado, Ark., 17 aspiring entrepreneurs had the opportunity to meet potential investors and competed in a “Gone in 60 Seconds” product-pitch competition. Each presenter had 60 seconds to pitch a product and its benefits. The event was sponsored by Innovate Arkansas, the Arkansas Women’s Business Center, Entrepreneurship Task Force, the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, South Arkansas Community College and the Rialto Theatre.
Through the Food for Progress project, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and managed by Winrock International, people such as Azizul Haque have become successful prawn nursery operators in Bangladesh. Read the full article online.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture unveiled the first Regional Food Hub Resource Guide to expand market opportunities for farmers and ranchers. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service developed the guide in partnership with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, the National Good Food Network, the National Association of Produce Market Managers and the Project for Public Spaces.
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|The Philippines’ first women solar technicians light up rural villages
Over nearly a decade of providing solar lighting systems in the Philippines, the Alliance for Mindanao and Multi-Regional Renewable/Rural Energy Development III (AMORE 3) program, implemented by Winrock, has trained more than 900 men to work as village technicians to properly operate and maintain energy systems. Many technicians trained under AMORE, however, have moved to other areas in search of better economic opportunities, leaving many villages without knowledgeable technicians to maintain the solar home systems or facilitate replacement of parts. In response, AMORE is now focusing on training women villagers as solar home system installers and technicians. Experiences in other developing countries show that women trained as solar technicians tend to stay in their villages and use their newly-acquired skills to benefit their families and the rest of their community.
With support from USAID, the Asian Development Bank and the International Copper Association-Southeast Asia, AMORE has trained 65 women from 30 villages in Mindanao. Additionally, Winrock-AMORE provided, in coordination with local social welfare offices, free child-care services at the training venues, so women with children are not deterred from participating. Michiel Cabel, a young mother of two, hopes to make a better life for her family. “With my newly-acquired skills, I will be able to serve my community, and at the same time earn extra for my services as technician,” she said.
Although AMORE has always aimed to improve the lives of rural women by giving them greater access to electricity, education and clean water, this is the first time training activities had been specifically targeted at women. In 2012, AMORE plans to train women technicians to provide services as installers and technicians in at least 1,000 households up for solar electrification in Mindanao under its business development assistance program.
Participation in agri-expo in Pakistan highlights strengths of Winrock’s PACCD
Recently, the Winrock-implemented Pakistan Agriculture and Cold Chain Development (PACCD) project participated in Pakistan’s National Agriculture Exposition in Karachi and Lahore. The Agri-Expo 2012, hosted by DAWN International, serves as a platform to bring together many diverse stakeholders in the agriculture sector — including donors, agriculture institutions, public and private sector organizations, NGOs, and financial institutions.
The expo provided an opportunity to develop partnerships with leading contributors in the Pakistan agriculture sector, and to showcase the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) support in the country through the PACCD. The three-year project is designed to improve livelihoods of Balochistan farmers by promoting horticulture and fisheries through capacity building, establishment of cold chain infrastructure and forging linkages to domestic and international markets. The four-day event was attended by local farmers, agribusinesses, national and international government representatives, students, investors, donors and development agencies, to learn various aspects of the agricultural industry.
As a representative of USDA, PACCD actively participated in the expo at both venues, and briefed high-profile visitors — including U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter, U.S. Charge d’ Affaires, Ambassador Richard Hoagland and Lahore Consul General Nina Maria Fite — on the project’s goals, objectives and achievements. The expo was particularly timely for 22 PACCD farmers who had received training on pre- and post-harvest techniques immediately prior to the event. They were able to observe new farming technologies, learn about similar projects and exchange information with other stakeholders.
PACCD visibility was portrayed through video demonstrations and informational brochures that were distributed to the public. Visitors were informed about the development of horticulture and fisheries value chains in Balochistan through the introduction of good agricultural and fish handling practices, provision of innovative tools, establishment of cold storage units and links with markets, with a view to improving production, reducing losses and increasing incomes of Balochistan farmers.
Winrock’s American Carbon Registry recognizes leading organizations at annual event
On April 10 in San Francisco, Winrock International’s nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR) hosted its annual gala reception and dinner. At the event, ACR presented awards to recognize outstanding environmental achievements of several trailblazing organizations.
California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols received ACR’s Climate Leadership award in recognition of her ambitious and transformational leadership to develop the first economy-wide cap-and-trade program in the United States. The California Rice Commission and Environmental Defense Fund were presented with the Innovation award for their collaboration on developing an offset protocol for rice production in California, which is being expanded to benefit Arkansas, home to Winrock’s headquarters. Verdeo Group and Devon Energy were also presented with an Innovation award for the development of the first U.S. carbon offset protocol for the oil & gas sector. The protocol creates carbon offsets through the retrofit of existing high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low-bleed options, thus reducing vented emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Norfolk Southern was honored with the ACR Corporate Excellence award for its outstanding performance in measuring and reducing its emissions. In addition to in-house emission reductions, in 2011 Norfolk Southern launched Trees and Trains, a $5.6 million partnership with ACR member GreenTrees to restore 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley by planting six million hardwoods and cottonwoods. The National Forest Foundation (NFF) received the ACR Commitment to Quality award for its dedication to National Forest restoration and stewardship. NFF has planted more than three million trees across the U.S., and recently announced its first reforestation project to generate verified emission reductions registered on ACR.
Winrock President and CEO Frank Tugwell also opened the event with highlights of ACR’s activities to gear up for the California carbon market — including the hire of a California director and the opening of ACR’s new Sacramento office.