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June 2014

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In May, The Wallace Center at Winrock International released the “Deep South Local and Regional Food Systems Resources Handbook.” The handbook is a product of the Increasing Farmer Success in Local Food Markets in the Deep South: Mississippi & Alabama project, funded by the Walmart Foundation. The publication is a resource guide for farmers, aggregators, and distributors of sustainable food to build or strengthen a values-based food supply chain for their products in the Deep South.

The Winrock-implemented Kenya Yes Youth Can! project is part of a case study (page 35) on NGO "evaluative thinking practices" in Sub-Saharan Africa, undertaken by InterAction and the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA). View, or download, the report on InterAction's website: “Embracing Evaluative Thinking for Better Outcomes: Four NGO Case Studies.”

More than 1,500 women from poor households have received loans in an effort to curb child labor in Tanzania. Read more in The Citizen of Tanzania.

Tameer Bank formally inaugurated a new branch in Gawadar, Baluchistan on June 3. The initiative is part of the USDA-funded Pakistan Agriculture and Cold Chain Development Project (PACCD) and is aimed at promoting financial and economic activities in Baluchistan through the introduction of new means of business to disadvantaged farmers, fishers and other business people, in order to increase their incomes. Read more.

How do you choose the right technology to help run your good food business? The Wallace Center’s free National Good Food Network webinar for July will give you the tools to perform an accurate analysis of your business technology needs. With the right analysis you can make technology choices with greater speed and confidence. Reserve your spot today for the webinar on July 17.

University professors, trainers and USAID Lowering Emissions in Asia's Forests (LEAF) partners met in Bangkok May 26-30 to further advance USAID LEAF’s Regional Climate Change Curriculum Development program. This step allowed refinement and training for two of the program’s four modules – Social and Environmental Soundness and Carbon Measurement and Monitoring. Read more.

Are you interested in working at Winrock? Search current openings and post your resume. Would you like to volunteer with Winrock? Learn more about new opportunities for volunteers.

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Sandra Brown presented with USDA Forest Service Tropical Forest Conservation Award
Sandra Brown presented with USDA Forest Service Tropical Forest Conservation AwardDr. Sandra Brown, chief scientist for Winrock International's Ecosystem Services Unit, was recently presented with the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) Tropical Forest Conservation Award in recognition of her work as the IITF’s most prolific research cooperator.

Brown worked with IITF researchers beginning in 1980 and jointly published more than 150 scientific papers with them. She was presented with the award in May at the 75th Anniversary of the IITF Science and Conservation Symposium in Puerto Rico, where she gave a keynote presentation: “Trailblazing the Tropical Carbon Cycle: It Started in Puerto Rico.” Read more.

Earl Devaney joins Winrock board of directors, accepting five-year appointment
Earl DevaneyOn May 28, Winrock International announced the election of Earl E. Devaney to its board of directors. Devaney accepted a five-year appointment.

Devaney, president of The Devaney Group, provides strategic advice to companies seeking to establish, mature and expand business with the federal government. He is a recognized policy and operations management expert, well-known in both government and the private sector for his understanding of the complex regulatory and compliance issues that organizations face today. “We are very pleased to have Earl Devaney as a member of Winrock’s board,” said Board Chair Elizabeth Campbell. “His understanding of our business environment, his operational experience, and his commitment to our mission will be a great benefit to the organization.” Read more.

KISAN improves food security, increases farmers’ incomes in Nepal
KISAN improves food security, increases farmers’ incomes in NepalDespite nearly 80 percent of the country’s population working in agriculture, and recent advances in agriculture practices Nepal remains a food-deficit country where many Nepalese struggle to obtain enough nutritious food throughout the year.

The Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition (KISAN) project is USAID’s flagship Feed the Future project in Nepal. KISAN is introducing commercial agriculture to farmers in 20 districts of the hills and lowlands of western and far western Nepal to help small holder farmers become more food secure by raising high-value horticulture crops for increased income. Through training and links to key resources, famers can continue to grow on their own and, after only one season, results are emerging in the areas where KISAN is working: household incomes have increased and commercial vegetable farming has become a viable income-earning activity.

In one production area, KISAN is working with 41 smallholder farmers, helping them form a vegetable production group. Following a range of trainings in agriculture production, including nursery management and vegetable cultivation, KISAN linked farmers to a local cooperative to access credit. Five members of the group borrowed the equivalent of USD $562 to lease land and purchase plastic sheets and bamboo for a small green house tunnel; wire, pipes, and a motor for irrigation; and cucumber seeds and compost. Within four months, the group sold 17 quintals of cucumber, and earned enough in one crop cycle to repay their loan. Now, they are preparing for their next dry season crop: bitter gourd.

Damayanti Gurung, the group’s leader says, “We had never planted vegetables in such a large area before, and the techniques they (KISAN) were suggesting, we had never seen before.

“After seeing [all] the cucumbers growing on these plants, we just could not contain our happiness,” she said.

Winrock International is the lead implementer for KISAN, supported by two Nepali NGOs.

Winrock helping integrate climate change into Guinea’s national education system
Winrock helping integrate climate change into Guinea’s national education systemIn West Africa, and especially in Guinea, the impacts of climate change can have severe consequences for smallholder farmers who are already highly vulnerable because of their socio-economic and physical environments.

Winrock International‘s Agriculture Education and Market Improvement Program (AEMIP) is implementing a major initiative to integrate climate change concerns into Guinea’s national agriculture education and training (AET) system — as part of USAID’s Global Climate Change (GCC) Integration Pilots program. AEMIP, an activity of  USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer program, is developing technical and institutional leadership on climate change adaptation within the agriculture sector at the Institut Supérieur Agronomique Valéry Giscard d'Estaing de Faranah (ISAVF), Guinea’s only agricultural university.

The factors that lead to farm vulnerability are numerous: limited capital and labor force, low productivity gains, decreasing land fertility, limited access to credit, deficient agriculture education and training, and fragile farmers’ organizations, among many others. Smallholder farmers’ resilience has allowed them to survive crises over many generations, including wars and significant droughts.

But, a recently-completed baseline study found that climate change knowledge and capacity to implement climate change adaptation programs is limited in Guinea among key agriculture stakeholders in government and AET institutions. However, there are promising levels of awareness and initiative for adaptation within Guinea’s private sector and among smallholders.

AEMIP is launching an Innovations Grants program in July for research teams at ISAVF. Grants will support applied research projects for community-based adaptation, climate change policy development and execution, and public education on climate change.

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