Where We Work

Farmer To Farmer Slide

EthiopiaF2F-MAP-2014-greenbackdrop-ppt-v2 (2)

Grain Crops:

Accounting for about 60 percent of rural employment, 30 percent of the national GDP, and 73 percent of total cultivated land, cereals play a major role in Ethiopia’s economy. Cereals are also a staple in the home, accounting for more than 40 percent a typical household’s food expenditure. CRS’ grain crop focus areas include maize, wheat, teff, field beans and other field crops.

Horticulture (including coffee):

Many of the obstacles that prevent vegetable crop producers from achieving higher yields are rooted in improper production practices. As is common to many African countries, few Ethiopian smallholder vegetable farmers use modern production practices. Problems include use of non-vigorous cultivars, poor plant propagation techniques, poor soil fertility, low levels of inputs, improper harvesting and poor post-harvest management techniques.

Types of Assignments:

Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteers work on a variety of assignments in the grain and horticulture sectors. Experts assist in production, marketing, organizational management, business training, soils, nutrition, resource management and other issues related to helping rural areas become economically vibrant that also improve nutrition and livelihoods at the household level.



Livestock (goats, sheep and poultry):

Kenya has excellent potential to expand and improve its livestock sector. However, smallholder farmers face many obstacles including low skills, economic marginalization, food insecurity, and unsupportive government policies. In the semi-arid and arid regions, the livestock sector employs 90 percent of the labor force and contributes as much as 95 percent to household income.


Within horticulture, the vegetable industry holds the future for the Kenyan horticulture sector due to the high local demand for vegetables with 80% of produce consumed locally. As with other countries in East Africa, horticulture not only plays a large role in improving household food security, but also includes many crops of high economic value. CRS is targeting horticulture production as well as processing and nutrition.


The dairy industry is the single largest agricultural sub-sector. Kenya has 1.8 million dairy farmers, of which over 70% are smallholders, producing a total of 4.2 billion liters of milk annually. Dairy enterprises are mainly run by women. Farmers face low productivity arising from minimal adoption of artificial insemination, a lack of access to high quality feeds, low quality fodder, lack of quality veterinary and extension services and the high cost of credit.

Types of Assignments:

Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteers work on a wide range of topics within each of these sectors, from production, input supply, organizational development, strategic planning and business management, marketing, credit and nutrition among others. CRS takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of individuals, associations, processers and communities involved in these sectors.



Corn Value Chain:

Uganda’s small-scale farmers have traditionally cultivated maize for food and for income generation. Maize is the third most cultivated crop after banana and beans. In some regions of the country, the crop has now become a staple food, replacing sorghum, millet, cassava and bananas. Maize production is generally characterized by low yields. Regardless of farm size, Uganda’s maize yield levels are low and generally between 1.0 and 1.8 metric tons/hectare. There is however great potential to increase productivity through improved seed varieties, seed bed preparation, increasing soil fertility and plant populations, crop rotation and better water management.


Uganda’s vegetable oil production continues to register positive growth with demand outstripping supply and forcing the country to rely on imports. Only 75 per cent of the total vegetable oil production is consumed locally, with the remaining exported to neighbouring countries including Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and parts of Tanzania. Despite exports Uganda relies on importing huge quantities of vegetable oil from Malaysia, Indonesia, Kenya and Tanzania. CRS is focusing on groundnut, soybean and sunflowers The majority of oilseed crop producers are individual small to medium-scale farmers, which will be the target of CRS’ technical assistance efforts.

Types of Assignments:

Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteers will not only work on production, but processing, organizational development, input supply, marketing, credit as well as natural resource management and nutrition.



Corn and Rice:

Maize and rice are the most important staple foods for the majority of Tanzanians, ranking number one and two in terms of consumption and business. Over 95% of Tanzania’s maize is produced by small holder farmers, the majority of whom are operating at the subsistence level. The average land holding is less than one hectare. Average maize yields range from 1 to 3 tons per ha.

Rice (paddy) is grown by about 16 per cent of Tanzanian farmers, with virtually all of production derived from small holders. It is estimated that some 30 per cent of rice is consumed in or close to the production area with the rest sold to other areas of the country. As with agronomic crops in other parts of East Africa, Tanzanian smallholder farmers face a variety of challenges due to a lack of modern production skills, quality inputs, credit, poor soil fertility and access to profitable markets.


Horticulture significantly contributes to food security, nutrition and economic growth in poor communities. Horticulture is mainly practiced by female smallholder farmers and development of the sector offers opportunities to increase incomes while simultaneously improving household nutrition through dietary diversity. Smallholders are usually resource poor, have low levels of formal education and do not have access to information on modern production practices. Processors also face many challenges due to a lack of operational and business skills.

Types of Assignments:

In addition to technical assistance on a wide range of improved production practices, Volunteer assignments also include organizational development, marketing natural resource management, input supply, marketing, credit and a wide range of topics within each sector.