Ethiopia, America launch farmers exchange program

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Addis Ababa, 2 April 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopian and the United States governments on April 1, 2014 launched a new farmer to farmer exchange program between the two countries to improve productivity and economic opportunity in priority sectors of agriculture.
USAID Ethiopia in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services and the Ministry of Agriculture launched the program.  Starting with the grains sector, the program aims expanding to other priority food security and export sectors.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is joining the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program at an event in Addis Ababa where one of the first new farmer volunteers was introduced.
In East Africa, CRS plans to develop and fulfill 500 volunteer assignments over the five-year life of the program, focusing on agriculture, food security and nutrition.  U.S. volunteers will travel to East Africa for approximately 2-4 weeks, their expenses covered by a grant from USAID.
“One thing we are certain of is that this program will be beneficial not just to farmers in East Africa, but also to the volunteers from America,” Bruce White, CRS Director for the F2F Program, said. “It’s going to make the world a little bit closer for everyone involved.
The exchange program will bring 125 American farmers to work side by side with Ethiopian farmers, researchers, and educators, according to the press statement from the United States embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 
"USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller will launch the new program with Mathew Davis, Country Representative, Catholic Relief Services Ethiopia.
Berhanu Gezahegn; Director, Training and Advisory Service Directorate will represent the Ministry of Agriculture. Dr James Worstell, an agronomist and new Farmer to Farmer Volunteer for Ethiopia will attend the launching."

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