The EFAO is committed to promoting ecological agriculture in Ontario through farmer-to-farmer training and networking. Next door, the Manitoba-based Canadian Foodgrains Bank has been supporting the Scale-Up Conservation Agriculture in East Africa program (SUCA) through three Canadian member organizations (Tearfund Canada, World Renew, and the Mennonite Central Committee). The similarities are clear: both are helping farmers improve their production systems using conservation and ecological principles. While EFAO has 500 farmer members, SUCA has reached 52,000 farmers who are now practicing at least 2 out of 3 conservation agriculture principles (minimal tillage, crop rotations, and mulching). There are also differences: EFAO is a farmer-led organization and SUCA is a Global Affairs Canada-funded program implemented by CFGB through eleven NGOs in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
In February 2020 I had the pleasure of working with the SUCA program as an evaluation advisor. During a gathering of the partners in Nairobi, I came to know Florence Nduku, the Kenyan Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator of the SUCA program. I had already stashed away one of the new EFAO hats into my luggage, hoping to find the right person to wear it – a token of the similarities between these two efforts. It soon became evident that Florence was the chosen one… She holds so much knowledge about SUCA and its evaluation – no other head needed more protection. In the photo, she is wearing her EFAO hat during a small ceremony held at the end of the workshop.
by Ricardo Ramirez, member of the EFAO Board