OSU faculty member engages in international Farmer-to-Farmer program
A faculty member of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center will travel to Mozambique at the end of March as part of a volunteer assignment with the United States Agency for International Development-supported Farmer-to-Farmer program implemented by CNFA.
During this international volunteer project, Tim Bowser, FAPC food process engineer, will teach food process engineering classes at the Catholic University of Mozambique in Chimoio, Mozambique.
“This assignment allows us to share our processing practices in the United States while developing an understanding of practices implemented in other countries,” Bowser said.
The UCM is a multifaceted and progressive educational facility that provides training in food engineering, agriculture, business and law. The school is looking to build its food-engineering course, which aims to provide trained Mozambicans on food evaluation, processing and quality control to enhance the food value chain and food security. In addition, the school is eager to build the skills of local staff to deliver food nutrition training programs to students and local communities.
During this two-week project, a diverse set of food industry-related information will be discussed to better educate those in attendance.
“A variety of topics will be covered, including Clean-In-Place, thermal processing, process diagramming, extraction, size reduction, grain handling and storage, HACCP, facility design, engineering economics, water use, continuous improvement and ethics,” Bowser said.
In preparation for this project, Bowser has been cooperating with a faculty member from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala.
“I have been working with Adelia Bovell-Benjamin, as she will be teaching food science nutrition classes as part of the program,” Bowser said. “However, she will be there prior to my arrival, so while our time in Mozambique will, most likely, not overlap we have coordinated our presentations in advance.”
Bowser is quite familiar with the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program, as he travelled to Nairobi, Kenya with CNFA last year to provide support to the Kenya Meat Commission.
“CNFA’s long-term projects seek to develop private farmer associations, cooperatives, private agribusiness, women’s groups and other organizations that help farmers and agribusinesses increase their incomes and well-being,” Bowser said. “CNFA employs a value chain approach to agricultural development, seeking to strengthen all links in the market chain, from input supply and production to post-harvest handling and value addition to marketing and sales.”
The CNFA-implemented Farmer-to-Farmer program, a USAID initiative, has been operating in Southern Africa since 2008, focusing on horticulture, oilseeds and legumes value chains in Angola, Malawi and Mozambique. Funding for Bowser’s assignment will be provided by the United States Agency for International Development