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Extension Educators Network

We are working with CfP partners interested in farmer assistance to foster communication and collaborations.

CFP Extension Networking and Activity Planning Workshop: With the assistance of Juan Gallego, Mark Guiltinan and Siela Maximova organized a workshop for all potential partners for the CFP that are currently involved or could be involved with farmers technical assistance activities. The event attracted18 participants from 11 institutions including USDA-FAS, USAID, Penn State, Corpoica, Swiss Contact, Cacao de Colombia, Red de Cacaoteros, Fedecacao, SENA, UNODC, and Purdue. This very good turnout of stakeholders was an indicator of the great interest for participation in CFP activities.  

Main outcomes:

  • General opinion was shared that there is a real need for improving the networking and coordination among all organizations in Colombia involved in farmer training and technical assistance, not only for CFP project but in Colombia in general. Currently the groups are not working together and have not had any meeting like this aimed at knowledge and experience sharing and coordinating activities. Maximova and Guiltinan led a facilitated discussion that resulted in unanimous agreement that there is a need and willingness for coordination of the efforts of these groups and to establish a platform to share information and training materials for the benefit of all. A proposal was presented to form a formal Extension Network that was unanimously agreed upon.
  • After each group shared overviews of their activities in cacao farmer training and technical assistance, further discussion was facilitated to agree upon a general process for conducting activities in the selected sites in Sierra Nevada area for year one of CFP. According to the schedule, specific commitments were obtained for each group for participation in selected activities based to the strengths and the interests of the different groups. The agreement to work together on the CFP pilot project could be considered to be the first step toward establishing the network and an attempt to involve the community in collaborative activities. The long-term success would be of a great benefit to the farmers and would help strengthen and coordinate farmer-training activities throughout Colombia, a major goal of CFP. 

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