IPID Talk – MDP Field Experience

Come out and hear two research teams from the MDP program talk about their recent experiences in Ecuador and Jamaica. This is a must attend for anybody interested in agriculture, ecology, natural resources management, or value-chain analysis. Light refreshments will be provided.

When: October 15, 2014, 5-6pm
Where: Freeman Commons, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Room 205
What: Learn more about recent research performed by MDP students.

Elizabeth Gering & Angélica Getahun
Abstract: Master of Development Practice students, Angélica Getahun, Violeta Hernandez and Elizabeth Gering, spent two months in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador working with the Rainforest Alliance (RA), a nonprofit organization that works throughout the world where rare biodiversity reserves and forests are threatened. In collaboration with RA Ecuador, the MDP team conducted a value chain analysis (VCA) of a non-timber forest product called copal, which is a resin that is harvested from the copal tree, Dacryodes oliviferaCuatrec. Copal is used as incense for spiritual, religious and home fragrance in end markets. The objective of the VCA was to analyze copal resin’s potential in the domestic and international market with the long-term goal of improving livelihoods, conserving the rainforest, and strengthening the local economy.Presenters: 

Afia Adaboh and Randika De Mel
Abstract: Over the summer of 2014, our Master of Development Practice (MDP) student team comprising of Afia Adaboh and Randika De Mel undertook a field-based project in Jamaica. The project is a collaboration between Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF), College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE), Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Jeffrey Town Farmers Association (JTFA), Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOA), and the Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA). One component of food insecurity in Jamaica is the challenge of dependency on imported foods, particularly in rural communities. Breadfruit (staple crop) is seen as a food crop with tremendous potential to reduce that dependency and food insecurity in rural areas. Our work sought to improve linkages between farmers, exporters, processors, and extension officers in the breadfruit value chain (VC) and to examine the effectiveness of breadfruit tree distribution programs. It did so through two approaches. The socio-economic portion of our project focused on mapping the VC. The agro-ecology portion focused on assessing the survival of breadfruit trees donated by TTFF. The project was designed to support TTFF and its partner organizations ability to make strategic interventions in the breadfruit VC both in the area of tree distribution and fruit commercialization.