Dr. Shawn Daly, director of student global experience and professor of marketing and international business at Niagara University, has continued his international volunteer work with Farmer-to- Farmer, this time during a three-week trip to Rwanda in May, where he assisted a rural farm co-operative that makes pineapple and banana wines.
Dr. Daly previously traveled to Guyana in October 2022 and again in April 2023 to guide two Guyanese entrepreneurs as they transitioned from local providers of fresh juice and other related products to more mature companies, capable of competing with some of the larger companies in Guyana and abroad for shelf space and sales in the burgeoning retail marketplace.
In Rwanda, Dr. Daly’s focus was helping the CATAM Cooperative develop a five-year strategic plan that would ensure it remains a sustainable and profitable business while staying true to its values and mission. The plan detailed three initiatives: improving production efficiency and output; expanding market and demand; and creating new products.
Even with his extensive industry and academic experience around the world, Dr. Daly said the present situation in Rwanda was surprising.
“Wow, Rwanda is a unique place in Africa—completely clean, ultra-safe, and extremely easy to do business,” he said.
Dr. Daly also had time to interact with school children in different villages around the Ngoma District, where the cooperative is located. He knew enough of the local language, Kinyarwanda, to hold brief conversations with the young students. It was quite an event, he said, because they never met someone from North America or Europe before.
Farmer-to-Farmer is a USAID-funded program that supports farmers and agribusiness professionals in developing and transitional countries to promote sustainable improvements in food security and agricultural processing, production, and marketing.