For Egypt’s Farmers, Support from an Experienced Volunteer


Allyn Lamb is a committed Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer. He has completed assignments in Nigeria, Ghana, and, Egypt. He is a retired executive of Senior Farm Credit System and has years of experience in finance, farm business management, business development, and credit. Now with the Center for Dairy Excellence of Pennsylvania, he was previously president and CEO at AgChoice Farm Credit, which is also in Pennsylvania.

Allyn Lamb helped to developed lending products for livestock producers in rural Egypt.

IESC recruited Lamb for an assignment in Egypt as part of the Farmer-to-Farmer Middle East and North Africa Program. His primary objective was to work with microfinance institutions and banks to increase agricultural lending.

Lamb worked with three organizations to train them on a variety of topics, including writing effective agriculture business plans, evaluating loan requests, underwriting standards, and managing loan portfolios for agricultural lending.

He trained 53 people and made recommendations to the host organizations to help them implement agricultural lending in a more structured way that would benefit both the lender and the borrower.

Lamb prepared training material that was targeted to the needs and requests of the host organizations, who appreciated his knowledge and enthusiasm. As many IESC volunteers do, Lamb went beyond the scope of his assignment to deliver a presentation to 300 graduates of the Faculty of Agriculture entitled ‘Finding Your Career.’

Two of the host organizations, Alexandria Businessmen Association and the Egyptian Association for Small Investors and Businessmen, have reported that they are putting the Farmer to Farmer training and recommendations to use, piloting their own projects and implementing donor-funded projects to support agriculture in Egypt.

After the success of his first assignment, Farmer-to-Farmer requested Mr. Lamb’s technical assistance on another assignment in Egypt. In May 2015, Lamb worked with a microfinance foundation to design a lending program specifically for livestock producers, a need that was identified by a previous volunteer. Lamb worked closely with the foundation’s leadership and loan officers, five livestock growers, and a veterinarian to design the lending program. He met with potential customers to discuss the program and get their feedback. At the end of his assignment, Lamb provided recommendations for further improvement.

For his efforts on the Farmer-to-Farmer Program, IESC nominated Lamb for the Volunteer of the Year Award, given by the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance, or VEGA.

Founded in 1985, USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer Program provides technical assistance from U.S. volunteers to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries with the goal of promoting sustainable improvements in food security and agricultural processing, production and marketing. IESC a partner to Land O’Lakes International Development on the Farmer-to-Farmer Middle East and North Africa Program to enhance food safety and quality and increase access to rural finance in Egypt and Lebanon. The five-year program, awarded through VEGA, runs through 2018.

This story is made possible with the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of IESC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.