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Special Projects

Ethnic Crop Project:

vegetablesFour farmers from SAAFON have been conducting a demonstration project growing ethnic crops. The project's goal is to develop a niche market for the Network. The specialty food industry is rapidly increasing as consumers to restaurants incorporate in their recipes more ethnic food products. Large trade shows like Fancy Food Show (held in both Chicago and New York) and ExpoWest (held in Anaheim Calif.) are showcasing food products from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Farmer's markets and grocery store chains in large southeastern metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Raleigh - Durham and parts of Florida with diverse populations are searching out sources for produce with names like callaloo, scotch bonnet peppers, dasheen, cho-cho and numerous varieties of yams for their customers.

women shopping at Dekalb Farmers Market

Dekalb Farmer's Market
DeKalb Farmer's Market; Altanta, Georgia (one of the largest farmers markets with ethnic products) has already outlined to our farmers what is required of them for their produce to be accepted at the market. More importantly, the market has strongly indicated their preference to buy from local farmers. This partnership is seen as very significant as it provides a marketing outlet for the project's farmers.

Mentoring Program:

One of the main goals of SAAFON is the development of a Network of farmers that work in collaboration to access resources, market products, improve growing techniques, and create a niche for value added products. The Network's Mentoring Program creates the " fabric" necessary to accomplish this goal.

Each farmer is assigned a mentor when he/she is selected. That mentor is with the farmer for one (1) year. Each farmer is required to serve as a mentor at least once during his or her three (3) year commitment.

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