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The people behind FARIP
Chairman of the Board
Peter is a Swss agronomist with over 30 years experience as a team manager and project leader abroad and in Switzerland in the field of agricultural extension, adult education and organisational development. He started his carreer as project leader in Chad and Rwanda, and was later a member of the executive board of AGRIDEA, the Swiss Centre for Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, as leader of the department “rural development, market and international activities”. In this position he had the privilege to work both within the Swiss agricultural extension system and within the international extension system. This allowed him to look at strengths, weaknesses and new ideas of both sides, to develop optimized concepts and methods for various situations and to accompany the implementation of respective projects.
Since his retirement in 2013 he continues to work as a senior expert in different projects. Peter is one of the founders of farip and the first chairman of its board. During his work in Switzerland and abroad Peter met many farm families with interesting ideas how to further develop their enterprise and/or their village but encountering great difficulties to implement them. Farip will offer an opportunity for initiative families or entrepreneurial groups in Africa to really start their businesses.
Member of the Board
Barbara Müller is a social anthropologist with a long history of professional and voluntary engagement with Africa, going back as far as the liberation struggles in Southern Africa in the 70ies. For the last 25 years she has led a small non-governmental organisation by the name of fepa (www.fepafrika.ch) based in Basel where she lives. Fepa focuses on support to community based organisations in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa. Since her retirement in 2014 she has continued to serve on the board of various NGOs addressing African issues. Barbara is a founder of farip and very passionate about its objectives. During her professional years she has encountered numerous examples of bright business ideas by local entrepreneurs who were failing due to their inability to access funding. She is convinced that assisting young entrepreneurs in developing their business ideas into tested and viable business plans is a key contribution to development in Africa. She is determined to make farip capable of bridging this gap.
Member of the Board
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Ueli Scheuermeier is a Swiss based in Berne with over 30 years experience in training, extension work and participatory development theory and practice in a wide variety of cultures and disciplines.
Learning with local actors in complex and difficult rural environments has been his main passion, over the years resulting in a strong push towards commercial engagement with rural people, and the associated learning requirements.
During his work in East Africa Ueli met farmers and rural entrepreneurs with great ideas about what they could do but no means to implement them. Ueli believes the procedures of FARIP are a game-changing way to promote innovation in the pre-commercial phase, aiming to tap the vast potential of Africa for the smallholder rural Africans themselves.