The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) is excited to announce a Cochran Fellowship Program (CFP) exchange opportunity in fiscal year (FY) 2024 that will host four trainings opportunities, each focused regionally: Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbeans.  CFP anticipates generating interest from agricultural specialist from participating CFP countries (South Africa) in noted regions on innovative techniques in community building and food production.

Background: Urban agriculture focuses on the cultivation, processing, and distribution of agricultural products in urban and suburban areas.  From community gardens to indoor vertical farms, urban agriculture provides critical access to healthy food for local communities, as well as jobs, increased green spaces, and closer community ties.  It has been forecasted that half of the world’s population will live in urban areas by the second half of the 21st century; therefore, it will be necessary to grow more food in non-traditional agricultural areas where the population resides.  As urban agriculture is an important part of food security and sovereignty for many populations, sharing techniques with those who rely on this form of agriculture is vital to ensuring these needs are met. In response to the rising need to combat burgeoning climate crises and food insecurities, the Cochran Fellowship Program (CFP), in coordination with Tuskegee University, Florida International University, New Mexico State University, and the University of Maryland – Eastern Shore, will conduct two-week long trainings focused on urban agriculture. 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Candidates can be individuals working in either the public or private sector who are interested in learning about developing urban agriculture.
  • Must be a citizen of and currently reside in South Africa
  • Excellent comprehension of the English language (reading, writing, and speaking)
  • Fellows must be in good physical and mental health. A thorough physical exam is required by a licensed doctor prior to traveling to the United States.

Themes to be Included in the trainings:

(1) Community building, engagement, education, and extension service creation emphasizing marginalized and underserved communities

(2) Innovative growing techniques, such as vertical, hydroponic, aeroponic, raised beds, rooftop, permaculture, agroforests, indoor growing, green walls, and intensive growing

(3) Nutrition of urban gardens; how to ensure output is balanced and how to teach nutrition to a diverse audience

(4) Climate resilient practices to increase growing potential and to create spaces within urban settings

The Objectives of the Program:

 The objective of this program is to expose agricultural specialists to the need of adapting urban agricultural systems and techniques globally.  The objective is to expose Fellows to the pertinent need of urban agriculture adaptation.  The goal is to continue the promotion of U.S. food security and climate initiatives. 

Application Requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Signed approval from applicant’s home institution.
  • Two letters of recommendation (academic and professional preferred
  • Copies of diploma(s) for college/university degree(s) received.
  • Copy of passport identification page.

For any questions related to the application forms, application process, please contact:

Office of Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa

Nevolan Reddy

All applications must be submitted by email by no later than 16:00 on Tuesday, 26th March 2024, to Nevolan Reddy ( and copy Pamela Ngqinani (

Share This Post

More To Explore