What We Do / Volunteering with Farmer to Farmer

The USAID-funded Partners of the Americas Farmer-to-Farmer Program in the Caribbean Region provides technical assistance to individual farmers, farmer associations, agricultural cooperatives, education institutions, and others in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as select other countries.  Farmer-to-Farmer recruits experienced agriculturalists who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to complete short-term assignments (15 day minimum stay; trips are generally 2-3 weeks).  In exchange for volunteers' time, Farmer-to-Farmer covers all assignment-related expenses.  Volunteers may travel individually or in teams.

The 2013-2018 Farmer-to-Farmer Program is currently accepting resumes or CVs from individuals with expertise in variety of program areas. Some current open assignments include:

HAITI
To apply for volunteer openings in Haiti please send your resume to Andi Thomas.

Coffee Soil Analyst (May - June 2015: 2 weeks)
The purpose of this assignment is 1) to help coffee cooperatives and farmers understand the relationships between soil and coffee quality, and the relationship between soil and the sustainability of coffee trees on the plantations and 2) to inform best practices of coffee production, working in partnership to evaluate current practices and suggest areas for improvement. The volunteer(s) will assist farmers in testing soil characteristics such as acidity, fertility, etc. and their implications for coffee quality. Volunteer(s) should have experience in soil research/management and knowledge of the relationship between soil characteristics and coffee production.  

Coffee Harvesting Educator (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
The volunteer(s) will work alongside an in-country team to train coffee producers on best harvesting processes and help them develop outreach/education tools to disseminate the information to other farmers throughout the country. The purpose of this assignment is to help farmers and local organizations understand why it is crucial to harvest coffee beans at a particular ripeness and how this is correlated to economic profit. This will also help coffee cooperatives in pricing the coffee they receive from producers and help producers improve harvesting practices.

Coffee Branding and Marketing Strategist (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
The volunteer(s) will work with 2-3 coffee cooperatives to develop their strategic branding and marketing plans. The purpose of this assignment is to create new strategies to reach potential markets and buyers both within Haiti and also internationally. The volunteer should have experience in agribusiness development and/or strategic planning and will be expected to produce a draft of a formal branding and marketing plan with action steps and work plans for each cooperative before departing the country.  


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
To apply to volunteer openings in the Dominican Republic please send your resume to Courtney Dunham.

Banana packing house specialist (2-4 weeks in May – August)
A volunteer with experience in conducting water quality assessments and treatment at fruit packing centers, with particular experience with banana packing, is needed to measure the physical, biological, and chemical parameters of water quality at several banana packing houses. The volunteer will train banana producers at small packing houses on improved practices and methods to improve water quality and wastewater management.

Banana Production Specialist (May - June 2015: 2 - 4 weeks)
A professional with experience in banana production and cultivation is needed to assist banana producers in identifying potential problems and solutions related to: 1) planting and plantation development; 2) production and productivity; 3) organic and conventional fertilization; 4) pest and disease management; and 5) climate risks in banana production. Expected deliverables are a set of recommendations per farm visited on ways to increase productions and/or address problems related to banana production.

Soil conservation specialist with experience in building live/dead barriers (2-3 weeks in July – November 2015)
A specialist in soil conservation is needed to train hillside smallholder farmers on local plants and resources that can be used as live/dead barriers to reduce soil erosion and increase the organic matter in soils. The volunteer will provide hands-on training and recommendations on how to plant these barriers, as well as any other appropriate methods and techniques for soil conservation.

GUATEMALA

To apply to volunteer openings in the Dominican Republic please send your resume to Courtney Dunham.

Potato seed production specialist (June – August 2015: 2 weeks)
A volunteer with experience in potato cultivation and the production of seed potatoes is needed to train producers in a course on processes to gain certification of seed potatoes. The volunteer will be expected to develop a manual on the process of seed potato production that is adapted to the conditions of Guatemala, particularly the western highlands. Knowledge of the physiology of tubers during storage and infrastructure designs to store seed potato tubers is also desired.

Organic agriculture and family gardens expert (May – August 2015: 2-3 weeks)
A volunteer with knowledge of developing family vegetable gardens in rural and resource-poor areas is needed to train technicians, community members, and families in how to implement, manage, and harvest organic vegetables in backyard gardens using local resources. The ultimate goal of this assignment is to help improve the nutrition and food security of Guatemalans in rural parts of the country. 

Avocado Production Specialist (May - September 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert in pruning, fertilization, and plantation management of avocados is needed to assist avocado farms in improving the quantity and quality of production for export. A manual on proper pruning, fertilization, and irrigation of avocados, along with a Farmer-to-Farmer trip report, are required deliverables. 

Marketing expert with experience with exportations (June – August 2015: 2-3 weeks)
A volunteer with experience in marketing, commercialization, and using market analyses to inform decisions (particularly for artisanal products) is needed to conduct a “train the trainer” workshop for technical and administrative support staff of SOSEP, a government entity created to promote and implement social programs that provide vulnerable populations. The workshop will be on accessing export markets, procedures and policies related to exporting, and methods to assist a micro, small, or medium-sized enterprises take steps in improving the quality of artisanal products

Marketing Expert (May 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert in the food industry with extensive knowledge in the industrialization and processing of peanuts and hibiscus is needed to train farmers on best management practices and to design a marketing strategy. Knowledge of product diversification (i.e., fried peanuts, peanut butter, hibiscus jam or tea, etc.), packaging, product presentation, setting expiration dates, and nutritional content of products is also desired.

Ornamental Plant Disease and Pest Management Expert (May - July 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert with a PhD in plant pathology or entomology and/or with experience in pest and disease management and with a variety of tropical and sub-tropical ornamental plants, flowers, and foliage is needed to train farmers in methods to reduce the incidence of pests and diseases on ornamental plants that are exported to the United States. The volunteer will also develop a manual on the treatment of specific pests and diseases and on conventional and non-conventional management options.

Ornamental Plant Nutrition and Fertilization Expert (June - August 2015: 2 weeks)
A professional with experience in plant nutrition and new fertilization techniques for ornamental plants, foliage, and flower production is needed to assist small and large ornamental horticulture producers in assessing areas to improve their nutrition and fertilization practices in order to increase production. The volunteer will make recommendations to update methods and to develop substrate and natural soils to increase production and that takes into consideration the different characteristics, needs, and life period of each species.

Expert in Postharvest Management and Packaging of Ornamental Plants (June - August 2015: 2 weeks)
A professional with experience in postharvest management and new packing techniques for ornamental plants, foliage, and flower production farms (ideally with experience with tropical and subtropical crops) is needed to introduce innovative methods in postharvest management and packing for small and big producers.


NICARAGUA
To apply to volunteer openings in Nicaragua please send your resume to Michael Moscarelli.

Agricultural Economist – Beef (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
The volunteer will use national statistics available through Nicaragua’s Central Bank(BCN) and other private studies to conduct an analysis of Nicaragua’s per capita consumption of beef in order to set goals for it’s increase and for the public sector to promote increased consumption among the Nicaraguan population. Following the analysis the volunteer will produce a report on Nicaragua’s per capita beef consumption and present the methodology applied to industry experts. The ideal volunteer will have experience conducting agro-economic analyses in the Caribbean.

Agricultural Economist – Milk (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
The volunteer will use national statistics available through Nicaragua’s Central Bank(BCN) and other private studies to conduct an analysis of Nicaragua’s per capita consumption of milk in order to set goals for it’s increase and for the public sector to promote increased consumption among the Nicaraguan population. Following the analysis the volunteer will produce a report on Nicaragua’s per capita milk consumption and present the methodology applied to industry experts. The ideal volunteer will have experience conducting agro-economic analyses in the Caribbean.

Nutrition Education Specialist (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
A volunteer with expertise in nutrition education is needed to support association members in launching a dairy education campaign.  The volunteer will provide educational workshops in schools and universities on the nutritional benefits of dairy products.  Deliverables include 4-5 educational workshops, a presentation for dairy stakeholders, and a trip report.

Meat Specialist (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert is needed to conduct an analysis of cattle carcasses at 4 slaughterhouses to measure beef quality.  The volunteer will analyze fat content, pH levels, color, texture, and morphometry, among other things. A few deliverables include presenting the findings to local beef stakeholders and leading 1-2 trainings on quality beef standards.


ECUADOR
To apply to volunteer openings in Ecuador please send your resume to Michael Moscarelli.

Specialist in Artisanal Cocoa Processing and Marketing (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert in processing of artisanal cocoa is needed to train 10-15 families in techniques to add value to their chocolate.  Expected deliverables are to create an illustrated manual on artisanal cocoa processing, a map of potential buyers of cocoa products, and recommendations to improve product promotion.  Proficiency in Spanish is preferred.


Don't see something that matches your skills? Other volunteer assignment areas include:

  • natural resource management
  • horticulture
  • dairy and livestock marketing
  • small animal production
  • beekeeping
  • agribusiness & enterprise development
  • organizational development
  • water management
  • climate-adapted agriculture
  • and more.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Farmer-to-Farmer Program, please send your resume and all program inquiries to Andi Thomas at Partners International in Washington, DC, or call (202) 524-5562.

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This webpage is made possible in part by the generous support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Partners and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.