Volunteer with Farmer-to-Farmer

Partners of the Americas’ USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program provides technical assistance to individual farmers, farmer associations, agricultural cooperatives, education institutions, and others in NicaraguaGuatemalaHaiti 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). Farmer-to-Farmer covers all assignment-related expenses. 

If you are interested in volunteering with the Farmer-to-Farmer program, please send your resume and all program inquiries to Orli Handmaker at Partners International in Washington, DC, or call (202) 524-6295.

Please see below for a list of all current opportunities.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The objective of our Farmer-to-Farmer program in the Dominican Republic is to increase the resilience of vulnerable populations to the unpredictable impacts of global climate change. We are looking for experts in a variety of fields such as:

-         Soil and water conservation
-         Agroforestry
-         Solid waste management
-         Pest and disease management of bananas
-         Irrigation technologies for banana sector
-         Alternative energy (i.e., wind, solar)
-         Environmental education
-         Greenhouse management and production

If you have experience in those areas and are interested in possible future assignments, please let us know.

 

NICARAGUA

Ice Cream Processing Specialist (Nicaragua, January 2016: 2-3 weeks (17-31st preferred)):

A F2F volunteer is needed to hold workshops with dairy processors to begin or improve their current ice cream processing practices. The volunteer will also train processors how to ensure food safety and quality throughout the process. The ideal volunteer will have experience making artisanal ice cream, gelato, and/or other frozen dairy products and experience conducting workshops with adults of varying literacy levels. Spanish language skills and knowledge of processing other dairy products is preferred. The volunteer should be flexible and adaptable to working in different environments. The expected deliverables for the assignment are: workshops on ice cream processing, workshops on food quality and safety, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Fruit Processing Specialist I (Dried Fruit) (Nicaragua, January-March 2016: 2 weeks)

Due to large amounts of post-harvest waste and loss, a F2F volunteer is requested to train members in several women’s cooperatives in Nueva Guinea to produce dried fruit using several fruits including pineapple and guava. The volunteer will need to help the women construct a basic low resource solar fruit drier as machinery is not available. It is expected that at the end of the assignment hosts will be able to rustically process pineapple and guava to reduce post-harvest losses and increase their income. The volunteer should have experience with artisanal processing of various fruits into dried fruit, experience building low-resource solar fruit driers, and experience working in low resource communities in developing countries is preferred, as is Spanish speaking proficiency. The expected deliverables for this assignment are hands-on workshops and trainings on fruit processing, construction of a solar fruit drier for each participating host, a one-page guide with pictures on fruit drying processes, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Fruit Processing Specialist II (Canned Fruit and Jams) (Nicaragua, January-March 2016: 2 weeks)

Due to large amounts of postharvest waste and loss, a F2F volunteer is requested to train members in several women’s cooperatives in Nueva Guinea to produce several artisanal value-added products (possibly including jam, canned fruit, etc.) from pineapple and guava. Please note that machinery is not available and any canning or other processing will have to be done with access to very few resources. It is expected that at the end of the assignment hosts will be able to rustically process pineapple and guava to reduce post-harvest losses and increase their income. The volunteer should have experience with artisanal processing of various fruits into jams, canned fruit, etc., and experience working in low resource communities in developing countries is preferred, as is Spanish speaking proficiency. The expected deliverables for this assignment are hands-on workshops and trainings on fruit processing and canning, a one-page guide with pictures on fruit processing and canning, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Advertising Specialist (Nicaragua, February 2016: 2-3 weeks (1-21st preferred)):

A F2F volunteer is needed to work with the National Cattleman’s Commission (CONAGAN), the Nicaraguan Chamber of Beef Industry Exports (CANICARNE), and the Nicaraguan Dairy Chamber (CANISLAC) to develop messages, materials, and propaganda to support the current dairy and meat campaigns. The materials will also be used for the upcoming Nicaraguan Dairy Congress. The volunteer for this assignment should have experience developing advertising and marketing campaigns and some graphic design experience. A graduate degree in marketing, business, or a related field as well as Spanish language abilities and knowledge of dairy and meat markets are preferred. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: propaganda for the dairy and meat campaign, propaganda for the dairy congress, a trip report, and outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Graphic Designer (Nicaragua, Long-Term: 1-3 months (January-March preferred)):

A F2F volunteer is needed to work with the National Cattleman’s Commission (CONAGAN), the Nicaraguan Chamber of Beef Industry Exports (CANICARNE), the Nicaraguan Dairy Chamber (CANISLAC), and the Nicaraguan Institute for Development (INDE) to develop messages, materials, and propaganda to support the current dairy and meat campaigns. This volunteer should have extensive graphic design experience that includes experience designing logos and banners and developing advertising and marketing campaigns. Experience working with the dairy and meat markets is preferred and so is Spanish language fluency. The volunteer needs to have personal access to the appropriate graphic design software as the field team cannot provide it. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: propaganda for the dairy and meat campaign, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work. This assignment is long-term so that the volunteer can see through the development of the branding campaign for these industries before heading back to the states.

Cheese Processing Expert (HACCP Specialist) (Nicaragua, February 2016 (8-22 preferred): 2-3 weeks)

A F2F volunteer is needed to work with cheese processors to ensure that their processes are hygienic and safe. The volunteer will conduct workshops with the processors on best management practices for making hard cheeses (gouda and cheddar). The volunteer will also conduct theoretical and hands-on trainings in HACCP for improved quality and hygiene. It is expected that at the end of the assignment the processors will understand HACCP principles and be able to produce higher quality and safer hard cheeses. The right candidate for this assignment will have experience conducting workshops in and presentations on HACCP and experience making hard cheeses and conducting trainings on processing hard cheeses. It is preferred that the volunteer have basic Spanish skills, experience working in a developing country, and a degree in agriculture, agribusiness, or a related field. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: workshops and trainings on hard cheese processing and on HACCP principles, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

4-H Leadership Specialist (Nicargua, March-May 2016: 2 weeks)

F2F is currently seeking a 4-H leadership specialist volunteer. The main host for this assignment is the Fabretto Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that children, families and communities in the most disadvantaged areas of Nicaragua, reach their full potential and improve their future opportunities through education and nutrition. Fabretto implements an innovative high school program called SAT (Tutorial Learning System) in rural and remote communities; the program is tailored to the real needs of these young people and the curriculum is based on the methodology of "learning by doing". Since tutors are community leaders that don’t necessarily have formal training to teach it is critical that they are consistently building their capacity to ensure the program is effective. The F2F volunteer will meet with Fabretto leadership in Managua to discuss their needs and develop a strategy to build 4-H (or similar methodology) leadership activities and trainings into their current curriculum. Following this assignment tutors should have a basic understanding of 4H leadership activities and trainings and be able to implement them in their classes throughout Nicaragua. The ideal candidate for this assignment will have experience training trainers (teachers and student leaders) in 4-H (or comparable) methodology, specifically in leadership topics. It is also preferred that the volunteer have experience working with disadvantaged populations and have Spanish working proficiency. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings of trainers, a plan and curriculum materials for future trainings, at least one outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Youth Entrepreneurship and Business Specialist (Nicaragua, March-May 2016: 2 weeks)

F2F is currently seeking a youth entrepreneurship and business specialist to work with the Fabretto Foundation. The Fabretto Foundation is the main host for this assignment and their mission is to ensure that children, families and communities in the most disadvantaged areas of Nicaragua, reach their full potential and improve their future opportunities through education and nutrition. Fabretto implements an innovative high school program called SAT (Tutorial Learning System) in rural and remote communities; the program is tailored to the real needs of these young people and the curriculum is based on the methodology of "learning by doing". Since tutors are community leaders that don’t necessarily have formal training to teach it is critical that they are consistently building their capacity to ensure the program is effective. The F2F volunteer will first meet with Fabretto leadership in Managua to discuss their needs and develop a strategy to build youth business skills (i.e. how to develop a business plan, feasibility study, cost-benefit analysis, marketing, managing, etc.) trainings and activities into their current curriculum. Following this assignment tutors will know how to deliver basic business skills trainings and activities to youth. The tutors’ ability to conduct these trainings will help empower rural youth in Nueva Guinea and other parts of Nicaragua create livelihood opportunities for themselves. The ideal candidate for this assignment will have experience training trainers in youth entrepreneurship and business skills, experience working with disadvantaged populations, and preferably have Spanish working proficiency. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings of trainers, a plan and curriculum for future trainings, at least one outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Soil Conservation Specialist (Nicaragua, April-May 2016: 2 weeks)

F2F is currently seeking a soil conservation expert volunteer to work with smallholder farms in Nicaragua. Smallholder farms in the province of Nueva Guinea are typically found on rolling hills and contain tropical clay soils. The topography of the land, combined with poor soil management practices and hard rainfall leads to excessive soil erosion and declining soil fertility. Although crops produced on the farms vary, including cassava, taro, pineapple, guava, passion fruit, maize, bananas, plantains, peppers, cocoa, and coffee, soil erosion is an ongoing issue that limits farm productivity in both the short and long term. An F2F volunteer is needed to train members of the hosts, UNAG and The Fabretto Foundation, in soil conservation best management practices. Through trainings, workshops, and demonstration plots, farmers with UNAG and Fabretto will learn how to sustainably reduce soil erosion and increase soil fertility on their farms. The ideal candidate for this assignment will have experience working with agriculture and soil conservation in the humid lowland tropics, and preferably a graduate degree in agronomy, horticulture, soil science or a related field, Spanish language skills, and experience working in low resources communities in developing countries. The expected deliverables for this assignment are workshops and  trainings on soil conservation practices, the creation of demonstration plots with the hosts that will help teach them about soil conservation practices, at least one outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Integrated Pest Management Specialist (Nicaragua, April-May 2016, 2 weeks)

F2F is currently seeking an integrated pest management expert volunteer to work with smallholder farms in Nicaragua. Smallholder farmers in Nueva Guinea are low resource, with limited access to agricultural inputs. A variety of pests and diseases are a common problem among smallholder farmers that leads to lower yields and subsequent income. Furthermore, the prevalence of pests and diseases are increasing due, in part, to changing climate and weather patterns. Although crops produced on the farms vary, including cassava, taro, pineapple, guava, passion fruit, maize, bananas, plantains, peppers, cocoa, and coffee, smallholder farmers in Nueva Guinea have requested assistance to develop integrated pest management schemes for their farms to mitigate losses in both the short and long term. An F2F volunteer is needed to train UNAG and Fabretto in integrated pest management practices for a variety of cropping systems. Through trainings, workshops, and demonstration plots, farmers with UNAG and Fabretto will learn how to implement integrated pest management systems on their farms. The ideal candidate for this assignment will have experience working in agriculture and integrated pest management in the humid lowland tropics, and preferably will have a graduate degree in agronomy, horticulture, entomology, or a related field, experience working in low resource communities in developing countries, and Spanish language skills. The expected deliverables for this assignment are workshops and  trainings on integrated pest management practices, the creation of demonstration plots with the hosts that will help teach them about integrated pest management practices, at least one outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

 

GUATEMALA

Greenhouse Production Expert (Ornamental Plants, Flowers, and Foliage) (Guatemala, March-May 2016: 2-3 weeks)

F2F is seeking a professional with experience in greenhouse production and management, new greenhouse production techniques for ornamental plants, and foliage and flower farms. Experience with tropical and subtropical crops is desired. It is important that the selected volunteer is aware of innovative methods in greenhouse management and production for small and large producers of ornamental plants, foliage and flowers. The goal of this assignment is to teach ornamental plant producers about new greenhouse production and management methods. The methods currently used are out of date and do not take into consideration the different characteristics, needs, lifespans, and requirements of the different species produced by the farms in the sector. Therefore, the volunteer will assist producers in addressing their greenhouse production problems and provide techniques and recommendations to increase production. The hope is that these new techniques and processes will lead to increased sales revenue and increased exports for the producers. The producers have also asked that the volunteer provide information on ways to access new information (i.e., trends, technology, etc.) on greenhouse management and production so they can continue to learn after the assignment is over. The expected deliverables for this assignment are a manual of guidelines for greenhouse production, a trip report, at least one outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Expert in Propagation Methods (Ornamental Plants, Flowers, and Foliage) (Guatemala, March-May 2016: 2-3 weeks)

F2F is seeking a professional with experience in new propagation techniques for ornamental plants, foliage and flower production farms. It is best if the volunteer has experience working with tropical and subtropical crops. It is important that the assigned volunteer is aware of innovative methods in propagation and fertilization for small and large producers of ornamental plants, foliage and flowers. The goal of this assignment is to teach growers of ornamental plants, flowers, and foliage about new propagation techniques. The methods the host currently uses are outdated and do not consider the different characteristics, needs, lifespans and requirements of each species and variety that they grow. This assignment is intended to educate these producers on the different techniques available for the propagation of ornamental plants, foliage and flowers. The hope is that by adapting new and improved methods and practices, the host will see an increase in production volumes followed by an increase in sales revenue and exports. The expected deliverables for this assignment are a manual of guidelines on propagation techniques, a trip report, at least one outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.