Train Trainers in Climate Smart, Bio-intensive Farming


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

The NGO COM.INT. E.S. was created in 2003 as a grassroots development nonprofit organization. Its aim is to combat poverty while alleviating the suffering of vulnerable populations. Its actions support the contribution of civil society to sustainable human development in Togo. The aforementioned commitment makes it an instrument for capacity building and support for mobilization of resources. COM.INT.E.S. operates primarily in the region of Kara in the areas of Community Health and Environment/Sustainable Agriculture. Staff members at COM.INT.E.S previously learned about bio-intensive farming from an Agricultural Peace Corps Volunteer. The organization became interested in learning about bio-intensive farming and expressed interest to collaborate with the Volunteer for advance technical training. Unfortunately, the Volunteers were evacuated due to COVID-19. Presently, COM.INT.E.S. is in the process of implementing a project that focuses primarily on climate smart and bio-intensive farming techniques/technologies.

Research shows climate smart and bio-intensive farming uses 50 to 75 percent less land, 50 to 100 percent less fertilizer, 67 to 88 percent less water, and 94 to 99 percent less energy to produce a given amount of food than conventional farming. In addition, bio-intensive methods grow farmable soil at a rate 60 times faster than occurs in nature, while traditional farming methods tend to deplete farmable soil through wind and water erosion. While bio-intensive farming methods are considered low cost and low tech, many farmers in Togo lack the capacity in applying such farming techniques in their work. COM.INT.E.S. hopes that an engagement with a VSPP will assist in building the capacity of its staff to in turn train and build the capacity of farmers in utilizing climate smart and bio-intensive techniques at the community level.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The purpose of the VSPP it to develop the capacity and train two staff of COM.INT.E.S. team in climate smart and bio-intensive farming.
Thus the main activities/tasks of the VSPP are :
• Co-Facilitate the design of a climate smart and bio-intensive techniques/technology Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) assessment/survey with COM.INT.E.S. members (by end of March 2022)
• Co-Train COM.INT.E.S. to conduct literature review to develop a climate smart and bio-intensive techniques agriculture approach appropriate for farmers in Togo (by end of April 2022)
• Based on the KAP assessment/survey data result, and findings from literature review, co-Train staff on ways to develop climate smart and bio-intensive techniques/technology materials in line with COM.INT.E.S. needs and conducive to Togolese context (by end of June 2022)
• Co-Facilitate theoretical training to COM.INT.E.S. two personnel on climate smart and bio-intensive techniques/technology using materials that were developed (by end of August)

This engagement is expected to be approximately 24 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.
Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, Togo time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.
Activities, classes, trainings or clubs, etc. will take place between 12:00 to 18:00 Togo time

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, WhatsApp, or any communication platform conducive to the needs of the VSPP, the counterpart, PC Togo Agriculture Program Manager and Program Assistant for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or equivalent degree in agriculture or any relevant field

Technical Skills: Experience in climate smart agriculture and bio-intensive agricultural production practices and technologies

Language: Intermediate level (oral and written) skills in French language

Experience: One year of experience in bio-intensive/climate smart farming context (crop cultivation, agricultural extension, or related job)

Intercultural Skills and Motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master or equivalent degree in agronomy, agricultural science, or natural resources management or other related field

Technical Skills:
• Ability to use online platforms to delivery climate smart and bio-intensive farming presentation and demonstrations
• Ability to synthesize complex information (i.e. literature review) to increase understanding of local staff
• Training design

Language: Advanced French (oral and written)

Experience: Basic knowledge of tropical smallholder farming systems and common constraints and challenges

Partner background

Name: COM.INT. E.S. (Comité International d’Ethique et de Solidarité)

Type of entity: Local NGO

Mission and goals:

COM.INT.E.S. mission is to contribute actively to sustainably improving the health status of populations in Togo. The mission is achieved through the following Goals:
• Promote and develop the spirit of peace, entrepreneurship, education, and protection of vulnerable people
• Contribute to the improvement of incomes in rural areas in Togo by the promotion of sustainable agriculture and the protection of the Environment

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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