Sustainable Agriculture Facilitator

Before You Apply

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Project Description

The Agriculture project seeks to enhance the ability of Jamaicans to engage in sustainable natural resource management.

Volunteers in the Agriculture Sector work with community based organizations, government & non-government organizations and farmer’s groups. Along with their project partners, Volunteers engage, train and coach community members in sound agricultural, organizational development and business practices.

The goal of Peace Corps Jamaica’s Agriculture Project is:

Individuals and/or groups in rural Jamaican communities will achieve sustainable livelihoods and resilience to environmental shocks and stresses.
The objectives of the Agriculture Project are:
1. Increase capacity of individual group members to improve the diversity, productivity, and/or sustainability of their agricultural production (climate smart agriculture).
2. Increase capacity of individual group members to generate agriculture-related income.
3. Strengthen the capacity of community organizations to achieve their mission.

Volunteers and project partners (farmers, community members, etc.) will work together to promote climate smart agricultural practices, build organizational capacity and promote agriculture-related income generation throughout Jamaica. Volunteers work with organizations and project partners to plan and co-facilitate trainings, establish sustainable agriculture practices, and build the capacity of organizations within the sector. Volunteers will coach individuals and support the implementation of agriculturally sustainable projects and income generation activities.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will meet or exceed the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline OR
• 5 years professional work experience

Desired Skills

Preference will be given to applicants with:
• BA/BS in environmental/agricultural science, business or related field OR
• BA/BS in any discipline combined with one year experience in commercial or small business, vegetable gardening, soil and water management, cultivation/production, sustainable agriculture, organizational capacity building.
• Academic and work experience in environmental and agricultural science, agri-business, agro-forestry, and/or environmental studies, organizational development, small business development
• One year experience with organizational development and/or small business development, including project design and management
• Strong public speaking and presentation skills, including facilitation of small and large groups of adults
• Respect for and acceptance of diversity amongst fellow Volunteers and Host Country Nationals

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

You will be required to learn Patwa for successful safety, security and integration. By the end of pre-service training you will be expected to have an Intermediate Low Patwa proficiency..

Jamaica is a bilingual country. English (Standard Jamaican English) is the official language, however there is also a Creole known as the Jamaican Patwa which is the language spoken throughout Jamaica, especially in rural areas. While a few Jamaicans, especially those living in urban areas, move easily between Jamaican Patwa and English, the majority speak neither of these in their pure forms. The language and cultural training presented throughout the 27 month training continuum will help prepare you to speak and understand Jamaican Patwa and culture. This is crucial in order to facilitate smooth and successful integration into your community. All Trainees will be required to demonstrate a certain level of language proficiency (assessed through the Language Proficiency Interview) in order to successfully complete training.

Living Conditions

All Volunteers live in a host family setting for the duration of their service. The majority of site assignments are in rural areas, predominantly in the interior and mountainous regions of the island. The standard of living varies widely within rural and even deep rural communities. The most common living situations are a room in a home with a Jamaican family with access to a shared bathroom and kitchen. Cellular phone coverage is available in most rural communities, but there may not be internet access. Your host family will assist you with orientation in your community, Jamaican home life, and cross-cultural adjustment during pre-service training and at your assigned community.

Most Volunteers have indoor plumbing with either running water or catchment rainwater. There is rarely hot water and bathing with cold water is the norm. Water supplies can be intermittent and scarce during severe drought periods so be prepared to practice water conservation, including taking bucket baths. Laundry is often washed by hand in a sink or a washtub or even in a river. Electricity is present island wide, except in very remote areas. There is some disparity between the amenities that each Volunteer will have with their assigned host families, however all Volunteers will have access to basic amenities, including a stove and refrigerator. Due to scarcity and high prices, conservation of electricity and water is critical while living with Jamaican host families.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Jamaica: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Jamaica is able to accommodate cross-sector couples but not couples within the same sector. Therefore, your partner must qualify and apply for:

Primary Literacy Advisor

Married couples will live with host families.

Medical Considerations in Jamaica

  • Jamaica may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified.
  • After arrival in Jamaica, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.


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