Sustainable Agriculture Facilitator

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Peace Corps domestically and internationally.

The information provided for each assignment is subject to change, including the tentative departure date.

Project Description

Imagine waking up to the sound of croaking lizards, cicadas, and the ever-present ‘ar-ar-ar-ar-aaaar’ of a rooster letting you know the sun is coming up. You put on a pot of hot water for some fever grass tea or a nice cup of Jamaican coffee and prepare for the day ahead. With a local woman you begin to plant on a cleared section of her modest plot where she grows banana, peppers, cabbage, Irish potatoes and dasheen. You are eager to connect her with other stakeholders and extension officers that can support her efforts and other local farmers in your community.

This could be your story. Learn more about the Agriculture Sector in the segment below and come join us.

The Agriculture project seeks to enhance the ability of Jamaicans in rural communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods and resilience to environmental shocks and stresses. This goal will be achieved through the following objectives:

Objective 1: Increased Agricultural Diversity, Productivity, and/or Sustainability
Objective 2: Increased Agriculture-based Income
Objective 3: Strengthened Agricultural Organizations

Illustrative activities include working together with partners to promote climate smart agricultural practices and post- harvest management, build basic agribusiness skills, and support organizational capacity development processes. Volunteers will work with organizations and project partners to plan and co-facilitate trainings, and coach individuals in basic business skills to support the implementation of sustainable agricultural projects and income generation activities.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

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

Competitive candidates will have:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any business discipline OR
• 5 years professional experience in business management BA/BS in environmental/agricultural science, business or related field
• 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

Required Language Skills

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

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position, however 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. Please take a moment to review the information below to find out more on how Patwa will be utilized during service.

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 community 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 in 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 happily accepts couples. Couples must have one person from the Agriculture sector, and one person from the Primary Literacy (Education) sector. Therefore your partner must apply and qualify for:

Primary Literacy Advisor

Couples will live in the same community, but will work on different projects. Couples will live together with a host family during both Pre-Service Training and service.

Medical Considerations

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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