Sustainable Agriculture Volunteer

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process

Project Description

Sustainable Agriculture Volunteers, work in Peace Corps Tanzania’s Sustainable Agriculture project to promote food and nutrition security, sustainable livelihoods, and increased resilience. Volunteers work. Working with their community counterparts and community-based organizations to raise awareness of and engage community members in local agricultural initiatives. Volunteers collaborate with community leaders to identify their community’s needs and implement appropriate interventions. As such, Volunteers play the role of catalyst for a wide range of activities, limited only by the Volunteer’s own creativity and that of their local community. In this role, Volunteers may:

• Train farmers to employ improved crop cultivation technologies and management practices to improve crop production and food security.
• Educate farmers on sustainable soil and water conservation technologies and management practices.
• Train farmers on agriculture based basic business skills to facilitate a process to identify, develop, and implement an agriculture-based income generating activities (IGAs).
• Train farmers on technologies and management practices to conserve, store, and/or transform agricultural products to add value.
• Train farmers on improved small animal husbandry technologies and management practices.
• Teach women of reproductive age and/or key household decision makers the importance of consuming nutrient-rich foods and cook recipes that incorporate nutrient-rich foods.
• Train farmers on agroforestry tree production and system design technologies and management practices.

Volunteers undertake various projects, partnering with community members to assess the local knowledge, resources and needs to determine the best and most sustainable projects.

Volunteers also work with community members to develop secondary projects to address additional community needs. Examples of secondary projects include: teaching English or science at local primary schools, promoting sports for boys and girls, improving school or health center facilities, construction of wells and latrines, or working on local capacity building projects. While much of the work will take place during weekday daytime hours, some activities, particularly in the community, may take place at night or on weekends. Big events such as the International Malaria Day and World AIDS day are opportunities for action, and many Volunteers work with their village government to prepare a community-wide awareness event. Of great importance in any community development work is the time one takes just being there, developing relationships, and building trust.

Peace Corps Tanzania promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. Volunteers receive training on gender challenges in Tanzania and have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During their service, Volunteers look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of their work, Volunteers will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working in agriculture and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
OR
• 5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills

• BS/BA degree with 6 months practical experience growing vegetables or fruit or working in a nursery

• 1 year experience in large-scale commercial or family-run business including vegetable gardening, nursery work/management, tree planting, tree care, urban forestry, animal husbandry production.

Required Language Skills

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

Additional Language Information

Trainees will receive 10-weeks of pre-service training in the predominant language, Kiswahili, are required to attain an Intermediate-Mid oral proficiency level before swearing-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Additional language resources will be offered through independent tutoring during service.

Living Conditions

Karibu Tanzania! Tanzania is located in East Africa in a tropic region where most of the areas experience hot weather except for the highland, which are relatively cold. Volunteers are placed in communities in the far north and far south, and not the west. Most Volunteers live in an underserved mid-sized or rural community. Volunteers generally, live within a few hours of larger district towns, and travel to Dar es Salaam can take anywhere from 8 hours to two days depending location in the country. Volunteers generally use public buses or bicycles as their main mode of transportation.

The village government provides a Volunteer’s housing, which is generally a village house or a private room with a host family. Housing construction varies based on community resources and ranges from mud houses with metal roofs to concrete houses with glass windows. Volunteers have pit latrines, outdoor bath facilities, and fetch water from a village water source. There may be no electricity. Kerosene or solar lamps will be the main source of lighting and charcoal stoves or kerosene stoves will be used for cooking and heating during cold spells. Peace Corps provides a settling-in allowance that can be used to purchase those furnishings necessary to make your house comfortable on a modest scale.

In Tanzania, respect comes with age and experience. Younger Volunteers may experience initial difficulties gaining respect from their counterparts. However, a Volunteer’s professional appearance, work habits, and positive attitude towards colleagues and community members will help him/her gain respect within the workplace.

Personal appearance is of great importance to Tanzanians. A female Volunteer are expected to wear modest dresses and long skirts (far below the knees, with shoulders covered) and nice flats or sandals at work or in their communities. Male Volunteers should wear slacks, collared shirts, and loafers or other closed toed shoes when presenting themselves professionally.

Volunteers also encounter very different social and cultural norms that require flexibility and understanding. For example, the American sense of privacy is a curiosity here. Volunteers are frequently asked about their religion and marital status. Volunteers are viewed as role models within their communities, and their life can be very public. Volunteers often feel they are "on stage".

Tanzania is south of the equator, so the seasons will be opposite of what most are accustomed to. During the cold season (June, July, and August), temperatures range from 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit in the lowlands and coast, and from 40-50 degrees in the highlands. The hottest months of the year are November, December, and January when temperatures in the highlands range from 70-80 degrees, 90-105 degrees in the lowlands with considerable humidity. The rainy season starts in late November or early December and continues through April. The rest of the year is dry, but many highland areas have showers and mist year-round.

Peace Corps Tanzania provides support to a diverse group of Volunteers of various faiths, identities, and sexual orientations. It is important to note that Tanzania has restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts, which is a challenge for Volunteers. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host country. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address how to navigate this aspect of identity during pre-service training, and what support mechanisms are available. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State's travel page for more information:

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/tanzania.html

Prospective Volunteers are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns during the interview.

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

Medical Considerations in Tanzania

  • Tanzania may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; dermatology; insulin-dependent diabetes; gastroenterology; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizure disorder; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse.  
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten and peanut.
  • After arrival in Tanzania, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also 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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