Farmer-to-Farmer Soil Analyst

  • Ocotepeque, Honduras
  • Employees can work remotely
  • Contract

Company Description

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the primary voice for people who use cooperative businesses to build a better world and a more inclusive economy. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For over 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 85 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Job Description

NCBA CLUSA’s USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program sends American farmers and agribusiness professionals on 2-4 week agricultural development assignments, promoting sustainable growth and agricultural development worldwide.  Volunteer technical assistance from U.S. farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives and universities helps smallholder farmers in developing countries improve productivity, access new markets and conserve environmental and natural resources.  During COVID-19 we have shifted to a hybrid volunteer model that affords US volunteers and in-country volunteers the opportunity to continue to provide technical assistance.   For more information visit NCBA CLUSA Farmer-to-Farmer.

NCBA CLUSA is currently seeking 2 (1- remote US volunteer and 1- volunteer based in Honduras) qualified Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer candidates for the position of Soil Analyst to support Unión de Organizaciones Ocotepecanas de café (UNIOCAFE) based in Ocotepeque, Honduras.

UNIOCAFE wants to improve the productivity and quality of coffee crops by improving the nutrition of their soil. Currently they produce 3,020.5 pounds of coffee per manzana (1 manzana equal to 0.7 hectares). Farmers have observed poor nutrient absorption in their plants based on the color of the leaves as well as size and color of the coffee fruit. Before harvest season, producers fertilize their crops without performing a soil analysis. Atypical weather due to climate change has affected the soil leading to degradation, erosion, and reduced absorption of organic matter and nutrients. Soil at the farms is a  sandy loam and clay loam type, with 50% of the farms having slopes of 50% or more. Most farmers don’t know how to collect samples on their farms nor do they have money to buy proper equipment or pay for a laboratory to analyze the soil.

Duration: 2 weeks, August- October 2021           

 

ESSENTIAL AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY:

  • Conduct a baseline to determine what knowledge the producers have on sampling and interpreting soil analysis.
  • Observe field conditions with farmers to determine soil characteristic at their farms.
  • Teach the participants how to conduct soil analysis using equipment purchased by UNIOCAFE as well as low-cost measures that are readily available in the communities.
  • Collaborate with training participants to develop a soil management plan to increase productivity and quality of the coffee crops.

Qualifications

  • Academic background in agronomy or related sciences
  • Experience conducting soil analysis and interpreting results
  • Knowledge of and experience implementing Soil Management Plans is preferred
  • Available for virtual communications with Host Organization, Staff and Co-volunteer
  • US candidate must be legally able to work in the U.S. without sponsorship
  • Advanced English language skills; reading, writing, speaking.

Additional Information

All application materials must be submitted in English.

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

NCBA CLUSA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity.  All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, and legally protected characteristics for non-merit factors.