Farmer-to-Farmer Agroecology Production Specialist

  • 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.   Compensation in the form of lodging, transportation, per diem, is provided by NCBA CLUSA.  No salary/consultant fees are paid. For more information visit NCBA CLUSA Farmer-to-Farmer.

NCBA CLUSA is currently seeking qualified Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer candidates (either 1- US volunteer willing to travel or 2 volunteers for a hybrid assignment- 1 remote US volunteer and 1- volunteer based in Ecuador ) for the position of Agroecology Production Specialist to support  Asociación de Trabajadores Agrícolas “Luis Vargas Torres”  based in Naranjito, Ecuador.

Asociación de Trabajadores Agrícolas Luis Vargas Torres was formed in 2005, by a small group of cacao growers. The organization was created to defend the producers' interests, gain access to broader markets, and negotiate fair prices for their products.

The association wants to improve their application of agroecological practices in their current operations. In addition to the cacao crop, farmers have other cultivars; plantain, sugarcane, mango, passion fruit, and pineapple which in some cases are for self-consumption, and others for sale. Even though they have all these other crops, the associates would like to implement agroecological production practices to improve their current production systems. For instance, agroforestry practices to take advantage of the quality soil and maintain or improve the yield of the cacao. Additionally, knowledge on intercropping and integrated pest management to create an ideal environment for pollinators and protection from pests.

Duration: 2 weeks, March- August 2022



  • Analyze current management of cacao production and give feedback for improvement based on applied agroecological concepts.
  • Based on the analysis, provide training on fundamental principles of the agroecological system in cacao production.


  • The volunteer should have experience in the management of cacao production and agroecological production systems.  
  • Degree in Agricultural or Environmental engineer, 
  • Background working with associations in agriculture is a plus. 
  • Experience in Latin America is also desirable. 
  • 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.