Farmer-to-Farmer Soil Substrate 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 (1- US volunteer willing to travel) for the position of Soil Substrate Specialist to support  (Vegetales Lencas SA (VEGELENSA) based in (La Paz, Honduras)

Job Description: Vegetales Lencas (VEGELENSA) is a coffee association that decided to diversify their product offerings. They grow a variety of tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuce and cucumbers.  They would like to create a formula for soil substrates that would increase the yield of their crops.  They are looking forward to learning how to prepare/improve their current substrate formula to increase the capacity of aeration, nutrient distribution, and water retention.  Their current formula consists of 60% mountain microorganisms, sand, coffee husk, decomposed sawdust, and organic fertilizer. This formula is applied every 16 months.   

Duration: 2 weeks, August - December 2022 



  • Assess the actual substrate formula and give recommendations to improve their substrate based on the availability of local materials.
  • Discuss the benefits using different substrates (water retention, aeration, and nutrient distribution).
  • Work with the participants to establish a standard formula for making substrates for pepper and tomatoes.


  • Degree in Agronomy with production in substrate expertise.
  • Experience in production of tomatoes and peppers in greenhouse with substrate.
  • 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.