Farmer-to-Farmer Organic Agronomist

  • Contract

Company Description

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For 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 100 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 21 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

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.

Job Description

NCBA CLUSA is currently seeking (1- remote US volunteer or 1 in-person US volunteer based in Ecuador) qualified Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer candidates for the position of Organic Agronomist to support Asociación de Pequeños Productores Agropecuarios SAANT – TUNANTS, based in Taisha, Ecuador.

Asociación de Pequeños Productores Agropecuarios SAANT – TUNANTS began as an organized group in 2012. All members are committed to taking care of the environment and using agricultural practices focused on their respect for nature. The association is small, with 22 members, but inclusive, with over half of their membership comprised of women.

SAANT-TUNANTS produces organic cacao and coffee, which they sell at the local market. They use organic practices focused on familiar agriculture and using traditional methods. For these farmers, cacao and coffee production is a family practice, where all family members participate from tillage to harvest. They utilize the “Aja Shuar” system to save creole seeds and conserve native plants.

SAANT-TUNANTS seeks to expand into a broader market to sell members’ products. However, management problems, including irrigation, fertilization, and phytosanitary treatment, have led to low yields. SAANT-TUNANTS wants to learn and apply better agricultural practices while maintaining their organic focus to improve their yields and expand their market access.

Duration: 2 Weeks (January – June 2023)


Teach participants how to create organic fertilizers with local materials to improve soil nutrition and cacao production. 
Analyze the current cacao crop management methods and provide constructive feedback about improvement opportunities.  
Support members' knowledge on pruning, weeding, and pest and disease control.  

The volunteer should have experience in cacao crop organic management. 
Knowledge of pruning, weeding, organic fertilization, and pest and diseases control. Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy, Plant Science, or related majors.
Background working with agricultural associations is a plus.  
Experience in Latin America is also desirable.  
Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable but not mandatory.  
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.