Agribusiness specialists

We need experienced agribusiness people to help local farmers increase their agricultural productivity, quality of produce and profit margin. You could be working in countries like Malawi, Ghana, Guyana, Cambodia, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Roles are generally longer term, ranging from one to two years, but we also have occasional short term assignments for up to six months.

You’ll be qualified to degree or diploma level, with at least two years of experience (five for short-term roles) of agricultural economics, agricultural business development or farm management. You’ll have excellent business expertise, as well as report-writing and training skills. Micro-finance development experience is desirable.

For short-term roles, experience of developing food security strategies, livelihood assessments and working with rural and agricultural communities is essential.

What you’ll be doing

Many agriculture business adviser roles involve working with small community organisations, local NGOs or local government ministries.

You could be helping farmers to form co-operatives or develop strategies for lowering production costs and adding value to their produce. By providing advice to improve their marketing techniques and find alternative markets, you’ll help them increase profits and ensure a more sustainable living.

  • Example role

Please note this is just an example placement to illustrate the kind of roles that may come up in your skill area. To view our live roles, click ‘Get started’ below.

Farmer-based organisation officer, Langbensi
Ghana


More than 65 per cent of Ghana’s population depends on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods. However, Ghana’s agriculture sector is plagued with a number of problems including unpredictable climatic conditions, lack of support, and limited market access. The liberalisation of the Ghanaian economy has created competition in the market, making it difficult for local farmers to compete equitably or meet the rising cost of production annually. This has resulted in a decline in the agricultural labour force and incomes for most communities, and consequently, high levels of poverty and food insecurity.

More than 50 per cent of the poor in Ghana are food crop farmers, and more than 70 per cent in the Northern region. VSO is supporting poor and disadvantaged farmers and rural groups across five regions in Ghana to achieve income security, improve access to and enhance growth of markets for agricultural and livestock produce to benefit these disadvantaged, rural communities and to add value to agricultural produce that will support this initiative.

As a farmer-based organisation officer, you’ll help to build the technical and managerial competencies of these disadvantaged farmers and rural groups in both cultivating crops and rearing livestock, as well as identifying and marketing the right agricultural produce for markets.

What you'll be doing

  • Facilitating the development of a marketing strategy and marketing plans for livestock and crop farmers
  • Facilitating effective business links with markets, farmer groups and communities
  • Providing business development training
  • Facilitating local market chain development for livestock and agriculture produce
  • Identifying local agribusiness or income generating projects as alternative livelihoods
  • Monitoring and evaluating progress
  • Assisting on information management systems where required.

What you'll need

You’ll need a degree in agronomy, agriculture or a related field. You’ll have agribusiness skills and at least five years' practical experience in marketing agricultural or related products in livestock and farm produce. Experience of community development and/or teaching is also desirable. You’ll need to have good communications, project management and monitoring and evaluation skills. You’ll also need to be a self-starter, flexible and adaptable, as you’ll be working with limited resources. You’ll also be willing to ride a motorbike as you’ll be working in remote rural communities (full training is given).

And the rest...

Ghana is located on North Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, bordering the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo. It is a land of plains and low plateaus, covered by rainforests in the west and magnificent Lake Volta in the east.

Langbensi is located in the East Mamprusi District of the Northern Region of Ghana. Transport links are good and frequent from Langbesi to Bolga, over an hour away, or Tamale, two hours away. The market in Langbensi sells essential food such as yam, beans, tomatoes, onions and seasonal fruit. There are also kiosks in town that sell basic supplies. There is a greater variety of shops in Bolga and Tamale. Both have larger markets and shops and are serviced by local bus routes.

We’ll ask you to commit to 12-24 months to make a sustainable contribution to our development goals. In return, we’ll give you comprehensive financial, personal and professional support. We’ll provide you with extensive training before your placement and our financial package includes a living allowance, return flights, accommodation, insurance and more. When you return to your home country, we’ll help you to resettle and many of our returned volunteers stay involved with us long after their placement ends.

Next steps

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VSO contributes to dairy processing development in Tajikistan

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In Tajikistan many workers move to Russia in search of work and better opportunities. In the northern town of Khojand, VSO is piloting a programme of partnering with private businesses to provide opportunities for the local community. One such partnership includes Mr Mirzosulton and his dairy farm, Correct.


 

FAQ

Are there any age restrictions?

VSO volunteers range between 28 and 75.

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