Animal husbandry adviser

We need a variety of farming skills for our programmes in countries like Mongolia, Tajikistan and Zambia.

You’ll be qualified and experienced in animal production, farm management, breeding and raising livestock, dairy production, processing and distribution. Roles are generally longer term, ranging from one to two years, although we also have occasional short term assignments for up to six months. For short term roles, you will need at least five years' experience in your field and be available to depart within one year.

What you’ll be doing

You’ll help to increase cattle farm or dairy productivity, working with trade associations and farm cooperatives at a local and national level. You’ll also help to establish or develop dairy regulations and farming policy and improve to food supply chains.

Placements include providing technical training in farming schools and providing practical support to develop farming techniques and farm management systems with individual farmers or cooperatives.

  • 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.

Dairy quality control adviser at Lilongwe Dairy

Lilongwe Dairy provides a living for many smallholder dairy farmers, however the income it generates is greatly affected by the poor quality of its output. You’ll be working at the dairy to improve the quality of the raw milk entering the dairy from the producer groups. By reducing the losses to the producers from rejected sour milk and improving the quality of the product coming out of the dairy, you’ll help to reduce overhead costs and improve the farmers’ confidence in their product.

As a result of increased sales and increased profitability to the processor, higher prices can be paid to the producers for their milk without increasing the cost to the consumer. You’ll directly benefit both the dairy farmers and the producers by sharing your experience and skills in milk processing.

What you'll be doing

  • Improving the overall quality of raw milk entering the dairy
  • Improving the quality of the milk products at Lilongwe Dairy.
  • Training colleagues in technical aspects of quality assurance
  • Providing a training plan for improved hygiene, testing, handling and storage of milk
  • Creating inspection and sampling plans for raw materials packaging materials and finished products

What you'll need

You’ll have several years’ experience working in the dairy sector, specifically in quality control. You’ll able to create quality control inspection and testing plans and also be confident in training others to undertake and analyse tests on raw milk. You’ll be working with few resources, so it’s essential to make inventive use of what’s already there.

You’ll need a positive outlook and an ability to work with a wide range of people in solving problems. By involving the staff members in decisions, you’ll find it easier to make changes, so an outgoing nature will be very useful.

And the rest...

You’ll be working in the capital Lilongwe and will probably be living in a VSO guesthouse near the city centre. The city is very sociable with many other expats and VSO volunteers living there. This ensures that there’s a fairly busy social side to life as a volunteer. There are art galleries, restaurants and shops, but Lilongwe is also a very green and calm city. From Lilongwe it is possible to visit the rest of Malawi’s beautiful countryside and nature reserves.

Well ask you to commit 12-24 months to make a sustainable contribution to our development goals. In return, well give you comprehensive financial, personal and professional support. We'll provide you with extensive training before your placement, and our financial package includes a local 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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Boosting local economies: building business skills in Namibia

Pratap Sinha (Namibia - Secure livelihoods)

Namibia stands to gain a great deal from international tourism, but there’s a fine line between empowerment and exploitation. Lacking the commercial skills and business infrastructure to profit from tourism, some Namibian communities risk missing out on opportunities for economic growth. VSO volunteer Pratap Sinha is working with outside investors and local people to guarantee sustainable development.



Can I apply for more than one placement?

Yes, however at the point that you accept an offer of a placement you will be withdrawn from any other applications.