Team: Evergreen | Commitment: Volunteer | Location: Southern Africa; Malawi; Mozambique; Angola
Horticultural Processing – General Application
CNFA is always accepting applications of individuals experienced in horticulture production, who are interested in serving as Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers in the future. If you see a specific volunteer assignment that you are interested in, please apply directly to that solicitation. If there are not any assignments that fit your skillset within horticultural production, please submit your information through this general application.
The John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program is authorized by the U.S. Farm Bill and managed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). F2F works to generate rapid, sustained economic growth in the agricultural sector through short-term technical assistance provided by U.S. volunteers and supported by highly trained local staff. A secondary goal of F2F is to increase the American public’s understanding of international development issues and programs, and international understanding of the United States and U.S. development programs.
CNFA is implementing F2F in the Southern Africa region, working in Malawi, Mozambique, and Angola. We rely on the expertise of U.S. volunteers from diverse backgrounds to respond to the needs of hosts. These hosts can be farms, processors, cooperatives, farmer associations, or other agricultural enterprises; they vary in size and commodity focus.
Each volunteer assignment has distinct objectives that are determined by the needs of the host organization. Some examples of horticulture processing assignment objectives include:
- Provide recommendations on how to improve food quality and safety
- Training on harvesting, fresh fruit receiving, identification and sorting, cold storage, order accumulation, packaging, and/or transport.
- Provide warehouse operators with training on commodity grading and warehouse management.
- Evaluate the testing methods of the nutrition lab and improve upon these methods based on modern techniques.
- Setup cold storage operation with host; including humidity and temperature control in cooling rooms.
- Build the capacity for effective and efficient production of value-added fruit/vegetable products such as juices, purees, or dried fruits; may include assisting host create standard recipes for their goods.
- Prepare a comprehensive, step-by-step processing manual to leave with the host. This manual will serve as an ongoing resource to ensure high-quality processing after the volunteer departs.
Example Volunteer Qualifications
- Degree and/or extensive experience in agriculture, agribusiness, horticulture, food processing and technology, food sciences, nutrition, or related field.
- Experience in post-harvest management of fruits and/or vegetables.
- Experience with controlled atmosphere systems, including the use of computer-controlled cold storage systems.
- Experience in nutrition and testing of nutritional value of foodstuffs.
- Knowledge of the physiological aspects of fruit and vegetable storage.
- Skills in development and processing of juice and other fruit/vegetable value added products.
- Knowledge of operation and maintenance of produce processing plants.
- Knowledge and experience in using basic equipment required for quality control and grading of fruit/vegetables.
- Be able to teach local farmers how to harvest, sort, clean, calibrate and package fresh fruits/vegetables in basic conditions.
- Experience in adult education.
- Good presentation and report writing skills.
- Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
These trips are volunteer-based, but all trip-related expenses are covered by CNFA, and typically last between two and three weeks.