Agriculture Extension Volunteer Wanted at Peace Corps Tanzania

Agriculture Extension Volunteers work in Peace Corps Tanzania’s Sustainable Agriculture project to promote sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. Volunteers work with their community based organizations and non-profit organizations to raise awareness of and engage community members in local agricultural initiatives.

Volunteers collaborate with community leaders to identify their community’s needs and implement appropriate interventions. As such, Volunteers play the role of catalyst for a wide range of activities, limited only by the creativity of the community and the Volunteers. Activities may include but are not limited to:

•Train farmers to employ climate smart agricultural techniques to improve crop production and food security
•Educate farmers on water management to increase availability of water for staple crop production
•Create model vegetable garden and use it to train community members on small scale gardening
•Train farmers on increasing profitability by adding value, selecting for quality, and monitoring markets
•Encourage farmers to implement small scale income generating projects (i.e. animal husbandry, beekeeping)
•Teach community members to construct and use appropriate technologies (i.e. energy efficient stoves)
•Facilitate and teach agriculture education programs in schools, with out of school youths, and with different community groups

With the various projects that Volunteers undertake, they work with community members to assess the local knowledge, resources and needs to determine the best and most sustainable projects.

Volunteers also work with community members to develop secondary projects. Examples of secondary projects include: teaching English or science at local primary schools, promoting sports for boys and girls, improving school or health center facilities, construction of wells and latrines, or working on local capacity building projects. While much of the work will take place during weekday daytime hours, some activities, particularly in the community, may take place at night or on weekends. Big events such the International Malaria Day and World Aids day are opportunities for action, and many Volunteers work with their village government to prepare a community wide awareness event. Of great importance in any community development work is the time one takes just being there, developing relationships, and building trust.

Tanzania is one of the Peace Corps countries participating in Let Girls Learn, an important initiative promoting gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive in-depth training on incorporating methods of gender analysis into community assessment and development efforts. During your service you will find culturally appropriate ways to incorporate gender awareness and the promotion of youth- especially girls- into your work. As part of the initiative, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working in agriculture and a:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field

Desired Skills

•1 year experience in large-scale commercial or family-run business including vegetable gardening, nursery work/management, tree planting, tree care, urban forestry, fish (fresh or marine) cultivation/production
•Demonstrated experience in planning, organizing, or leadership

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

Trainees will receive 10 weeks of training in the predominant language, Kiswahili, and must attain an Intermediate-Mid oral proficiency level before swearing-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Additional language training will be offered through independent tutoring and trainings throughout service.

Living Conditions

Karibu Tanzania! Tanzania is located in East Africa in a tropic region where most of the areas experience hot weather except for the highland areas, which are relatively cold. Volunteers are placed in communities in the far north and the far south, but not the west. Most Volunteers live in underserved mid-sized communities or rural settings. Volunteers generally live within a few hours of larger district towns, but travel to Dar es Salaam can take anywhere from 8 hours to two days depending on where they are located in the country. Volunteers generally use public buses or bicycles as their main mode of transportation.

The village government provides a Volunteer’s housing, which is located at a school, clinic or within the community. Housing varies from mud houses with a corrugated iron roof to concrete houses with glass windows. Volunteers have pit latrines and outdoor bath facilities, and fetch water from a village water source. There may be no electricity in your village/house. Kerosene or solar lamps will be the main source of lighting and charcoal stoves or kerosene stoves will be used for cooking and heating during cold spells. Peace Corps provides a settling-in allowance that can be used to purchase those furnishings necessary to make your house comfortable on a modest scale.

In Tanzania, respect comes with age and experience. Younger Volunteers experience initial difficulties gaining respect from their counterparts. However, a Volunteer’s professional appearance, work habits, and positive attitude towards colleagues and community members will help him/her gain respect within the workplace.

The manner in which one dresses is of great importance to Tanzanians. A female Volunteer working as a teacher or health extension worker is expected to wear modest dresses and long skirts (far below the knees, with shoulders covered) and sandals or flat shoes while at work or in their communities. Tight pants for men or women are not looked upon favorably. Male Volunteers should wear slacks, collared shirts, and loafers or other closed toed shoes when presenting themselves professionally.

A Volunteer’s work hours depend on the settings in which he/she works. For example, to work in a school, A Volunteer will need to determine an appropriate schedule with the school administration. Work hours at a health center would depend on the center's schedule for health education or clinic days and on appropriate timing for other interventions which a Volunteer might develop with community leaders.

Volunteers also encounter very different social and cultural norms that require flexibility and understanding. For example, the American sense of privacy is a curiosity here. A Volunteer will frequently be asked about his/her religion and marital status. A Volunteer will be viewed as a role model within their communities, and his/her life will be very public. Volunteers may often feel they are "on stage".

Tanzania is south of the equator, the seasons will be opposite of what you are accustomed to. During the cold season (June, July, and August), temperatures range from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the lowlands and on the coast from 40 to 50 degrees in the highlands. The hottest months of the year are November, December, and January when temperatures in the highlands range from 70 to 80 degrees and those in the lowlands range from 90 to 105 degrees, with considerable humidity. The rainy season starts in late November or early December and continues through April. The rest of the year is dry, but many highland areas have showers and mist year-round.

PC/Tanzania provides support to a diverse group of Volunteers, including Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ) individuals. LGBTQ Volunteers have served successfully in Tanzania; however, it should be noted that homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania. Applicants should be mindful of this fact when making the decision to serve in Tanzania.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Tanzania: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Tanzania

  • Tanzania may not be able to support Volunteers  with the following medical conditions:  asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; dermatology;  insulin-dependent diabetes; gastroenterology; ongoing behavioral health support; seizure disorder.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse.  
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten and peanut.
  • After arrival in Tanzania, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.
Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants (PDF) to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.

Does this sound like the position for you? Applying to the Peace Corps is easy. Read more about the process or click the button below to get started on your journey.
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