Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteers fill an important niche in many poor food insecure communities in Senegal. Volunteers extend farming methods to community growers who work on smallholder family farms—small farms that rely mainly on family labor. They assist smallholder farmers and their family members to adopt improved crop cultivation technologies and practices, particularly conservation agriculture, home gardening, improved soil and water conservation, improved post-harvest management, and better farm management. Additionally, Volunteers assist household members—particularly women—to access, cook, and eat more diverse, nutrient-rich foods to improve their and their families’ nutrition.
In Senegal, there is a real need for agricultural work opportunities that appeal to youth and that empower women while promoting sustainable agriculture for years to come. Given the need to educate the next generation of farmers and gardeners, Volunteers and their community partners work with youth through schools and clubs to promote youth positive development and women’s empowerment while learning agricultural skills and growing gardens. Volunteers place a special emphasis on working with women to increase their productivity through increased access to extension services and other productive resources necessary for agriculture.
The goal of Peace Corps Senegal’s Agriculture project is for Senegalese communities to improve their food security. Through the efforts of Volunteers and their partners, communities achieve this goal by working toward two broad objectives:
• To increase farmers’ capacity to sustainably cultivate improved varieties of staple crops.
• To increase communities’ capacity to sustainably grow more vegetables for home consumption and income.
To tackle food insecurity, rural and urban Agriculture Volunteers are trained to work on six key focus areas:
• Sustainable, environmentally sound, nutrition-sensitive agriculture for greater food security in some of Senegal’s poorest communities
• Developing partnerships with farmer associations, NGOs, and other institutions at the local level to support and improve farming practices
• Development of locally sustainable sources of improved seed varieties
• Youth positive development through youth clubs and agriculturally-focused student groups
• Gender empowerment as a pathway to achieving sustainable development
• Building a partnership with pilot and master farmers.
Peace Corps has found that the best agriculture extension agent is the smallholder farmer. Volunteers work with a growing cadre of pilot and master farmers who are prepared to commit to sharing their expertise with other growers through trainings and demonstrations.
As an Agriculture Volunteer in Senegal, you will provide a valuable service to your community in their quest for increased food production, by promoting the transfer of appropriate skills and technologies through teaching growers one-on-one or in groups, through side by side demonstrations implemented with other farmers, and with clubs and other youth groups.
You don't need to be a farmer or a food security expert to be a successful Volunteer; we will train you on the basic technical skills you will need. However, you need an interest in food production, a desire to learn, and a drive to serve the needs of your community. While serving, you will act as a facilitator, catalyst, liaison, and resource person for farming communities.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check