Agricultural Training Volunteer

Agona District Assembly of Agriculture - Swedru, Ghana
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-816 Location: Swedru, Ghana Sector: Community Development Category: Agriculture Min Duration: 4 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

The Agona District Assembly of Agriculture is striving to improve agricultural practices in Swedru and rural communities that are situated in the Swedru area. Their central focus is on working with farmers to improve crop production and farming techniques.

Agona District Assembly of Agriculture is seeking volunteers who are educated in all aspects of organic farming.

As an organic farming volunteer you would be expected to assist the farmers in growing a range of crops without the aid of chemicals, pesticides or non-organic fertilizers. If you're interested in farming and want the experience of working on an organic farm and putting into practice organic farming techniques than this is an ideal placement for you.

Volunteers would be expected to assist the farmers in the planting and harvesting of crops and perhaps be involved in the marketing and selling of said crops.

As an organic farming volunteer you do not need to have an agricultural degree but you must have educated yourself in all aspects related to organic farming so you can make an informed contribution during your volunteer period. Organic farms have to meet the strict standards set by the agriculture department and go through an involved process to have their produce certified as organic. A volunteer must be able to do hard manual labour in Ghana's outdoor climate.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Farming Assistance

As an organic farming volunteer you would be expected to help the farmers plant and harvest their crops on their farms. Volunteers may also be asked to assist in the marketing and selling of said crops.

Organic Methods

As an organic farming volunteer you would assist the farmers in using all the necessary methods to insure that their farms are meeting all the requirements necessary to sell their produce as organic.

Crop Fertilizers

As an organic farming volunteer you would be involved in the proper fertilization of crops and the assurance that pesticides were never used in any way on the farms.

Community Talks

As an organic farming volunteer you may be asked to give talks to farmers in the community about organic farming. What having a farm declared an organic farm would involve and the benefits that this would produce.

Host Organization Details

Agona District Assembly of Agriculture

Agriculture is the major economic activity in Agona and engages more than 64% of the district population. The high soil fertility supports cultivation of tree/cash crops, food crops, vegetables and sugar-cane. Tree crops such as cocoa, citrus, oil palm and cola are cultivated. Food crops like maize, cassava, coco-yam and vegetables are also cultivated. The district supplies the Kasoa, Bawjiase and Accra markets.

Crop yields are low and the major contributing factors are outmoded agricultural practices, declining soil fertility, small farm holdings, use of very simple technology and dependence on the weather.

The Agona District still has enormous potential to increase their overall output because about 20% of arable land still remains uncultivated. The demand and supply situation of some major food crops, for example cassava, maize, plantain, coconut and citrus indicate that the district has a surplus of products to export to destinations outside the district. That is the main reason the assembly took over the control of this department so it could develop and implement farming and agriculture improvements in this sector of the communities and help protect and improve the environment .

The Agona District Assembly of Agriculture is striving to improve agricultural practices in Swedru and rural communities that are situated in the Swedru area. Their central focus is on working with farmers to improve crop production and farming techniques. However, they are also trying to improve harvesting methods of certain items such as palm oil.

When They Were Founded

Agona District Assembly was founded by the Government of Ghana in 1970 to help the district achieve development throughout the agriculture sector and the farming community. The organization has served the people of the Agona District through this development and also by educating the farmers to know more about the efforts required to produce healthy, productive crops. For example, the types of crops that need to be planted during the raining season and during the dry season to produce the best results.

Who They Work With

They serve Swedru and approximately 12 rural villages that are situated in the Swedru area.

How Are They Funded

Agona District Assembly of Agriculture gets its funds from the Government of Ghana and also through the Agriculture Development Bank, as well as some organizations that help the assembly in their many endeavours.

Donation Requests

Some items that the organization would appreciate are working gloves, office supplies and world maps.

Placement Location Information

Swedru, Ghana

Agona District Assembly of Agriculture is located about a 15 minute walk from the main part of town in Swedru. They share the same building and compound with the other departments of the District Assembly. The site of the assembly is often referred to as an estate because of its quiet environment and the fact that its two buildings are bungalows. There are fifteen offices in the buildings and these interior offices are painted a blue colour. There is a bungalow for the office staff and other employees who work on the big farm which grows plantation and other vegetables in it .

There is a visitors car parking lot for costumers who have appointments with members of the assembly or have come seeking information. Each department has its own parking section for its staff and the chief executive has been provided with a garage.

All assembly bungalow exteriors are painted brown in colour and the grounds around the bungalows have green grass growing. Mango trees have been planted to provide shade, as well as contribute to an attractive atmosphere within the compound.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Volunteers will travel from the BaseCamp Center (Pink Hostel) by taxi or tro tro (public transportation) to the Kaneshie Lorry Station in Accra. From there volunteers will take a mini bus to the city of Swedrui, usually taking around an hour and a half, depending on traffic. Once there a BaseCamp Regional Coordinator will be there to meet you and take you to your homestay which is about a 45min drive.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 72 kilometers
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 1:12

Weather in the Area

The dry season in Ghana is from September through to March and temperatures generally range from 30-45 degrees Celsius. The rainy season occurs in April until August and is a bit cooler at temperatures of 20-35 degrees Celsius. As the name of the season suggests, rainfall increases dramatically throughout these months. It is generally not constant rain, but when it does rain, it usually pours. The wettest months are May-June and September-October while the drier periods occur in December-February and a brief period in August.

City/Village Description

Swedru is a small attractive town situated 20 km away from the coastline of Ghana. It is the capital of the Agona District with a population of approximately 60,000 people. While strolling down the winding pathways of Swedru, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this city. The palm trees, lush vegetation and elaborate markets entice many visitors to stay more than just one night.

Swedru is a unique town having both the components of a rural and urban community. Visitors to Swedru, frequently comment on the various traditional activities that occur throughout the town. For example, it is quite common to see people wearing traditional attire, playing traditional games or using bicycles as the major form of transportation.

Since Swedru is the district capital of Agona, there are many facilities throughout the city that generally are only found within the big cities of Ghana. For example, there are at least six hotels, five internet cafe's, restaurants that serve a wide-range of Ghanaian and western dishes and a fairly big hospital. It is considered a major commercial centre for the district and is well known for its cocoa growing plantations.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Swedru Government Hospital
Asafo Road
Swedru
TEL 1: (+233-3320) / 20214

Placement Address

Agona District Assembly of Agriculture
Mahodwe Street
Swedru
Ghana

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Ghana at our BaseCamp Center in Accra. Given that this placement is less than a 1 hour and 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers working here will have the option of living with us at BaseCamp or living with a host family.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Ghana. Once you have completed our application, you can let our staff know if you would prefer to live with a host family. Otherwise, your application will default to having you live with us at BaseCamp.

If you have any questions about the difference between life at BaseCamp or life with a host family in Ghana you can always give us a call or send us an email. Our contact details are listed in the footer of every page of the site.

BaseCamp Ghana

BaseCamp Ghana
BaseCamp Ghana Address

C/O Pink Hostel
5th Crescent
Accra, Ghana

BaseCamp Ghana Contact Details

Tel: 233-243-745-771 (Hostel Number)
Mobile: 233-245-916-108

The BaseCamp Center in Accra is a hostel situated in the residential neighbourhood of Asylum Down. This is a relaxing and peaceful area, away from the continuous activity and hubbub of the tourist district, but central enough that we are within walking distance of many attractions in Accra including the National Museum, Kwame Nkrumah Circle and Adabraka Market.

The centre itself is a three-story building with several dormitory rooms. There are also several quiet areas where volunteers can study and relax including a covered area outside. There is an internet cafe, allowing volunteers to stay in touch with friends and family abroad. In addition to this, free WIFI can be accessed throughout the building.

All volunteers spend their orientation in this centre when they first arrive in Ghana. The workshops and language training take place in this building as well although each day we incorporate outings to learn about the area and how to get around independently.

Living With a Host Family in Ghana

Living with a host family in Ghana is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Ghana.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Ghana

  Registration Fee
250
 
  1 Week
395
 
  2 Weeks
535
 
  3 Weeks
675
 
  4 Weeks
815
 
  5 Weeks
940
 
  6 Weeks
1,065
 
  7 Weeks
1,190
 
  8 Weeks
1,315
 
 
 
  Additional Weeks
120
 
All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried


Program Dates


Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Sep 06, 2019 Oct 04, 2019 Nov 01, 2019
Dec 06, 2019 Jan 03, 2020 Feb 07, 2020
Mar 06, 2020 Apr 03, 2020 May 01, 2020
Jun 05, 2020 Jul 03, 2020 Aug 07, 2020
Sep 04, 2020 Oct 02, 2020 Nov 06, 2020
Dec 04, 2020 Jan 01, 2021 Feb 05, 2021
Mar 05, 2021 Apr 02, 2021 May 07, 2021
Jun 04, 2021 Jul 02, 2021 Aug 06, 2021

PLEASE NOTE:

These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message