An extensive history of misuse and mismanagement of the earth’s resources has contributed to the food shortages and general hunger pandemic seen around the world today. Sustainable, organic farming practices are an essential solution to these issues, and one that volunteers can play a vital role in! Volunteering abroad in organic farming gives volunteers the opportunity to assist in restoring damaged ecosystems, teaching income-generating agricultural skills, and improving the nutrition and health of those that need it most.
Why Volunteer Abroad
Volunteers who believe in the importance of sustainable agricultural practices can put their passion to good use through organic farming volunteer work abroad. Not only will they directly impact local communities, but they will have the opportunity to learn new techniques and gain invaluable hands-on experience that may not otherwise be available to them.
For example, those who volunteer on organic farms in Fiji can work alongside local farmers, learning traditional methods that don’t utilize industrial machinery. On the other side of the world, organic farming volunteers in Jamaica can contribute to protected agriculture, where locals use greenhouses to cut down on weather and insect damage. Lastly, volunteers in Ecuador may get the chance to utilize biogas, solar power, composting systems, worm culture, water recycling, and more innovative techniques through their organic farming volunteer program.
The benefits of sustainable agricultural practices are universally relevant, so opportunities to volunteer abroad on organic farms can be found worldwide. Organic farming practices not only provide a sustainable income and source of nutrition for underprivileged communities, these practices are also extra-important in harsh climates and in countries that face agricultural obstacles caused by natural disasters. As a result, the most common locations for volunteering abroad in organic farming are developing countries, desert areas, and coastal regions.
South American countries like Argentina and Ecuador, Asian countries including Thailand and Laos, and several African countries such as Rwanda, Ghana, and Togo all make excellent options for organic farming volunteer work abroad that benefits poverty-stricken communities. By replacing conventional techniques with sustainable ones and teaching agricultural skills to locals, volunteers will create tangible and positive changes in their host countries.
Countries featuring extreme weather or island situations, notably Jamaica and Fiji, are likewise popular locations for volunteering abroad in organic farming. Since the harsh climate and frequency of natural disasters play a significant role in the success or failure of crops in such tropical destinations, using sustainable and appropriate agricultural practices is especially important.
Volunteering in Organic Farming
There are several ways volunteers can aid organic farms abroad, on which range from small family owned farms to large operations that support entire populations. Organic farming volunteer placements most often fall into two different categories (or include parts of both).
Restoration & Disaster Relief. Depending on the location and recent events, farms may face challenges including deforestation, natural disaster damage, and desertification. Organic farming volunteer work will vary based upon the location’s specific needs, but general organic farm volunteering will most likely include the following:
Clearing fields and preparing for cultivation
Seeding and harvesting crops
Maintaining records and data collection
Researching and implementing new sustainable methods
Pest and fertilizer management
Building fences, trails, greenhouses, and display areas
Caring for farm animals
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Although nearly all organic farming volunteer placements will include some component of community outreach or education, CSA’s primary focus remains on the relationship between the farm and the locals, whether that includes the entire community or a specific population, such as women or children. In addition to the daily organic farm work expected, those volunteering in community supported agriculture placements may also include the following:
Planning and putting on demonstrations
Assisting with translating and proposal writing
Implementing and developing small school farms and educating students about friendly agricultural practices
Teaching women agricultural trade skills that allow them to earn an income and feed their families
Selling or distributing vegetables and other produce
Some organic farming volunteer work will require that volunteers have a certain level of agriculture-related experience or education, while others teach volunteers the necessary skills to succeed, and remain open to all participants willing to work hard and learn as they go. English fluency is often required to volunteer abroad in organic farming, especially in community focused placements. The minimum duration for organic farm volunteer work abroad is commonly two weeks.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Different Techniques. Even volunteers with an extensive agricultural background can learn something new by volunteering abroad in organic farming. Varying climates and terrain call for different solutions for sustainable crop growth and maintenance.
Take Your Pick. Since many opportunities to volunteer in organic farming exist worldwide, volunteers can choose their ideal destination without being too restricted as a result of limited program availability.
Leave A Mark. The impact volunteers will make through volunteering in organic farming will last well beyond their stay abroad. The saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” applies to organic farming volunteer work abroad perfectly!