Winrock International requests the support of a remote Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer for a fully remote volunteer assignment. This assignment assumes that an American remote volunteer will work collaboratively with a local Ghanaian volunteer to jointly implement the training. All activities for the US volunteer will be carried out remotely, there is no expectation of in-person travel for the volunteer. Together, the volunteers will remotely provide technical assistance to support staff of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Cape Coast in the design and fabrication of a crop dryer, including solar dryer, temperature-controlled dehydrator or biomass/fossil-fueled batch dryer for drying fruits, vegetables and grains. It is expected that the crop dryer will be built during the assignment timeframe. The volunteers will also work in collaboration with the staff to prepare a training manual for the training of farmers in the design, construction, and operation of the crop dryer. The volunteers and the host will communicate in advance of the assignment to ensure that the host can procure the equipment/components needed in before the volunteer’s arrival in Ghana. As an academic discipline, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Cape Coast trains students and farmers in the application of engineering principles and practices to facilitate agricultural production. The department is currently engaged in research and outreach activities to promote the postharvest processing of various crops to reduce the high incidence of losses which lead to food insecurity. Crop drying remains a problem among farmers in Ghana. Even though the farmers take advantage of the high average temperatures to dry their crops at a low cost, uncertainties about the weather, the slow drying rate, contamination of the produce by extraneous materials and loss of nutrients due to direct exposure to the sunshine limit the use of open sun drying on the floor. Furthermore, the commercial drying of large quantities of produce requires appropriate drying infrastructure that is designed to suit the particular crops. Lack of adequate drying of crops often exposes them to weevil infestation and contamination by mycotoxins during storage. Major crops grown are maize, cassava, fruit, and vegetables. The commercial drying of maize, for example, may require the use of a conventional batch dryer equipped with a heating unit, a blower unit, and a drying bed. Fruits and vegetables may be dried with customized solar dryers and low-temperature dehydrators equipped with a temperature regulator. Sole or hybrid biomass-solar dryer systems also offer an advantage for the use of agricultural wastes to generate heat for drying. In this assignment, the volunteer will assist the department to design and fabricate the dryer for dissemination to the various crop farmers in the Central Region of Ghana.
Fully Remote No expectation of in-person travel; The volunteer will provide technical assistance using only communications tools and transfer of supporting materials.
The volunteer should have the following qualifications and background:
Higher university degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering or another related field
Minimum 5 years of experience in the design and fabrication of crop dryers
Experience in training and transferring hands-on knowledge to adults
Good report writing, verbal, and communication skills
Ability to use a computer for report writing and presentations without the assistance of others
Ability to work remotely with a local Ghanaian volunteer
Internal Number: GHA115.R
About Winrock International
Winrock International is a recognized leader in U.S. and international development, providing solutions to some of the world’s most complex social, agricultural and environmental challenges. Inspired by its namesake Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock’s mission is to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Winrock is a nonprofit organization that implements a portfolio of more than 150 agriculture, environment and social development projects in over 40 countries. It has annual revenue of $100 million, employing over 1,000 staff around the world managed from five Winrock offices and dozens of project offices. Winrock combines technical expertise with entrepreneurial innovation to improve lives around the globe.