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Horticultural Specialist

12 Month | Start Date between Jun - Aug 2017

Laos Agriculture

 Location: Vancouver

City  Hatxayfong

Start Date Jun - Aug 2017 (flexible)

Length of Placement 12 Months

Language Requirements English

English Reading: Level 5, Writing: Level 5, Speaking: Level 5

Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale


Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents only


The Volunteer’s Role


The overall purpose of this placement is to improve the horticultural production and postharvest practices handling, thereby improving the nutrition of vulnerable households, whilst also developing small business opportunities based on improved market linkage and sales of vegetables, fruit and other fresh produces.

The aim of this placement is to further develop the quality of horticultural production and linking it to the other research center under the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute in order to share learning and best practice generated by partners and volunteers within Cuso International programs. The volunteer will work collaboratively with the Country Office team to meet the goals and strategies, partners, beneficiaries and staff.

This placement will support the work of Cuso International Laos in Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth (ISEG) and governance, with a particular focus on sustainable livelihoods for all, access to finance, training and capacity building opportunities. There will also be a focus on how far services are provided for youth, women as well as men in the area, given the importance placed by Cuso International on the inclusion of women and socially excluded groups.

As a volunteer, you will:

- Assist the Haddokkeo Horticulture Research Center to further conduct on-farm research on vegetable and fruit tree varieties, post-harvest & IPM within he Haddokkeo Horticulture Research Center.

- Coordinate with relevant partners to build up research on post-harvest practices and techniques suitable to different climatic and regional in the country.

- Develop collaborative links with other National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute research stations including PAFO/PAEC Attapeu province and Agriculture Section, PAFO Champasak province where partnership placements existing volunteer.

- Investigate potential linkage to national policies, programs and initiatives for food security, promoting both indigenous and horticultural products as a source of nutrition and income.

- Network with other relevant organizations (governmental, NGOs, research institutions, private sector, etc.)

- Mainstream gender and social inclusion in partner organization project and in all placement activities both with farmers and other stakeholders. This should be in relation to marginalized groups (people living with disabilities, indigenous minority groups, and people living with HIV/AIDS)

Essential Academic Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences/ Horticulture with strong practical experience in horticultural production and research.

Essential Professional Background:

- Background in horticultural, technology and research.

- Work experience with government organizations and being able to deal with a certain level of bureaucracy

- Ability to coach and mentor others.

- Project & research proposal development and testing for projects.

- Strong IT and computer skills with complete fluency.


About Our Partner


Haddokkeo Horticulture Research Center

The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute was established in 1999 and is currently comprised of 15 research centers based around the country and four research support divisions based at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute Headquarters. Haddokkeo Horticulture Research Center is one of the research centers under the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute organization. Haddokkeo Horticulture Research Center is responsible for vegetable research (improvement of local varieties, planting techniques & management of organic, general vegetable production, Local seed production, and Germplasm & gene bank), fruit-tree and ornamental plant research (improvement of local varieties, and plant propagation techniques), and IPM and postharvest techniques.


Terms and Conditions


Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.


Support Package

- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)

- Accommodation while in placement

- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs

- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance

- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation

- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend

- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer

- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return

- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).

- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation



We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.



Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.


Residency and Citizenship  



The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.

We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.



Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.

By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.

You  must  check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:

  • Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
  • Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.