The Project

St Mary’s Minor Seminary [male boarding school for ages 12 – 20 years] with the support of the Diocese of Chipata in Zambia has requested a Farm Management/Mentor.  The school farm has been established but needs development assistance to achieve the income generating objective.  Currently the farm has 26 cows and oxen, 49 goats and 60 pigs.  The farm has a fruit orchard and grows vegetables [maize, soya beans and sunflower].


Note: The monthly living allowance enables you to live a modest local lifestyle. Based on the cost of living in a particular country, it covers food, your daily commute, communication and other local costs. It is not set to enable you to meet financial commitments at home, such as a mortgage or a personal loan.  It will not cover the costs of eating out and other entertainment. Read more about what is covered in our FAQ.

The Location

The St Mary’s Minor Seminary is located on the outskirts of Chipata [approximately 1,100 metres above sea level] in the Eastern Province of Zambia close to the Malawi border [110 km from Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi].  Chipata town is located about 600kms from Lusaka [capital of Zambia].   The population of Chipata district is approximately 85,963.

The Challenge

  • Agricultural development is critical for achieving inclusive growth and poverty reduction in Zambia.
  • Zambia now ranks second only to Ethiopia for maize yields in Africa
  • Majority of the agricultural budget is used to subsidize inputs for maize production and maize markets.
  • Despite achieving annual growth rates of more than 6% in agriculture, crop yields remain low by international standards and rural poverty rates remain high at about 80%.
  • Growth without poverty reduction suggests that income inequality in rural areas is growing rapidly, while limited progress is being made to improve the productivity of small-scale farms.
  • In 2018 Zambia was ranked the fifth-hungriest country according to the Global Hunger Index’s criteria of undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality

About You

The Palms participant will need to demonstrate:

  • Suitable Degree or qualification in agriculture, agribusiness or farming
  • Experience with training and mentoring
  • Experience in farm management and income generation
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Willingness to work in remote Zambia for two years
  • Willingness to engage their Australian community in promoting the work of the host organisation and their role.

How You Will Help

First you must be willing to learn from the local community.

Over the first six months you are asked not to change anything or suggest a change to operations.  During that six months you will take the time to learn language and cultural mores from a local counterpart willing to mentor you.  You will also start a register of the strengths of the current personnel and the assets in the community/country that might be used to achieve the goals of the assignment.

You need to commit to clarifying why things are done the way they are rather than presuming from your own cultural lens to outline what is missing. So, you need to ask questions to enable you to learn from your hosts, rather than in ignorance make suggestions about how things can improve. Palms training will prepare you for this approach.

In the second six months you will be ready and better know which of your skills and what of your knowledge applies to:

  • developing local skills that will increase opportunity for increased food security
  • developing effective, sustainable farming practices and management
  • creating sustainable agriculture processes
  • managing an income-generating farm that supports St Mary’s Minor Seminary


To find out more, please contact Lalena Graham, Programs & Placement Coordinator on 02 9560 5333 or at [email protected].

Think you have what it takes? Register your interest

    I am not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand.I am a citizen of Australia or New Zealand.
    * Successful applicants must be available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and will not sponsor visas to attend this course. Read our FAQ for more.