Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology

Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology

About Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology

Since its inception in November 2009 Kusamala has grown from a demonstration plot established during the 9th International Permaculture Conference to a local non-governmental organization operating with 21 staff in three districts and leading trainings and consultancies nationwide. This transformation occurred over the course of 6 years through the support of organizations like Nature’s Gift Limited and with partnerships with the James Hutton Institute supported through the Scottish Government, Welthungerhilfe through the German Government, and the William Jackson Food Group.
We employ agroecology systems such as permaculture design to maximize land productivity, reduce the need for expensive inputs, and increase agricultural diversity to improve nutrition, food security, and livelihoods. In a country where 80% of the population are subsistence farmers, Kusamala demonstrates how locally available resources can meet human needs while improving quality of life for people and the environment.

Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology Courses

Permaculture Design Certificate Course September 4-16
Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
Dates: September 4-16, 2017
About the Course
The Kusamala Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) training follows the original certification course developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. The 72-hour training is founded on Bill Mollison’s book, “Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual” and meets the internationally recognized requirements for certification. Participants that attend all sessions of the class and complete the final design project will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate.
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to permaculture principles, applications, and design practices. The curriculum will address global environmental and social issues affecting communities throughout the world and across a variety of climate zones, however practical design implementation will be specific to the sub-tropical climate of Central Malawi. The goal of the course is to achieve a basic working understanding of ecological-based planning, site design, and management.
Course Topics
–       Permaculture ethics and principles
–       Theory and methods of design
–       Understanding ecosystems
–       Pattern and systems thinking
–       Reading the land & understanding natural processes
–       Large and small scale land restoration
–       Water management
–       Soil rehabilitation and erosion control
–       Integrated animal systems
–       Intensive vegetable & fruit production
–       Food forests & plant guilds
–       Windbreaks and bushfire control
–       Energy conservation technologies
–       Appropriate technologies and renewable energies
–       Wildlife management
–       Integrated pest management
–       Community development & social permaculture
–       Integrated systems design for human settlements
Course Instructors
Luwayo Biswick
Luwayo is the lead permaculture trainer, designer and consultant at Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology (Kusamala). For over seven years he has facilitated numerous trainings in permaculture design, eco-village design, integrated land use design, and sustainable agriculture throughout the country with various schools and colleges, organizations, individuals, and government, both local and international. He began his study of permaculture at Never Ending Food under the tutelage of Kristof and Stacia Nordin. He is also well known for producing permaculture educational videos and conducting radio and television programs locally and internationally.
Kristof Nordin
Kristof is the co-founder of Never Ending Food, a leading permaculture organization in Malawi focusing on household-level permaculture implementation. He has been involved with the study and practice of permaculture design for over 17 years.  Kristof holds a Diploma in Permaculture Design, certified by the father of permaculture, Bill Mollison, and has facilitated numerous PDC trainings and other permaculture teaching courses throughout the country. Starting with his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi and through subsequent years living in Africa, Kristof is an outspoken advocate for using permaculture principles and practices to aid development.
Suggested Pre-Course Reading & Watching

  • The Essence of Permaculture eBook (a summary of permaculture concepts and principles taken from ‘Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability’ by David Holmgren)
  • Patterns, Essay on Pattern observation
  • Soil- Great film about soil
  • Food Forests and Perennial Agriculture- Geoff Lawton’s Greening the Desert, Parts I & II
  • Alternative Economic Systems– “Branching Out for a Green Economy,” a short animated film, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, highlights the role forests can play in national development, a green economy, and climate change. It also reviews the current situation and some transformative solutions.

Kusamala’s commercial garden

Course Location
Kusamala is situated on a 20 hectare property in rural Lilongwe, Malawi, a 15 minute drive from the city centre. It is a working permaculture education and demonstration centre located in subtropical Central Malawi. The predominant ecosystem type of the area is shrubland: grasslands scattered with small shrubs. The property contains a commercial garden, household garden, medicinal garden, staple field, and woodlot.
We offer students the opportunity to learn while experiencing permaculture on a variety of scales, from the small, household-level garden to the larger, income-generating staple field. In addition to classroom lectures, students will have hands-on practical exercises making compost, building ridges on contour, as well as completing other permaculture design exercises.
Course Tuition$650
Tuition includes lunch as well as morning and afternoon tea and snacks, instruction, and a Permaculture Design Certificate. If you register between today and the 31st of July you will receive a $50 discount!
Please contact info@kusamala to sign up for the course.
Or call +265 (0) 999 897 676
Kusamala offers basic dorm rooms for  $20/night. Price includes breakfast and dinner.
There are also a variety of hotels and guest houses in Lilongwe.

Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology Vacancies

Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology (Kusamala) is a local, non-governmentalorganization that promotes household-level permaculture and agroecology systems in Malawi. Founded in 2009, Kusamala houses Malawi’s largest permaculture demonstration site, Nature’s Gift Permaculture Centre. Through the Centre’s demonstrations, Kusamala educates individuals and communities on how to improve nutrition, income generation, and environmental health. Through grants and programs, Kusamala conducts outreach, research, and advocacy with the aim to show the viability of permaculture as a local and national agricultural strategy. In a country where approximately 80% of the population are subsistence farmers, Kusamala demonstrates how local resources can meet human needs while improving quality of life both for people and the environment.

We are currently seeking people to fill various positions to support the work of our grant- funded project through the German Ministry of Cooperation and Development (BMZ): Multi- sectoral Food and Nutrition Security for Young Smallholders in Malawi. In partnership with the Welt Hunger Hilf (WHH) and Zankhalango, the project utilizes principles of permaculture and agroecology to improve food and nutrition security of smallholder households with young parents. The goal of the project is to see 4500 family members of 900 smallholder households with young parents (about 60% being women) using the resources available to them optimally to feed their families, for income-creation and the general development of both the natural and cultural environment. These positions will be based at our head office in Lilongwe and our Mangochi and Dedza field offices and will require regular travel to project sites.

Job Title: Project Officer

This position is located in our Lilongwe office and presents an exciting opportunity for someone who is interested in working for a growing non-profit organization. The overall responsibility of this position will be to work closely with the Project Manager, located in Lilongwe, Kusamala staff in Lilongwe and the field staff in Mangochi and Dedza, and project partners in Lilongwe (WHH and Zankhalango)

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Coordinating activities at Kusamala’s demonstration center, ensuring that all relevant project activities are completed within the proposed budget and timeline;

Sharing data emanating from M&E with relevant stakeholders;

Provide administrative support to the project, particularly for those activities based at Kusamala in support of the Project Manager.

Compiling detailed reports on all project activities and distributing them to Kusamala management, WHH, Zankhalango and other relevant stakeholders with support from the Project Manager.

Assisting the Project Manager with the overall project communication strategy, including website, newsletters, blogs and other communication materials,

Building effective communication structures between the main Lilongwe office and the Mangochi field office.

The ideal candidate:

A University degree in Agriculture/Natural Resource Management/Project Management/ Development studies or related fields.

At least 5 years of relevant experience

Excellent time management and organizational skills; ability to multi-task and prioritize

Self-motivated and able to work with minimal supervision

Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Chichewa

Proficient in computer, email, Microsoft word and excel.

Experience working and troubleshooting in a fast paced, high-pressure environment

Self-motivated and have the ability to work and communicate well in a team

Have knowledge of or desire to learn about permaculture and agroecology

Experience with participatory data collection and analysis approaches.

Job Title: Monitoring & Evaluation Officer

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer is responsible for monitoring and evaluation of results and impact of the project and for providing a basis for evidence-based decision making on necessary amendments and improvements of the project. In addition, s/he will promote accountability for resource use and document, provide feedback on and disseminate lessons learned. In accordance with Kusamala’s policy and procedures, the incumbent will:

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Set up the monitoring and evaluation system: Develop the overall framework of the monitoring and evaluation activities; clarify the responsibilities and prepare the work plan and the detailed budget for the monitoring and evaluation activities;

Compiling project field data, entering, cleaning and reporting.

Supervise the work of the field staff; provide guidance and technical support;

Guide and coordinate the review of programme log frames including:

(i)providing technical advice for the revision of performance indicators;

(ii)ensuring that realistic intermediate and end-of-programme targets are defined;

(iii)support WHH in delivering a baseline study on monitoring and evaluation in the project;

(iv)identifying sources of data, collection methods and resources needed and related cost;

Prepare consolidated progress reports for the Management including identification of problems, causes of potential bottlenecks in implementation, and providing specific recommendations;

Check that monitoring data are discussed in the appropriate forum such as the Project Group Meeting and in a timely fashion in terms of implications for future action;

Undertake regular visits to the fields to support implementation of monitoring and evaluation, check the quality of data produced, and to identify where adaptations might be needed; monitor the follow up of evaluation recommendations with Project officer and Programs Manager;

Foster participatory planning and monitoring; organize and provide refresher training in monitoring and evaluation for project field staff.

The ideal candidate:

A university Degree in Social Sciences, Development studies, Statistics, Agriculture economics or related field;

At least six years work experience in planning processes, performance management, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building in large governmental or international organization;

Excellent command of spoken and written English.

A solid understanding of the management of cross cutting issues, with a focus on participatory processes, integrated programming, protection and gender issues;

Supportive attitude towards processes of strengthening staff capacity;

Leadership qualities, personnel and team management including mediation and conflict resolution;

Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment;

Strong organizational skills;

Excellent knowledge of advanced statistics and research methodology including skills in sampling techniques and use of computer software for statistical and other relevant applications;

Proven skills in critical thinking, assessment and analysis; strong competency in conceptualizing and designing strategic frameworks;

Excellent communication, team building and training skills with the ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in and outside the Agency; ability to work effectively in multi-cultural environment;

Ability to undertake regular field visits and interact with different stakeholders;

Demonstrated ability in report writing and presentation.

Job Title: Research Officer

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Work with relevant stakeholders in researching local and indigenous seeds that have been understudied to demonstrate their vitality in relation to food, nutrition and economic growth.

Establish experimental plots in the Mangochi, Dedza and at Kusamala’s demonstration site researching and evaluating farmer seed varieties on their yielding capacities, resilience to climate change and other shocks, and other relevant factors.

Document farmer utilization behaviors of local and indigenous crops and devise ways of improving them for better livelihoods

Identify new research topics, and develop research proposals that contributes to the goal of the project and Kusamala.

Follow up the project activities and prepare periodical progress reports.

Design surveys including questionnaires and relevant data forms.

Perform desk studies and travel to project sites to conduct researches and surveys

Data processing and analysis.

Writing scientific reports and other research assignments as required.

The Ideal candidate:

Exceptional candidates with excellent BSc in Social Science – with statistics as a major, Agriculture/Agroecology/Natural Resource Management and other related fields.

Substantial research experience (at least 5 years)

Excellent programming skills in SPSS, STATA are highly appreciated.

Long term commitment

Experience in local and indigenous seeds and agroecology would be a valuable asset

Good command of English and Chichewa.

Ability to work in teams as well as independently.

Record of previous publication in either local or international journals.

Job Title: Extension Officers (Agriculture/Forestry)

This position will be based in Kusamala’s target communities in Mangochi and Dedza District and will be Kusamala’s representative in the field. The overall responsibility of this position will be to work closely with community members to train and support them in implementing permaculture and agroecology practices, and monitoring and evaluation activities.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Directly responsible for community mobilization and dedicated to implementing permaculture and agroecology, and coordinating subsequent activities with the communities.

Attending required trainings at Kusamala’s demonstration center

Effectively and efficiently training community groups in permaculture and agroecology techniques

Providing on-going support and guidance to community groups throughout the lifespan of the project

Supporting community farmer managed seed systems.

Acting as Kusamala’s representative in the field and supporting all related activities

Monthly reporting on project activities, including baseline and regular data collection through community surveys

Working closely with other extension officers to share knowledge and pool resources

The ideal candidate:

Diploma in Agriculture/Environment with 5 years relevant job experience preferred

Have experience in community organizing, project management, teaching or facilitation

Excellent time management and organizational skills; ability to work in a self-directedenvironment

Experience with reporting and data collection preferred

Experience with mapping, GPS, and photography

Willingness to work with different communities, including riding a motor bike.

Excellent people skills

Excellent written and verbal communication skills in Chichewa

Working knowledge of English

Self-motivated and have the ability to work and communicate well in a team

Have knowledge of or experience with permaculture, agroecology, and agroforestry.

Job Title: Finance and Administration Officer (FAO).

Reporting directly to the Finance and Administration Manager, the post-holder will be responsible for recording assisting with the day to day financial and administrative activities of Kusamala. The post-holder will assist the Finance and Administration Manager in preparing the financial and management accounts and in maintaining compliance with statutory requirements and legislation.

Main duties and responsibilities

To assist the Finance and Administration Manager in the day to day financial operations of Kusamala, including

Maintaining and operating financial records and systems required by the Institute;

Performing month and year end procedures, including bank reconciliations, sales and purchase ledger reconciliations and petty cash reconciliations.

Assistance with the provision of management accounts, budgeting and forecasting by:

preparation of prepayments, accruals and other accounting adjustments;

Preparation of variance reports showing actual performance against budgeted or forecasted figures.

Inputting all financial transactions into QuickBooks, and maintaining supporting documentation, such as bank statements, in associated files.

Assist in Assist in the reporting of various income generating projects.

Liaise with WHH finance manager and external auditors and other independent reviewers as necessary on matters relating to the WHH project.

Maintaining staff handbooks and contracts.

Coordinate office activities and operations to secure efficiency and compliance to company policies

Create and update records and databases with personnel, financial and other data

To maintain, monitor and order all office and stationery supplies within agreed budgets

To maintain proper inventory records of goods and equipment owned by WHH and ensure that relevant control systems are in place and complied with

Supporting the project administratively.

The Ideal Candidate:

A Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy/Business Administration, Business

Studies/Management with specialization in finance or accounting, plus any professional qualification in accounting.

At least 5 years of work experience in finance, administration and procurement in a fast and reputable NGO

A Holder of a full Malawi School Certificate of Education

Sound knowledge of different accounting softwares (Sage / Quick books)

Excellent administrative and people management skills.

Ready to work under pressure and odd hours with minimum supervision.

And other duties as assigned from time to time.


If interested please send your application to: recruitments@kusamala.org . The application should include a cover letter and curriculum vitae with three traceable referees and should be received before February 4th, 2017. Please specify in the subject of your email which position you are applying for. Only shortlisted candidates will be communicated. Salary and benefits are commensurate with experience and qualifications


Contact Kusamala Institute of Agriculture & Ecology

General Inquiries

  • info@kusamala.org
  • +265 (0) 992 60 25 32
  • +265 (0) 881 26 66 48

Trainings & Consultancies

  • info@kusamala.org
  • +265 (0) 992 60 25 32
  • +265 (0) 881 26 66 48

Garden & Nursery Sales

  • info@kusamala.org
  • +265 (0) 992 60 25 32
  • +265 (0) 881 26 66 48