Senior Project Officer II – Horticulture

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Vacancy Announcement

ETHIOPIAN AGRICULTURAL TRANSFORMATION AGENCY

Position :                          Senior Project Officer II – Horticulture

Term of Employment :   One Year with possibility of extension

Duty Station(s) :              Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Required Number:         One                                                                            

Salary & Benefits :           Competitive

Application Deadline :    July 11, 2021

BACKGROUND

The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) is a strategy and delivery-oriented government agency created to help accelerate the growth and transformation of the country’s agriculture sector. The ATA envisions that smallholder farmers are commercialized with greater incomes, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability, contributing to  transformed agriculture by 2030.

The agency focuses on two primary national approaches to catalyze agricultural transformation. First, we support the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), and its federal and regional affiliate institutions and other partners to identify and address systemic bottlenecks within the sector’s development plan. Second, we support Regional Governments to accelerate the development of high-priority commodity value chains in clearly defined geographic clusters, through the Agricultural Commercialization Clusters (ACC) Program.

Our major activities include conducting strategic and analytical studies, providing technical implementation support, coordinating platforms to better integrate partners and projects, and designing and directly leading a number of implementation projects. Our headquarters are in Addis Ababa, with regional office representations in Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Tigray regional offices, allowing us to work closely with a wide range of public, private and development sector partners across the country.

Our Culture

We have an exceptional team of highly competent employees with a proven track record of success in managing complex activities and achieving transformational results.  Our culture is one where talented, dedicated and adaptable individuals are committed to doing their best and exhibit great teamwork to achieve excellent results.

At ATA, we provide an exceptional platform for people who want to achieve their highest potential and make a meaningful contribution to changing the country’s agricultural sector.  We offer rewarding work in a young, fast-paced growing organization with passionate, committed, motivated colleagues and excellent career development and training.  We recognize our most valuable assets are our staff and are committed to providing our employees with the tools, training, and mentorships necessary to achieve their career goals.

POSITION SUMMARY:

 The FPC Project within ATA has been established to improve the income of smallholder farmers (SHF) by helping them to increase agricultural yield and achieve greater commercialization. The project pursues an approach of grouping farmers with adjacent farm plots to consolidate their farm activity and develop them like a business entity and access targeted support across the value chain. The FPC Project team is working to deliver three major project components, which include: farmer clustering, assessment and transition support/capacity building ultimately contributing to the evolution of the FPCs from (pre) basic to the production company. The Horticulture SPO (HSPO) of the FPC/CD Project work under Team Lead, FPC in implementing the Horticulture Farmers Production Cluster (HFPC) and ACC activities as well as other related endeavors deploying both irrigation and rainfed farming system.  The SPO II is expected to have strong skills and experience in horticulture husbandry, irrigation horticulture and/or agronomy, project management, stakeholder management and coordination, desire for improving the lives of smallholder farmers, and a deep familiarity with Ethiopia’s agricultural research system with particular emphasis to increase the production and productivity of the prioritized ATA horticultural commodities in the four regions.    The SPO II is responsible for providing local grounding and technical content support in mapping out and strengthening the end-to-end value chain components of the ATA’s priority horticultural crops (tomato, onion, avocado, mango and banana) as well as other horticultural crops from research through production to markets, emphasizing production, protection and postharvest management (aggregation, storage and value additive activities). The HFPC SPO II will assist in alignment with the Ministry of Agriculture and other key stakeholders along the value chain with the context of FPC priority grain crops and other grains being produced in ACC geographies. The HFPC SPO II will be strategic and focus to identify transformative issues of horticulture value chains and work with ATA relevant program teams of both federal and regions to provide insight into research requirement, commodity production, post-harvest, storage, cooperatives developments and looking for demand sink of and market linkages of surplus production. The SPO II will support the value chain alliance and will work for hand in hand with the ATA regional crop value chain HSPO/STEs and other staff as required. The STE will also be responsible for coordinating with federal and regional level partners to ensure effective and collaborative FPC/ACC implementation and smooth partnership. With such context, the SPO II provides technical support and capacity building for implementing key interventions. The SPO II reports to the FPC Project Lead and responsible to provide strategical, technical, backstopping, and supervisory/follow-up roles for implementing key interventions of horticulture value chains.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Duties and responsibilities for the federal SPO II include, but not limited to:

Under the Federal FPC Project Lead, manage horticultural value chain activities to ensure timely completion of the horticulture value chain and HFPC project deliverables. These activities include:

  • Actively engage in the Development Strategy for Horticulture Farmers Production Cluster (HFPC) and detailed implementation plan.
  • Develop a detailed project quarter and annual work plans and budget and follow up of its implementation.
  • Provide high level technical/expertise support to the horticulture value chain activities in the four regions through providing strategic and professional guidance to the regional HSPO/STE
  • Ensure that horticulture value chain activities are implemented according to the schedule and according to the ACC result framework targets.
  • SPO II should ensure the project budget and follow utilization are according to the plan.
  • Compile and provide monthly update quarterly and annual reports of all regional infrastructure construction activities, such as greenhouse or poly house, Fruit nurseries, net shade installation, roadside market sheds and SGW boreholes installation and marketing.
  • Proactively participate in facilitating all relevant types of training carried out at the regions and federal level and other collaborating organizations or key stakeholders.
  • In collaboration with four regional ATA branch offices, MoA and other key stakeholders, the HSPO/STE should participate in organizing project-related important events such as workshops, training, and field days.
  • Flag any delay in horticulture value chain activities and other problems to the FPC/CD Team Leader in a timely manner and ensure the delay is converted in timely implementation and the problem is properly addressed and resolved.
  • Through the guidance of the FPC/CD Team Leader, ensure detailed implementation planning and resource allocation for horticulture value chain activities.
  • Ensure effective operational planning of interventions and activities, budgeting, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Ensure effective day-to-day management and execution of relevant ATA-owned. interventions implemented by the FPC/Cluster Development Project Team
  • Oversight and tracking of relevant ATA-owned interventions implemented by other ATA teams.
  • Follow up and facilitate the Input supply system to ensure needs-based input supply as per the full package recommendation.
  • Provide follow-up and higher-level assistance to regional horticulture VCA meetings.
  • Review project progress and develop and monitor actions to ensure timely and effective delivery of project outcomes.

Assist the Federal FPC Project Lead in managing stakeholders to get prioritized support from the government agricultural ecosystem, private sector, and other implementers for HFPCs to keep transitioning towards company-level entities. Activities include:

  • Work with regional implementation partners to resolve strategic and operational issues that arise over the course of the horticulture value chain activities’ lifetime.
  • Liaison with the federal MoA, EIAR and regional BoAs and Research Institutes and other key partners at all levels.
  • Provide technical support on the development and revision of tools and approaches used to assess and certify HFPC.
  • Work with other project teams and project deliverable owners (e.g. Subgrantees) to ensure the provision of focused support for HFPC.

Conduct assessments, developing and leading the implementation of solutions to solve technical and operational challenges. 

  • Design strategies and methodologies to introduce new technologies and farming systems, participatory planning of production and marketing activities, improved market information and targeted business development services.
  • Identify concrete commercial opportunities and conduct market analysis for horticulture value chains.
  • Collaborate with the federal and regional agribusiness promotion/market linkage experts to map and develop market linkages for clusters with national, regional, and international potential markets and market channels identified.
  • Evaluate investment needs to upgrade production and processing, accessing finance, improving production practices, upgrading post-harvest handling and storage.
  • Provide problem-solving support during the redesign and/or enhancement of Cluster Development Project and cluster implementation.
  • Provide technical support in the development and revision of transition support packages.

Conduct capacity-building activities and follow-up support to ensure the creation of human capital capable of executing the Cluster Development Project activities in the region. 

  • Provide guidance to the four regional Horticulture Value Chain SPOs and other implementers (if applicable) in the implementation of horticulture value chain activities and HFPC projects at regional levels.
  • Proactively participate in conducting awareness creation on HFPC selection and governance
  • Coordinate and facilitate workshops and ToT training at all levels and provide guidance to the regional Horticulture Value Chains SPOs for ground-level training capacity building.
  • Provide technical support in the capacity gap assessments and revision of capacity building packages for grass-root implementors such as Das.

Responsible for compiling and submitting data and reports to ensure alignment on project implementation and identify potential risks that could affect the overall performance of the project.

  • Prepare and submit regular and periodical/interim reports on own KPIs, Workstreams and activities/milestones through utilizing appropriate reporting tools and formats.
  • Prepare all biweekly, quarterly, and annual performance reports.
  • Assist partners working in promoting horticulture value chain activities through creating proper alignment channels and services.
  • Perform any other tasks that will be given by the FPC/CD Project Team Leader.
  • Align with the team building, sprits and functions of the federal FPC/CD Team and other relevant ATA teams.

Job Requirements

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Master of Science Degree in Horticulture/Crop Science/Agriculture Science or other relevant subjects.
  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in horticulture crops value chains and agricultural policy and regulatory framework in Ethiopia basically in the horticulture sub-sector.
  • General understanding of Ethiopian agriculture with more emphasis on horticulture sub-sector development and best agricultural production/husbandry (irrigation and rainfed), mechanization, postharvest, storage/transport (cold room), packaging, marketing, and other value additive practices
  • Understanding and practical experience in agribusiness, domestic and international markets, and trade development.
  • Experience in prioritizing and sequencing both programmatic and operation activities.
  • Experience with program design, performance management, learning systems and monitoring & evaluation.
  • Knowledge of analytical methods of agricultural statistics.
  • Practical experience in developing linkages between producers and markets and working across value chains of crops in Ethiopia.
  • Practical experience in testing and scaling up relevant solutions at the local level.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-moving, start-up environment, with an emphasis on high-performance, teamwork, accountability, and results.
  • Ability to build relationships with all kinds of people.
  • Highly facilitative and collaborative leadership style.
  • Excellent adaptive problem-solver in a challenging environment.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Proven ability to undertake and oversee analytical studies, problem-solving and policy analysis, and willingness to innovate, design and plan catalytic and implementable interventions.
  • Understanding of private sector, commercial farming, food processing and marketing
  • A broad perspective on how the entire system operates and how public, private, and informal actors operate within the agricultural system.

How to Apply

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

We invite all candidates meeting the required qualifications to send (i) a cover letter and (ii) CV ( maximum 5 pages)  at  https://apply.ata.gov.et

Also, please  DO NOT  submit scans of certificates with your application form.

Women are highly encouraged to apply.

NB. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. 

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