Market Linkages Specialist


  1. TechnoServe Background:

TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. We are a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.

  1. Program Description:

TechnoServe collaborates with Sasakawa Global – 2000 (SG2000) and Farm Radio International (FRI), both non-profit organizations, to improve market-led teff, maize and wheat production in selected Woredas of Amhara and Tigray Regions. With the funding from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Improving Market Led Production of Selected Agricultural Commodities in Targeted Woredas of Amhara region (IMPACT-Amhara) with the aim of improving income and food security of smallholder farmers in the region. As part of the bigger consortium of the three organizations, TechnoServe is responsible to lead the smallholder farmers’ linkages to structured output market namely linkages.

  1. Position Description:

As a part of the program management team based in the region, the Market Linkages Specialist will play lead expert and coordination role to facilitate the integration of smallholder farmer-beneficiaries to structured output markets such as the processing industry. Specifically, s/he will be the driving force behind assisting selected farmers’ organizations (FOs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the targeted Woredas to meaningfully engage in the selected Agricultural Value Chains. Below are some key areas of focus on the position.

  1. Identification of industry demand and enhance farmers’ and project teams’ awareness and knowledge of the industry demand
  2. Build capacities of Farmers’ organizations and SMEs to competitively market wheat and Teff to structured market channels

   III.        Develop and implement strategies and interventions that can help in establishing stronger and sustainable linkages between farmers and the formal market

  1.      Strengthen business partnerships among the selected commodity value chain actors and service providers
  2.       Coordinate with consortium members to improve the market orientation of production and post-harvest practices

Specific Responsibilities Include:
    A.  Coordination and Representation

  • Build and maintain a strong partnership with consortium member staff, farmers’ organizations, SMEs, food processors, and other service providers and relevant government agencies for the successful completion of the project work
  • Identify subject matter specialists that are relevant to capacity building for FOs and SMEs and engage in the planning and implementation of capacity building activities of the project
  • Ensure alignment of plans, implementation of activities and utilization of resources with the consortium members to maximize efficiency and harmony
  • Participate in a consortium led meetings and represent TechnoServe in the region as needed
  • Efficiently coordinate project resources to achieve market linkages related results of the project in the region.
    Technical Leadership
  • Through both secondary and primary information gathering, develop an understanding of and document smallholder farmers’ access to structured markets within and outside the region.
  • Mobilize experts and undertake industry demand analyses for targeted agricultural products and develop and share specific knowledge of the farmers, FOs and SMEs on market opportunities, industry preferred market channels, quality and quantity requirements, price officers and available market demand
  • Identify and mobilize farmers organizations and SMEs whom the project can work with for the sustainable supply of project targeted agricultural commodities to the structured market
  • Identify and mobilize formal buyers of the targeted agricultural commodities to build long term business partnership with farmers
  • Undertake capacity needs assessment of FOs and SMEs and provide inputs for intervention plans
  • Provide technical assistance to FOs and SMEs to develop and/or undated bankable business and marketing plans and facilitate linkages with financial institutions
  • Coach and mentor SMEs and FOs to implement their business and marketing plans
  • Collaborate and participate in commodity cluster platforms and enhance synergy between the project market related objective and other programs in the region
  • Plan and organize training and workshops that are planned under the project component
  • Serve as a lead resource person in the development of training material and undertaking training on topics such as contract farming, business planning, marketing strategies, access to finances and etc
  • Solicit financial needs of SMEs and FOs and find mechanisms to enhance linkages between the FOs, SMEs and Financial institutions
  • Liaise with post-harvest management and production team to ensure that industry demands are very well understood and taken into consideration in planning and actual production of commodities and in post-harvest management
  • Create platforms for buyers and FOs or SMEs to make business deals on targeted commodity marketing
  • Support SMEs and FOs to comply with contractual agreements to supply to the structured market
    Budget and Asset Management
  • Participate in consortium and TehcnoServe specific budget planning processes
  • Develop an activity budget plan and submit requests for budget release for field activity
  • Work with financial team to ensure proper record of expenses for project activities
  • Comply with TechnoServe and Donor financial management policy
  • Ensure that all project assets are used only for the purpose of the project at all times
    Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Participate in overall TechnocServe specific and consortium led project work planning sessions and provide expertise inputs
  • Develop annual, quarterly and monthly work plans and submit to the Program Manager
  • Assist the project M&E persons in data collection processes and ensure that full and valid information is available for project monitoring, evaluation and reporting purposes
  • Develop monthly updates as well as quarterly and annual reports on the progress of the project in the region and submit to the Program Manager
  • Document case studies on the project successes and lessons Keep records (including pictures and videos) of all project interventions in the region for utilization upon demand
  • Document and share lessons on the project with project stakeholders and consortium members when requested
  1. Gender Integration
  • Understand all gender integration requirements and targets (donor as well as internal to TechnoServe).
  • Review gender targets and progress and make suggestions for course correction to consortium and program leadership, as necessary

Job Requirements

  1. Required Skills and Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics, Business Management or related area, or equivalent experience in Agricultural Marketing. Master’s degree preferred.
  • At least 5 – 7 years’ professional experience in Agricultural/rural Marketing, including experience working in the private sector (food processing) or Aggregation and especially of the regional markets
  • Successful experience linking smallholder farmers with buyers, particularly processors
  • Experience working in capacity development of Farmers organizations and SMEs
  • Knowledge of regional context and
  • Demonstrated understanding of gender issues in agricultural value chains.
  • Experience with agricultural commodities/product pricing and contract farming preferred.
  • Experience with wholesale and retail grain marketing, contract practices and financing
  • Exceptionally strong analytical and coordination skills, as evidenced by leading roles on successful initiatives engagements of significant scale and agricultural commodities marketing and FOs and SMEs capacity development
  • Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural skills.
  • Excellent oral and written presentation skills.
  • Excellent English skills and speaking the local language is highly preferred

How to Apply

  1. Application Instructions

Qualified and interested applicants should  Click here to apply for this position  and submit a cover letter resume and salary history as a single document (either Word or PDF)  by February 16, 2020. Applications will be reviewed and considered as received/on a rolling basis. Please identify the position for which you are applying in the subject line.  Only applicants meeting minimum qualifications will be contacted.  Please note that we are not accepting CVs that are not sent through the indicated link.

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