Program Officer – Technology for Development (READVERTISEMENT)
Job Reference POTD 04/2018
Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.
AGRA is rolling out a new 5-year strategy to catalyze and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (11 focus countries) to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. Under this strategy, AGRA will deliver through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems and puts government at the center to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at national level.
To support this transformation from a country perspective, AGRA is seeking to recruit an experienced and exceptional individual to the position of Program Officer – Technology for Development. The position is based in Nairobi with regular travel to AGRA’s focus countries.
Reporting to the Vice President – Program Development and Innovation, The Program Officer – Technology for Development is responsible for supporting AGRA’s five-year strategy to reach 9 million smallholder farmers in Africa with improved technologies for achieving higher yields and better marketing opportunities to improve their productivity. S/he will – through the use of information and communications technology – drive increases in farmer awareness of the value of improved seed, fertilizers, and crop management practices, as well as support technologically-driven advisory services. S/he will ensure AGRA is well-informed regarding innovative approaches to reaching farmers through technologies as sustainable tools. The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
- Support conventional agricultural extension methods which employ small packs, on-farm demonstrations, farmer field days.
- Work with village-based advisors within the context of AGRA’s private sector-led approaches to agricultural transformation, in AGRA countries.
- Together with country staff, work with regulators, government and private sector to oversee and push penetration of mobile phones, video, mobile money, and other forms of electronic communications to smallholder farmers to support sustainable farming practices.
- Working with like-minded organizations, AGRA Partners, government and service providers, work towards overcoming the barriers represented by distance, lack of infrastructure, and cognitive gaps related to the use of improved technologies and marketing methods.
- Ensure the messaging and services offered through the use of ICT is genuinely relevant and useful to smallholder farmers, and is not a distraction.
- Position AGRA as a leading force in the identification, delivery, and scaling up of farmer-relevant information technologies and services.
- In line with overall organization vision and strategies, drive AGRA’s five-year strategy to reach 9 million smallholder farmers in Africa with improved technologies for achieving higher yields and better marketing opportunities to improve their productivity.
- Act as AGRA’s ICT liaison for agricultural development.
- Attend technology for development forums and workshops and continuously enhance knowledge and update existing systems and platforms as required with modern and relevant applications.
- Together with other program teams, drive farmer/stakeholder education and awareness on technologies that exist to enhance their production and productivity.
Key Qualifications and Experience required
- First degree in Computer Science, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Agronomy, Plant Breeding, Extension, Soil Science, Horticulture, Agriculture Economics or Vegetable crops.
- A minimum of 10 years successful experience in technology for development management and/or development of service systems 5 of which should have been working on issues pertaining to African rural development.
- Demonstrated ability in creating strong research and technology linkages, and putting in place operational mechanisms to bring agricultural technologies to scale.
- Extensive experience in listening to and communicating with smallholder farmers in Africa.
- Broad knowledge of, and exposure to conventional agricultural extension methods and/or marketing methodologies employed by public agencies, private agri-businesses, and non-governmental organizations.
- Broad knowledge of, and exposure to ICT applications in use and under development in Africa which hold particular relevance to the needs of smallholder farmers.
- Ability to communicate the relevance and potential of technologically complex ICT applications in simple messages which are easily understood by a general audience.
- A strong desire to see ICT put to use to reduce poverty among Africa’s farmers.
- Experience managing complex initiatives with proven ability to develop high impact partnerships.
- Experience in working with similar organizations or institutions will be an added advantage.
- Thoroughly familiar with and experience in working with ICT, R&D and analytics houses.
- Strong understanding of and the ability to interpret and action smallholder farmer technological needs.
- Analytical, excellent data mining ability.
- Strong ability to influence positively both upwards and downwards across cultures and countries.
- Proven leadership ability to influence, develop, and empower employees to achieve their best with a team approach.
- Deep understanding of both the government and private sector ICT policies and governance structures.
- Results and detail orientated with a very hands-on approach.
- Excellent leadership, organizational, and problem solving/decision making skills.
- Intelligent, motivated self-starter with strong interpersonal skills and work ethic.
An attractive remuneration package commensurate with the responsibilities of the position will be negotiated with the successful candidate.
If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail address and telephone contacts to firstname.lastname@example.org noting to quote the job reference number in the subject line of your e-mail.
To be considered, applications must be received on or before 24th April, 2018.
For more information on AGRA, please can visit www.agra.org
AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer
About the Organization
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a partnership that works with governments, donors, NGOs, the private sector, and African farmers to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity and income of resource-poor farmers in Africa. Founded and initially funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, AGRA supports interventions aimed at improving seed systems, soil fertility, input and output markets, policies, and other priority sectors, with the overall objective of reducing food insecurity. AGRA aims to achieve these goals by: supporting and building capability of farmers and enterprises across the agricultural value chain; being a thought-leader on African agriculture by collecting, packaging, and disseminating knowledge; and creating strong partnerships with public, private, and donor actors to drive change within the sector. AGRA is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and has an office in Accra, Ghana.