Land O’Lakes Venture37 (Venture37), the University of Minnesota (UMN), Stellenbosch University (SU), and Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) have forged an innovative partnership to establish the Center for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) as the central hub to catalyze Malawi’s agricultural growth. By leveraging our core partners’ scientific, technological and agribusiness expertise and deep regional connections, the CAT will forge integrated research-to-impact pathways that reduce productivity gaps between men and women and foster diversified, resilient and healthy smallholder households, particularly those transitioning from tobacco farming to alternative livelihoods. CAT is funded by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW), known in Malawi as the Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI).
The CAT will be a world class hub for creating, piloting, and scaling appropriate science, technology, and business models that will transform smallholder tobacco farmers’ lives and Malawi’s agriculture sector in general. This center of excellence aims to uniquely combine research, smallholder farming, and large-scale commercialization in a manner that facilitates transformational agricultural development in Malawi. We envision the CAT as an anchor institution in the global ag-tech innovation ecosystem, where reimagination, experimentation, and refinement of new ideas take place through the intermingling of cutting-edge research and development (R&D), market research, evidence-based decision making, new business models and product pilots, and entrepreneurs.
The Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Program Manager is responsible for assisting the STI Director in coordination of the STI activities of the CAT. This includes facilitating partnership activities that leverage the CAT hub; cultivating and engaging a network of agricultural researchers in Malawi and co-facilitate research-on-demand pipeline development and activity progress; and working closely with CAT local academic partners (MUST and LUANAR) on capacity building initiatives related to STI.
In order to deliver on the duties and responsibilities outlined below, the STI Program Manager will work closely with the STI Director in order that activities under the STI docket are achieved on time and within budget.
- Coordinating all STI programs and activities in line with the mission and goals of the CAT and aligning with the program management team on the same.
- Designing, implementing, and managing changes or interventions to safeguard STI project goals are realized as per the agreed timelines.
- Design and post upon approval requests for expressions of interest (EOI) for Research on Demand activities as well as review submissions and communicate to successful awardees.
- Draft terms of reference for consultants under the Research on Demand work stream and onboard consultants to ensure they are aligned to Centre for Agricultural Transformation ways of working.
- Monitor project progress of Research on Demand sub-awardees and ensure conformity with the outlined terms of reference.
- Support administrative management of other subawards under the CAT STI component, including review and tracking of timely deliverables and interim reports.
- Receive reports from consultants, edit and circulate to the relevant stakeholders.
- Prepare program progress reports and highlight key learnings in a timely manner for directors and other stakeholders through the project lifecycle.
- Developing key performance indicators for program teams and aligning to the desired output of the STI component.
- Design continuous improvement strategies for the STI component and implement as appropriate to ensure value creation to target stakeholders as well as efficiency of running the programs.
- Coordinate cross-project activities primarily between STI and BIC but also as need may arise with other external components.
- Assist in planning and coordinating workshops and events under the STI component.
- Monitor STI costs for all running projects and prepare regular spend analysis reports throughout the project lifecycle.
- Liaise closely with MUST and LUANAR to ensure capacity building initiatives are implemented in a timely manner and the desired outcomes are achieved.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM), with good knowledge of technology and innovation in the agricultural sector.
- A minimum of four (4) years of experience in program management in an agricultural research setting.
- Demonstrated experience as a Program Manager or other related positions.
- Thorough knowledge and understanding of project/program management as well as project management monitoring tools.
- Excellent knowledge of performance evaluation and change management principles.
- Proven knowledge in budgeting and resource allocation.
- The ability to work in an innovative environment with various stakeholders.
- Ability to resolve problems in an innovative manner and being able to find the best fit solution.
- Be a team player who can work with multi-cultural cross-functional teams.
- Have good stakeholder management skills.
- Fluent English, spoken and written. Command of Chichewa (spoken and written) is not required but will improve candidate suitability.
Preferred Skills and Qualifications:
- Master’s degree in agriculture with good knowledge of technology and innovation in the agricultural sector.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls will be accepted.
Land O’Lakes never requests money or payment from candidates for any position type. Please report any such requests to Land O’Lakes.
About the Organization
Land O'Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening local agriculture, helping agribusinesses create jobs and linking farmers to markets. Since 1981, it has implemented over 315 integrated dairy, livestock and crops development programs in nearly 80 countries — creating lasting impact by linking farmers, businesses, and the public and private sector in local and global contexts. Land O’Lakes Venture37’s long-standing affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc. sets it apart. Land O’Lakes, Inc. is one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives. It supports Land O’Lakes Venture37 project implementation with nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights and technologies. This gives Land O’Lakes Venture37 development projects a unique global view of agriculture, food and the power of well-functioning market systems. Land O’Lakes, Inc. supports these efforts as part of its enterprise purpose of Feeding Human Progress at home and around the world.