The Good Agronomic Practice (GAP) Lead will be assigned to work with the Office of the Vice President to apply principles of global GAP on soil and cultivation up to harvesting toward smallholder land and production management.
The role will require travel across Nigeria, and potentially to a few international locations.
Duties and Responsibilities
Work with extension workers, development partners, and private sector actors to develop programs and extension that will educate farmers to apply climate smart agriculture practices and the business of farming.
Facilitate Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops at national and regional level
Work with extension, universities and ag-economics experts to develop crop budgets that will be used to advise farmers on which crops to plant based on comparison of return on investment, viability and season of the year
Facilitate partners to conduct training on:
Best practice agricultural skills and techniques, including better ways of using pesticides
Integrated soil management techniques to improve soil fertility and function for crop production
Pre-production techniques for site selection and land preparation related to the soil, water, chemicals, nutrients, air, waste disposal etc.
Production processes related to fertigation and pesticide spray schedules, water and nutrient management (irrigation schedule), planting material, storage and handling of agro- and non-agro chemicals etc.; germination test, plant spacing, weed control, fertilizer application
Examine and evaluate options for the introduction of new processing and storage techniques that reduce post-harvest loss due to spoilage and ensure farmers apply GAP to maintain inherent quality at harvest time
Examine and evaluate options for the introduction of appropriate harvesting, handling, storage and transportation techniques covering timely harvest, equipment, containers and materials, buildings and structures, cleaning and sanitation, animal and pest control, personal hygiene, produce treatment, storage and transport safety and quality during handling, storage and transportation; and
Develop extension tools and systems that will raise awareness amongst farmers of consumers’ expectations and safety concerns
Develop extension tools and systems that will Improve access to practical, farmer-friendly information and resources – using factsheets, knowledge hubs and working with the service centre operators
Work with extension, universities and development partners to facilitate the evaluation of farming systems assessment in selected areas based on understanding of farm household, community inter linkages, reviews and constraints and assesses potentials
Provide recommendation for risk reduction with monoculture activities and crop divarication linking to nutrition improvement, value addition and efficient utilisation of farm utilisation
Prepare and submit period progress reports as required
Publish regular articles and recommendations to farmers.
Experience, Qualification and Skills
Minimum of 8 years relevant experience in agronomy in the context of mechanisation, farming systems or related field
Advanced University Degree in Agronomy or other relevant field
In-depth principles of global GAP on soil, cultivation up to harvesting, enhancing resilience of small holder farmers, reducing dependence on inputs, cutting edge innovations toward smallholder land management, production management, vegetation, tech transfer, extension services, fertiliser, and disease management
Practical experience in setting up agronomy and market-led extension systems, training and management of extension officers
Solid understanding of interconnectivity of crop production and livestock
Clear understanding of cropping calendar, weather information and climate smart agricultural practices
Experience in farming system approach and communication systems to farmers
Knowledge on climatology for agriculture and water resources, soil physics, agricultural environment and forest sciences
Proven track record in planning, implementing, and promoting farm mechanisation projects, plans or programs
Hands on approach to work, with the ability to deliver on deadlines in a fast-paced and fast-changing environment, with minimal or no supervision
Exceptional oral and written communication and interpersonal skills
Effective inter-personal and leadership skills with an ability to develop and foster relationships across a wide range of diverse and senior stakeholders
Ability to operate and succeed in a highly political environment;
Strong analytical and management skills, including sound knowledge of strategic planning and project management tools;
Ability to use own initiative and actively look for opportunities to have an impact rather than simply be reactive
A decent understanding of how governments, businesses and international development organisations operate and how to succeed in them
Good knowledge of Microsoft Office products Word, Excel and PPT and other relevant software and tools
Drive, motivation and ability to consistently achieve results in a fast-paced environment.
Experience of living and working in developing countries is desirable but not essential.