• Jobs at International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)

  • Posted on: 9 December, 2015 Deadline: 18 December, 2015
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  • The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is a public international organization addressing critical issues such as international food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency. IFDC focuses on increasing productivity across the agricultural value chain in developing countries. This is achieved by the creation and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise.

    Team Leader

     

    Job Description

    • Realizing Sorghum and Millet Agricultural Productivity Gains in the Sahel/ Nigeria.

    Background

    • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) seeks to establish a practical understanding of how the production of sorghum and pearl millet features in Sahelian farming households’ overall livelihoods, and what that means for the investment choices farmers make regarding the production of these crops. Therefore BMGF awarded a grant to Context Global Development (Context) to manage a pilot program in Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria that tests different intervention hypotheses through action-research with farming households.
    • Context selected the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) as a sub-grantee to implement a two-year (2016-2017) pilot project in Northern Nigeria. The purpose of the pilot project is to strengthen the resilience of sorghum/ millet farming systems in Northwestern Nigeria, by empowering smallholder farmers to develop farming as a sustainable business. Building on the approach set by its 2SCALE program (www.2scale.org), IFDC will partner with a lead agrifood company interested in sourcing high-quality sorghum and/or millet from Nigerian smallholder farmers, and facilitate the development and strengthening of business relationships among the value chain actors and supporters.
    • The objective is to deepen our understanding of how partnerships, built with grassroots actors (farmers and their local networks, called agribusiness clusters), and the companies and entrepreneurs driving the value chain, achieve impact; and what the business models are that support both competitiveness and inclusiveness. This learning agenda will help identify incentives for smallholders to invest (or not) in sorghum/ millet productivity, and possible scaling pathways for the post-pilot phase.
    • The project’s team in Nigeria will be composed of two full time technical staff: a Team Leader and a Training Specialist. They will be supported by part-time technical assistants and consultants, a monitoring & evaluation (M&E) specialist and support staff (administrative/ financial staff and drivers).
    • This job description focuses on the Team Leader position.

    Duties

    • The Team Leader is responsible for setting the strategy and intervention model of the pilot project in Northern Nigeria, and for managing project activities.
    • S/he will be on the front line in leading the formation of sorghum/ millet agribusiness clusters and inclusive value chains driven by private off-taker partners.

    Specific duties include:

    • Develop a partnership agreement with the selected private agri-food company driving the chain, clarifying (among others) the shared ambition, objectives, strategy, key activities, roles and responsibilities, governance structure and mechanisms, as well as risks and mitigation measures.
    • The agreement must add value to the societal commitments and initiatives of the private lead firm, both in terms of activities and measurement of impact at farm- and other levels in the value chain.
    • Through multi-stakeholder activities, facilitate the development of inclusive value chain(s) and business models, with a specific attention to women stakeholders. Identify how to engage intermediaries like aggregators in a sustainable way.
    • Throughout the project lifetime, facilitate governance processes at the partnership level and at the chain level, ensuring that transparency and trust are built among parties.
    • Lead the development of action plans with different parties, and oversee and coordinate the implementation of field-level activities agreed upon, including but not limited to technical and business capacity building activities of grassroots actors; business planning; facilitation of access to finance and of access to market information; promotion of technical innovations (e.g. at farm-level) and institutional innovations (e.g. to reduce transaction costs and improve business ethics).
    • Whenever needed, identify and select technical assistants and consultants, contract them (e.g. professional service contracts, grants, no-cost terms of reference - for 2SCALE staff) and monitor their performance.
    • Promote the integration of women throughout the project.
    • In close collaboration with the M&E specialist and Context, develop and manage a M&E system.
    • Promote the pilot’s co-learning agenda with all stakeholders and ensure its alignment with the learning approach set by Context.
    • Write and submit quality progress and other technical reports or notes with a strict respect of deadlines, in good (international-level) English.
    • Document field achievements, innovations, failures and lessons learned; integrate lessons learned into subsequent project activities.
    • Oversee financial aspects of the project, including but not limited to the development and monitoring of budgets, financial reporting, preparation of monthly fund requests, review of monthly financial statements.
    • Supervise other project staff and consultants.
    • Ensure the integration of the pilot in the 2SCALE portfolio from a technical/ methodological point of view, and develop synergies with other IFDC projects and with other programs in the country.
    • Develop and ensure good working relationships with key regional and national partner organizations, including local authorities.
    • Represent the project at relevant national events.
    • The Team Leader is also responsible for any other assignment that IFDC’s management deems necessary for the success of the project.

    Position and Duty Station:

    • The Team Leader’s position is a national one with a duty station in one of IFDC’s offices, either in a major city of Northwest Nigeria or in Abuja.
    • The position requires intensive travels (minimum 50% of the time) in Northwest Nigeria, from time to time to other parts of the country and exceptionally to other African countries like Ghana.

    Supervision:

    • The Team Leader is supervised by and reports to the Regional Agribusiness Coordinator for 2SCALE in West Africa (based in Accra).
    • S/he will works in very close collaboration with the 2SCALE Cluster Advisor in Nigeria, and other cross-cutting thematic specialists.

    Qualifications

    • Minimum Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics, Agronomy or Business Administration.
    • At least 6 years of relevant experience in agribusiness, with a minimum of 4 years in the private sector or with public-private partnerships. A professional experience in Northwestern Nigeria would be an advantage.
    • Proven track record in leading a multi-disciplinary team and managing complex projects.
    • Result-orientation and ability to take initiative, reach targets and respect deadlines.
    • Rigorous work ethic and well organized.
    • Ability to communicate effectively and in a participatory way with stakeholders of diverse interests and at all levels (from farmers to high-level officials), from both public and private sectors, and ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment.
    • Ability to write quality documents in English (international standards).
    • Fluent in Hausa and English.

    go to method of application »

    Training Specialist

     

    Job Description

    • Realizing Sorghum and Millet Agricultural Productivity Gains in the Sahel/ Nigeria

    Background

    • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) seeks to establish a practical understanding of how the production of sorghum and pearl millet features in Sahelian farming households’ overall livelihoods, and what that means for the investment choices farmers make regarding the production of these crops. Therefore BMGF awarded a grant to Context Global Development (Context) to manage a pilot program in Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria that tests different intervention hypotheses through action-research with farming households.
    • Context selected the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) as a sub-grantee to implement a two-year (2016-2017) pilot project in Northern Nigeria. The purpose of the pilot project is to strengthen the resilience of sorghum/ millet farming systems in Northwestern Nigeria, by empowering smallholder farmers to develop farming as a sustainable business. Building on the approach set by its 2SCALE program (www.2scale.org), IFDC will partner with a lead agrifood company interested in sourcing high-quality sorghum and/or millet from Nigerian smallholder farmers, and facilitate the development and strengthening of business relationships among the value chain actors and supporters.
    • The objective is to deepen our understanding of how partnerships, built with grassroots actors (farmers and their local networks, called agribusiness clusters), and the companies and entrepreneurs driving the value chain, achieve impact; and what the business models are that support both competitiveness and inclusiveness. This learning agenda will help identify incentives for smallholders to invest (or not) in sorghum/ millet productivity, and possible scaling pathways for the post-pilot phase.
    • The project’s team in Nigeria will be composed of two full time technical staff: a Team Leader and a Training Specialist. They will be supported by part-time technical assistants and consultants, a monitoring & evaluation (M&E) specialist and support staff (administrative/ financial staff and drivers).
    • This job description focuses on the Training Specialist position.

    Duties

    • The Training Specialist is responsible for designing the project’s capacity building strategy, developing its capacity building program and implementing it. S/he will be on the front line in training and coaching sorghum/ millet agribusiness cluster actors in supplying off-takers with commodities that are competitive and meet all quality requirements. Specific duties include:
    • Get acquainted with the capacity building initiatives of the lead firm and other chain stakeholders to ensure alignment, complementarities and synergies, and avoid duplication of efforts.
    • Through a Diagnostic & Design workshop or any other approach selected by the project, conduct a capacity building needs assessment for smallholder farmers, their organizations and other (potential) cluster actors (input dealers, traders, etc.).
    • Building on identified gaps, design a capacity building strategy for farmers and other cluster actors in view to developing competitive agribusiness clusters and integrating them into selected value chain(s).
    • Lead the integration of women in all capacity building interventions, including through the development of specific capacity building programs for women.
    • Through training, action-research plots, demonstrations, field coaching, exchange visits and other methods, elaborate a capacity building program targeting cluster actors. Content-wise ensure quality, relevance, and logical flow of information; to engage participants and deliver content in an inspiring and useful manner, develop creative and varied facilitation/ training methodologies, tapping into a range of diverse facilitation tools. Capacity building topics will relate to crop production (e.g. good agricultural practices; technical innovations; sole, rotation and intercropping options), organizational development (e.g. strengthening of farmer cooperatives; group leadership), farming-as-a-business (e.g. costs of production; economics of the sorghum/ millet-based farming systems; business planning; cropping plan) and business relationships (within the cluster and with other chain actors and supporters).
    • To intensify and accelerate capacity building activities, whenever needed identify and select local capacity building service providers, contract them (e.g. professional service contracts, grants) and monitor their performance.
    • On a regular basis, fine-tune trainings and other capacity building programs, based on lessons learned, successes and failures.
    • Provide agronomic advice and integrate them in the capacity building programs, to increase the productivity of sorghum/ millet farmers.
    • Analyze and document the farming systems, with a specific focus on how farmers make (or not) investments decisions and on incentives to increase their productivity.
    • Actively contribute to the pilot’s co-learning agenda from a capacity building and agronomic perspective.
    • Write and submit quality progress and other technical reports or notes with a strict respect of deadlines, in good English.
    • Document field achievements, innovations, failures and lessons learned; integrate lessons learned into subsequent project activities.
    • Develop synergies with other IFDC projects and with other programs in the country.
    • The Training Specialist is also responsible for any other assignment that IFDC’s management deems necessary for the success of the project.

    Position and Duty Station:

    • The Training Specialist’s position is a national one with a duty station in one of IFDC’s offices, either in a major city of Northwest Nigeria or in Abuja.
    • The position requires intensive travels (minimum 50% of the time) in Northwest Nigeria, from time to time to other parts of the country and exceptionally to other African countries like Ghana.

    Supervision:

    • The Training Specialist is supervised by and reports to the Team Leader of the project.
    • S/he works in close collaboration with the 2SCALE team in Nigeria and West Africa.

    Qualifications

    • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in agronomy or agriculture-related field.
    • At least 4 years of relevant experience in agriculture, with a minimum of 2 years in training/ capacity building for farmers or other grassroots actors.
    • A professional experience in Northwestern Nigeria would be a strong advantage.
    • Proven track record in capacity building program design in topics related to crop production and farming as a business.
    • Excellent facilitation skills, familiarity with adult learning approaches and methodologies, and competencies to use tailor-made and diversified facilitation/ training methods and tools.
    • Ability to communicate effectively and in a participatory way with farmers and other stakeholders from both public and private sectors, and ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment.
    • Ability to write quality documents in English.
    • Fluent in Hausa and English.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified candidates should send their applications in English in the form of an email, indicating clearly the target position in the subject line of the email, and including as separate attachments a cover letter and a CV to: rvogelsperger@ifdc.org with copy to: barthur@ifdc.org

    Note:

    • If you are interested in applying for this position, visit the website www.2scale.org to find out more information about our 2SCALE approach.
    • Only pre-selected candidates will be contacted. They will be invited for interviews and oral and written tests. The anticipated start date of the assignment is January 18, 2016.
    • Position open until filled.
    • Women are strongly encouraged to apply.

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