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Senior Food Crops and Agriculture Officer At MEDA

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Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) invites applications for a Senior Food Crops and Agriculture Officer to join our dedicated and talented team in Ghana on our mission to create business solutions to poverty!

MEDA’s work is built on a foundation of Mennonite business roots and faith-based values, within the global context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We believe business solutions are effective interventions to address poverty. Through a market-systems approach and strategic partnerships, MEDA enables access to finance and provides business and technical expertise to build transformative agri-food market systems that create decent jobs, allowing traditionally excluded groups to become active participants in a sustainable economy. MEDA welcomes all who share our values and want to join us in our mission. To find out more about MEDA, please visit our website at www.meda.org.

POSITION SUMMARY 

Global Affairs Canada has provided funding support to MEDA for the Greater Rural Opportunities for Women 2 (GROW2) project.  The GROW2 project is women-focused, driven by a strong market system approach, and fully integrates Gender Equality, Social Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, Human Rights, Nutrition, and Innovation in its implementation. The Project will increase the economic and social empowerment of women farmers, entrepreneurs, and agribusinesses in the Northern, Savannah, and Upper West Regions of Ghana through increased productivity, and an improved business environment.

The Senior Food Crops and Agriculture Officer will report directly to the Agriculture Value Chain Manager. (S)he will provide technical and strategic leadership support to facilitate increased agricultural productivity for women farmers by increasing their knowledge in the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices through private sector partners and government agencies. The Agriculture Officer will provide knowledgeable advice consistent with a market systems approach to developing groundnut, soybeans, and vegetable markets, and inherently strengthen the capacity of all GROW2 clients, Key Facilitating Partners (KFPs), and market actors.

The position is collaborative in nature, working closely with the Environment and Climate Change Manager, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Team, and other technical officers to address ongoing constraints, surveying and identifying stakeholders able to take advantage of innovations, and opportunities, and thus effect soybean, groundnut, and vegetable value chain upgrades. This position will involve frequent travel to project locations within the Northern, Savannah, and Upper West Regions.

  • Job Status:  Full-time Contract
  • Anticipated Start Date: July 2022
  • Location: Tamale, Ghana

POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES

Key Accountabilities

  • Support in planning and developing effective, equitable, and environmentally sustainable soybean, groundnut, and vegetable value chains for Women Small Holder Farmers (WSHFs) in Northern Ghana.
  • Provide technical advice to the Agriculture Value Chain Manager (AVCM) in the development and implementation of food crop (groundnut, soybean, and vegetables) market systems strategies; specific interventions, value chain upgrading strategies, and business models to support the overall GROW2 project goals. This will involve supporting the ongoing market system and value chain constraints analysis, assessing strengths, opportunities, and threats to the value chains, and participating actors with a focus on WSHFs.
  • Work closely with the Senior Small Business & Financial Services Officer to support the administration of the innovation fund to WSHFs, monitor performance, and other interventions.
  • Lead in the identification of market systems change agents that would play a strategic role in implementing the value chain development strategies and facilitate partnership arrangements.
  • Manage relationships with agriculture technology service providers and manufacturers with a focus on building environmentally sustainable agriculture and food crop service delivery systems (extension, legume-specific inputs, and private sector services businesses) specific to groundnut, soybean, and vegetable value chains that benefit WSHFs.
  • Work with out-grower and in-grower agribusinesses to develop bundles of environmentally sustainable inputs and services for WSHFs adoption to facilitate sustained yield increase in food crop production.
  • Develop new contacts and manage relationships with key government officials at the regional level such as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) willing to partner and establish opportunities to leverage their activities to enhance the soybean, groundnut, and vegetable value chains.
  • Support in recruitment (e.g., develop Scope of Work (SoW) for external technical assistance) and contribute to the managing of technical consultants especially relating to agriculture and food crop production and agricultural extension-related activities.
  • Provide technical inputs in the development of agriculture and food crop production-related training materials
  • Lead in ongoing capacity strengthening of GROW2 Key Facilitating Partners (KFPs) and out-grower businesses, especially relating to the target agricultural food crops production, value chains upgrading, and regularly provide mentoring support in the form of technical backstopping to Food Crops and Agriculture Officer and partner field staff.
  • Manage and provide technical guidance to the Food Crops and Agriculture Officer to facilitate field level training of WSHFs and WLFs on environmentally sustainable food crop production practices consistent with MEDA’s approach to agriculture production, local crop diversification practices with nutrient-dense crops, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for increased agricultural productivity and profitability for WSHFs.
  • Regularly lead in facilitating workshops to share lessons with partners and stakeholders and advise the GROW2 project team.
  • In collaboration with Monitoring & Impact Measurement Officers, analyze data and measure the performance of WSHFs use of technology to create decent work.
  • Work with the GESI team on advocacy and awareness creation on land, gender equality, and social inclusion.

Documentation and Reporting: 

  • Provide inputs in annual work plans and reporting activities, including MEDA engagement with WSHFs and entrepreneurs, input and seed dealers, aggregators, processors, and off-takers
  • Develop implementation and tracking tools for the adoption and impact of agricultural interventions
  • Write food crops and agricultural sections of donor reports and produce periodic updates and food crop-related briefs.
  • Provide advice to the management team on related agriculture-related issues, concerns, trends, updates, and policies or regulations.
  • Identify and disseminate best practice examples of agricultural-related innovations, models, and work practices within the project clients

Any other duties and/or requirements as assigned

REQUIREMENTS 

Education:  Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree qualification (master’s degree is a plus) in a discipline related to agriculture, agronomy, crop production, agriculture extension or agribusiness, agricultural economics, food security, nutrition, or related biological sciences disciplines.

Experience: Minimum of five years’ progressively responsible experience in working in agriculture and private sector, crop production, food security, or nutrition. Experience in building agriculture service delivery systems, (extension, inputs, and private sector services businesses) around food crop production, particularly groundnut, soybean value chains, and dry season vegetables farming in Northern Ghana.

Strong understanding of the agronomy and role of agricultural food crops (groundnut, soybean, and vegetables) in household resilience and nutrition, particularly in Northern Ghana.

Demonstrated experience in networking with government officials and the private sector.

Additional Qualifications: 

  • Appreciation and support of MEDA’s faith, vision, and values
  • Understanding and appreciation of business principles, international development, and MEDA’s approach to creating business solutions to poverty
  • Solid experience in the design and implementation of either commercial market research agendas, small to medium anthropological research studies, or other social science research applications. Likewise, experience in the design and implementation of FGDs, interviewing, PRA, or other participatory methodologies (desired)
  • Previous experience in print, video, television, or radio production (desired)
  • Comfortable utilizing information technology and various social media platforms, as well as managing web-CMS, SMS campaigns, and technology-based communications solutions (highly desired)
  • Sector experience: agriculture/agribusiness, and/or extractive sectors plus some rural experience (desired)
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Fluency in local language is a plus

How To Apply

Interested persons should send in their applications on the companies website: Click Here To Apply

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, June 6, 2022 5:00pm GMT. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis when received. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs.

Only successful applicants will be contacted. 

Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

MEDA is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to creating an inclusive and diverse environment of mutual respect. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities are available during all phases of the recruitment process. We ask that any applicants requiring such accommodation make their needs known in advance.


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