Posted on :
24 Jul, 2012
24 Jul, 2012
Since its inception in 1953, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) has been committed to local ownership and sustainable outcomes. MEDA is currently working in many countries all around the world. Our goals are to use a business-oriented approach to international economic development that results in sustainable enterprises for the benefit of the poor and to help them improve their livelihoods.
Our development values are wealth creation by adding value in managing human, financial and environmental resources; participation of those with whom we work – at all stages and levels of a project – regardless of gender, race, class, ethnicity, nationality or religion; collaboration with other engages in development to avoid duplication and competition; sustainability, both programmatically and environmentally; and direct investment in businesses that serve the poor.
MEDA started to work in Ghana in May 2012 to implement a food security project for women in the Upper West and Northern Regions of the country. MEDA has its main office in Tamale and another field office in Wa in the Upper West. This position will be based in Wa.
The goal of the Agriculture Specialist is to facilitate on-going access by women farmers to information they need to continue to improve their agricultural production, increase soil fertility and respond to changes in market demand. The project’s Agriculture Specialist will work closely with research institutions in the area as well as MOFA and any other providers of agricultural extension services. This may include private input/equipment suppliers who can provide information to farmers on optimal use of inputs and equipment.
Given the serious shortage of extension services, the Agriculture Specialist will work with women lead farmers to build their skills to provide agricultural information to the farmers in their networks. The goal is to establish a cadre of community-based extension agents that have the capacity to continually access new information through linkages to research institutes, agriculttural extension services and other market players and to effectively communicate this information to farmers.
The Agriculture Specialist will also develop a range of communication vehicles that effectively bring extension information to women farmers. This will include working with radio stations to produce relevant programming and to broadcast these programs at times when women have access to radios. The Specialist will build on the participatory models developed by Farm Radio International and other models as appropriate.
The Agriculture Specialist will introduce and promote practices designed to protect the environment while increasing productivity. These may include conservation agriculture approaches, the inclusion of agi-forestry and other practices appropriate to the specific context.
Throughout the project period, the Agrculture Specialist will monitor environmental issues and their impact on project clients and operations. The Specialist will relate closely to Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), drawing on their analysis and monitoring to inform project activities. Lead Farmers and other value chain players will be linked to the EPA as a source of on-going information regarding environmental issues.
The Agriculture Specialist will coordinate closely with the Market Linkage Specialist and the Financia Services Specialist to ensure that women farmers and others in the soybean market system have access to appropriate technical and financial services.
1. Develop contacts with extension service providers and research institutes as well as input and equipment suppliers to thoroughly understand their products and services and the opportunity for women farmers to access information that will allow their to increase productivity, improve soil fertility and respond to changes in market demand.
2. Work with a range of communication channels to bring extension information to women farmers.
3. Investigate ways to sustainably link women farmers to extension services.
4. Build the capacity of women intermediaries to provide community-based extension services to the women in their networks. This includes assisting them to develop links with extension service providers, research institutes and private companies that can provide ongoing access to information that will help women continue to improve their farming practices.
5. Introduce and promote agricultural practices designed to protect the environment and improve productivity.
6. Develop links with EPA as a source of information about environmental issues that impact project participants as well as ongoing resources to women farmers and other value chain actors.
7. Participate in project planning, monitoring and evaluation, identification of lessons learned and ongoing improvement of project implementation as needed.
8. Carry out tasks as assigned by supervisor and project management team.
1. Demonstrated understanding of market-drived approaches to increase farm income and improve food security.
2. Experience working on women-focused programs.
3. Degree in Agriculture and minimum of 3 years experience in agriculture and/or agricultural development projects.
4. Experience integrating environmental practices, such as conservation agriculture and agroforestry, into agricultural projects.
5. Experience in environmental monitoring.
6. Private sector experience a plus
7. Appreciation and support of MEDA’s faith, values and goals.
If you qualified and interested for this new challenging project, please send email with your letter of application, resume with 3 professional references to this email address: [email protected]
Deadline of application is August 10, 2012.