SNV is a not-for-profit international development organisation that applies practical know-how to make a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty. We use our extensive and long-term in-country presence to apply and adapt our top-notch expertise in agriculture, energy and WASH to local contexts. SNV has an annual turnover of €130 million, over 1,250 staff in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We are proud to be a not-for-profit organisation that uses project financing to implement our mission. This requires us to work efficiently and to invest in operational excellence. SNV aims more explicitly for systems change during project preparation and implementation – by strengthening institutions and kick-starting markets that help many more to escape poverty beyond our projects. We continue to position ourselves as a premium organization, with decentralized management.
Our Global Support Unit (70 staff) backstops our teams around the world. For more information on SNV, visit our website: www.snv.org
Job Title: Sorghum Agronomist/Agriculture Advisors
Overview and Background
As a pro-poor development organization, SNV facilitates smallholder agricultural value chain development by promoting production efficiency and product quality, improve access to input and farm management services, and strengthen farm resilience through climate smart practices. SNV also facilitates better farmer organisation, improved market access while securing companies’ supply base by enhancing farmer loyalty and investing in fair, equitable and sustainable practices.
SNV in the process of initiating a project that seeks to significantly improve sustainable supply of high-quality white sorghum for processing purposes, targeting over 13,000 smallholders in up to 16 districts within the sorghum producing belt of Ghana. The project is expected to increase access to production resources to smallholders and commercial farmers including women and the youth, while creating a robust enabling environment for further growth. The overarching objective is to create a turnaround in the white sorghum supply chain, where farmers will experience and regard high quality sorghum as profitable business crop that fits well within sustainable farming systems.
To roll out the project, SNV is currently seeking applications for two (2) full-time position as Agriculture Advisors, with specific expertise in sorghum for an anticipated project. The position will be based in Tamale, Ghana.
Under the overall guidance of the Project Manager the two Sorghum Agronomists on the project will each be responsible for supervising activities in target project districts, provide technical insights and agronomic advisory services to farmers, aggregators, and other value chain actors. The Advisors will support the Project Manager and project partners towards effective implementation of project activities to meet project targets and objectives.
Duties & Responsibilities
The key responsibilities of each Advisor will include the following:
- Oversee the effective implementation of the project plan to increase sorghum production among smallholders and commercial farmers in at least four (4) districts of the target project area. This includes but not limited to the following:
- Pre-planting: Oversee farmer group formation, farmers access to credit, access to input suppliers, farm managemet services etc.
- Land Preparation and planting: support farmers in production planning around cropping cycle including identifying problems and setting priorities, access to seed and planting materials, land preparation, spacing.
- Growing and: educate farmers on soil fertility and moisture management, pest and weed control methods in regenerative agricultural practices,
- Harvesting; support facilitation of preharvest meetings, farmer sensitisation of pricing agreements, grain quality standards and postharvest lost prevention measures.
- Strengthen farmer loyalty towards sorghum grain sourcing.
- Identify and profile farmers for production support.
- Lead in the quality management of grains for delivery.
- Lead technology transfer activities to farmers.
- Support aggregators in grain mobilization and delivery.
- Monitor and collect data on farmer learning plots and other M&E indicators for learning.
- Monitor the performance of farmers in the production of sorghum.
- Ensure annual production targets of aggregators and farmers are met.
- Support the formation and operationalization of VSLAs.
- Lead the mobilization of actors around sorghum production.
- Master’s degree plus minimum of seven (7) years’ experience in relevant disciplines, such as: Agriculture, Agronomy, Crop science Biotechnology, Development studies, and any related field.
- Applicant must have good understanding and work experience in value chain development and agribusiness operations, relevant experience with the private sector. She/he must have strong knowledge and experience in the sorghum sector in Ghana.
- At least five (5) years of experience in implementing project as an Agronomist or value chain development in the sorghum or related crop sector; experience in large and complex grain production and supply chain strengthening / is desired.
- Proven experience in project implementation having relevant understanding of inclusive value chain development in sorghum and relevant grain sector.
- Result-orientation and ability to take initiatives under minimal supervision, and to reach targets.
- Strong agribusiness relationship, management experience and focus with the ability to stimulate trust and confidence with clients and investors including managing various stakeholders.
- Good project management skills: ability to contribute to the project’s overall M&E system will be a plus.
- Excellent organising, negotiation, influencing and advisory/coaching and networking skills.
- Flexible approach to take on additional responsibilities as assigned/delegated.
- Willingness to travel to all project locations.
- Excellent communication (written and oral), reporting and presentation skills.
- Entrepreneurial, result-oriented and driver for change.
- Ability to effectively communicate with farmers and entrepreneurs along the agricultural value chain.
- Strong interpersonal skills with excellent social and networking skills, ability to engage with governments and the private sector including influencing skills and experience of working effectively in a matrix organisation.
- Able to support and energise multi-partner project teams.
- Experience in knowledge management and documentation.
- Team player and confident to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural setting.
Application and Selection Process
Application Guidelines: Please read these carefully. Failure to comply will adversely affect your application.
- This is a full-time national with the successful candidate being contracted on an initial two years basis with the possibility of renewal. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes a competitive secondary benefit package.
- SNV offers a challenging work environment, opportunities to lead and innovate, and a commitment to growing your skills in a fulfilling and diverse working environment. Our staff benefit from, and contribute to, an internal and global network of experts.
- Interested applicants are kindly requested to upload their applications in English in the form of a one-page letter and current CV outlining experience, qualifications and three reference contacts, not later than 5:00pm, March 20, 2023.
- Expected Start Date: 15 April 2023, depending on contract award date.
- Only those applicants whose work experience and education meet the mandatory requisites below will be considered for the position.
- Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.