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Extension Service Specialist

Extension Service Specialist

 

NCBA CLUSA and Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) are currently seeking qualified candidates for three positions of Extension Service Specialist for an agricultural program in Malawi. S/he will support the systematic identification and selection of Producer Organizations (POs) and Emerging Farmers (EFs) who will help farmers adopt Pluralistic Extension Services to commercialize their agriculture production. S/he will establish commercial networks and relationships that support POs and their development within Productive Alliances (PAs) – agriculture business clusters that include buyers, input suppliers, financial institutions, and POs. S/he will have experience in supporting POs in adopting Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and meeting certification standards in Malawi. S/he will be expected to have hands-on experience in working directly with Emerging Farmers/Lead Farmers and POs. This program will emphasize a Learning and Adapting approach. The candidate will also support a learning agenda, in addition to being an experienced trainer and PO Extension Service Specialist.

 

ESSENTIAL AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY:

  • Lead the identification and selection of Emerging Farmers who will provide high quality extension services to POs to support the growth of Productive Alliances (i.e. agriculture business clusters);
  • In coordination with Agribusiness Specialists, establish robust commercial networks for PO extension, including retailers, seed companies, agrichemical companies, fertilizer companies, equipment, processor, machinery, irrigation, warehousing, post-harvest technology, engineering services, custom-hire and after sales service providers (PO Supply Networks);
  • Build relationships with agribusiness/agro-processors and facilitate links between their private sector extension and EFs/POs;
  • Train and coach EFs on understanding Pluralistic Extension, post-harvest management, warehouse management, warehouse receipts systems, commodity exchanges, and other forms of structured markets and information systems/ICT;
  • Ensure program alignment with government of Malawi extension service staff (DAES) and the District Agricultural Extension Services System (DAESS) and the agriculture development strategy and other programs of the Ministry of Local Government and donors;
  • Design and deliver training sessions on Good Agriculture Practices, Climate Smart Agriculture, and certification standards (i.e. establishing demonstration plots and organizing farmer field days);
  • Increase product quality and address food safety, health, environment and other standards of POs to support greater demand;
  • Help organize and prepare farmer-friendly documents and reference materials for POs, including PO assessments, market profiles and other useful information to be developed with other technical staff;
  • Support Emerging Farmers/POs in facilitating formation “aggregation points” for bulking production, facilitating trade, and the provision of services such as post-harvest management and quality control, in close collaboration with buyers;
  • Work closely with Finance Specialists in helping EFs/POs link to financial institutions and mobilizing resources and identify PO capacity, equipment and infrastructure needs to inform Business Plans and proposals for World Bank grant/loan facility proposals;
  • Work with the program staff on interpreting results and presenting findings, recommendations, and lessons learned for publications, quarterly reports, program events/workshops, and when responding to periodic FUM, NCBA CLUSA HQ or donor requests.

SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES WILL HAVE THE FOLLOWING QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant subject matter area;
  • Minimum of 5-6 years’ experience with donor funded agriculture programs and helping POs improve access to extension resulting in commercial agriculture;
  • Good knowledge and experience in helping farmers/POs access input, tools and technologies (such as seeds, fertilizer, inoculants, such as Aflasafe, processor equipment, post-harvest technologies, hermetic grain storage bags, micro-irrigation, mini-tractors, moisture testing, equipment, shellers and/or cost-effective technologies);
  • Demonstrated experience in increasing farmer yields through their adoption of GAP and CSA practices, demonstration plots, and certification standards;
  • Knowledge of buyer needs and product quality specifications and ways to help farmers attract buyers through product quality improvements;
  • Experience in developing manuals, training and assisting POs with extensions services and supporting their Business Plans;
  • Knowledge of warehouse receipts systems, commodity exchanges, and post-harvest management practices;
  • Ability to work with people and willingness to support and train others;
  • Very high degree of social, political and cultural sensitivity;
  • Reporting writing and data analysis skills;
  • Strong written/oral communication;
  • Ability to travel to project sites nationwide.

This position will be hired by FUM to work on the project with NCBA CLUSA.  All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, and legally protected characteristics for non-merit factors.

 

MODE OF APPLICATION:

To apply, please email your CV and cover letter clusamwrecruit@gmail.com indicating the position(s) and region(s) to which you are applying.

 

Applications will be accepted through the closing date of Friday, 27th March, 2020. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. Only those applicants who qualify will be contacted. No Phone Calls will be accepted. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

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