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Agricultural Officer (Agri-Food Systems)

Panama City

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Panama City
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
    • Food technology (Food tech)
  • Closing Date: 2024-05-29

IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device
The length of appointment for internal FAO candidates will be established in accordance with applicable policies pertaining to the extension of appointments.


• FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
• Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply
• Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
• FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination
• All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
• All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
• FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting
FAO's Subregional Office for Mesoamerica (SLM) is responsible for developing, promoting, overseeing and implementing agreed strategies for addressing subregional food, agriculture and rural development priorities. It develops and maintains relations with subregion-wide institutions including Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs). It assists the FAO Representations in the subregion with addressing subregional food security, agriculture and rural development issues at country level. The Subregional Office is a subsidiary of FAO's Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLC).
The post is located in the Subregional Office for Mesoamerica (SLM) in Panama City, Panama.

Reporting Lines
The Agricultural Officer reports to the Subregional Coordinator, SLM.

Technical Focus
Provide technical support in the implementation of the programme of work in the area of agrifood systems development, promoting alliances with the private sector and South-South cooperation.

Key Results
Comprehensive technical, statistical, analytical and/or policy analysis services and the development of specialized tools, methodologies, systems and/or databases to support the planning, implementation/delivery and monitoring of the programme of work and related products, projects, publications and services.

Key Functions
• Plans and leads components of multidisciplinary teams; leads and/or participates in internal committees, project teams and working groups and/or provides specialized expertise on technical networks and/or international technical policy and standard setting bodies.
• Develops technical, analytical, monitoring and reporting frameworks and related methodologies, tools, systems and databases, etc. to support the planning, implementation/delivery and monitoring of programmes of work, projects, products and/or services.
• Designs and conducts research, data collection, validation, analysis and/or reporting activities to support the development of technical standards, international instruments, innovative approaches and strategies, new tools, technologies, technical reports/publications and/or policy proposals as well as the provision of technical/ policy specialist advice and expertise.
• Responds to country requests for technical and policy assistance; provides technical advice, assistance and solutions to Decentralized Offices and provides technical backstopping to field projects.
• Collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to, and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities within Members, such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events, including preparation of related information, learning materials and on-line tools.
• Promotes international cooperation/advocates best practices and increased policy dialogue; provides technical expertise at international/intergovernmental meetings.
• Participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate Strategy.

Specific Functions
• Supports country-level actions guided by FAO's Country Programming Frameworks (CPFs), subregional and regional priority frameworks and higher-level programmatic and strategic frameworks of the Organization in order to transform FAO's knowledge products and global programmes into country-level results and impacts.
• Provides technical advice and assistance to FAO Member Nations in the region to support the development of their agrifood systems, including overall agrifood system analysis and development strategies, and aspects related to financial and other services for small farmers and small agro-enterprises.
• Develops and promotes methodologies and guidelines for sustainable agribusiness and food value-chain development, with special reference to agro-energy crops aimed at improving enterprise competitiveness of small farmers and agro-enterprises along the value chain, to apply systems approaches.
• Conducts technical analyses and reviews relating to agro-industries and agro-enterprises involved in the value chains for food and agricultural materials.
• Formulates upgrading strategies and policy guidelines for FAO Member Nations in the region with a view to improve the efficiency, output and overall sustainability of the agrifood system; and promote agro-energy, particularly bio-fuels, among small farmers, assuring its compatibility with food security, social inclusion, environmental standards and resilience objectives in the region.
• Assists in the development, supervision, technical backstopping, monitoring and evaluation of agrifood systems programmes and projects in the region, including offering advice on rural financial services, agro-energy systems, organizational development and strengthening, and innovations to develop new and differentiated products and organizational structures along the value chain with emphasis on traditional products.
• Prepares and edits technical papers; organizes and participates in technical meetings on agrifood systems issues.
• Serves as a focal point for the Agrifood Systems and Food Safety Division (ESF) and FAO for selected agrifood technologies, systems and methodologies, and provides assistance and guidance to other technical officers at FAO, including those in Subregional Offices and FAO Representations in the region, concerning support for agribusiness, agro-energy and agrifood systems development.

Minimum Requirements
• Advanced university degree in a subject relevant to agrifood systems, including but not limited to agricultural sciences, economics, agricultural economics, business, food technologies, agribusiness, social sciences, international development, or related field.
• Seven years of relevant experience in the development of agrifood systems.
• Working knowledge (proficient - level C) of English and Spanish.

• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions.
• Extent and relevance of field experience in supporting agrifood systems, agribusiness, private sector, rural finance, agrifood systems policy and development, rural development and South-South cooperation.
• Extent and relevance of experience in project/programme formulation and implementation of projects, programmes and studies in agrifood systems development.
• Extent and relevance of experience in providing policy advice at local, national, and regional levels.
• Ability to organize and conduct technical meetings, conferences, and workshops.
• Ability to mobilize resources, to promote South-South cooperation related to agrifood systems, and extent of experience in working with multilateral integration mechanisms, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research institutes.
• Experience in gender, youth, and indigenous peoples focused approaches.


FAO staff are expected to adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.


  • Extension of fixed term appointments is based on certification of performance and availability of funds
  • FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment.
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.


A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link\: http\://
Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include\:
• Dependency allowances
• Rental subsidy
• Education grant for children
• Home leave travel
• 30 working days of annual leave per year
• Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
• International health insurance; optional life insurance
• Disability protection
FAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes\:
• elements of family-friendly policies
• flexible working arrangements
• standards of conduct.

• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http\://
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help or have queries, please create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance\: https\://


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.