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Farmer Organization Officer

Mzimba

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Mzimba
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Closing Date: Closed

Background

 
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

 
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

 

The country’s development blueprint, the Malawi 2063, and its 10-year implementation plan (MIP-1), outlines aspirations to transition the economy into an upper middle-income country by 2063 by focusing on three main pillars: agricultural productivity and commercialization, industrialization, and urbanization. Key to the development of the agricultural sector in Malawi is the focus of the first pillar of the Mw2063, agricultural productivity and commercialization, which is the underlying theme of this project. The project will directly support the implementation of key sectoral policies including the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) as well as the National Export Strategy (NESII). The NAP 2016 identifies empowerment of youth, women and vulnerable groups in agriculture as one of the priority areas in addition to developing agricultural markets, agro-processing and value addition. Specifically, the policy highlights the need to promote participation of women and youth in agro-processing, value addition and agricultural exports; this is in tandem with the objectives of this project. The project aims to increase the share of women and youth contribution to production and marketing of key and emerging high value crops in order to support poverty alleviation, increase incomes and strengthen market participation and linkages. 

The United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office Received funding from the Flanders Government to be implemented jointly by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The funds are intended to support a The proposed project on, “Empowering Women and Youth in Agriculture in Malawi” which shall leverage investments already made under the CRIM/MCB projects implemented by UNDP and FAO respectively to enhance agricultural production and promote access to markets through the following broad objectives:

  • Enhance agricultural productivity of key-value chains by promoting utilization of advanced and low-cost technologies, access to and leveraging capital finance and advancing high-quality extension and advisory services.
  • Facilitate an enabling environment for market access and linkages through processing and value addition, aggregation, de-risking instruments for private sector engagement and formation of primary and secondary cooperatives. 

In Collaboration with the  District Project Coordinator, the Farmer Organization Officer shall be the Focal Person for UNDP for the Women and Youth Project in Mzimba is responsible for facilitating and supporting the day to day delivery of the project in line with the project document, workplans and objectives. The District Farmer Organization Officer shall undertake a range of project activities in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, undertake project-related administrative procedures, lead in coordinating meetings and events, and conducting other duties as delegated by the Project PMU, UNDP, and the District Coordinator. The Farmer Organization Officer shall work closely with the UNDP Project Implementation Unit and the District Agriculture Office and  other key  implementing sectors at all levels. 


 
Duties and Responsibilities
 

1.Ensure planning, implementation, and management of Women and Youth in Agriculture project activities

  • Facilitate organization of farmers into functional groups such as cooperatives, associations, groups;
  • Conduct training needs assessment for farmer organizations (such as cooperatives, groups, etc) to identify training gaps;
  • Facilitate development of training manuals for cooperatives, associations, groups;
  • Facilitate registration of cooperatives, associations into legal entities;
  • Assess existing situation of agricultural extension and rural support services in target areas;
  • Support the introduction and adoption of appropriate and agronomic technologies specifically for targeted value chain in the district for increased agriculture production and productivity;
  • Support farmers through field visits and training using the (FFS) Farmer Field School principles;
  • Establish Farmers Field Schools (FFSs) and train them on improved production methodologies;
  • Facilitate establishment of demonstration plots and conduct participatory trials and research and demonstrate comparative results of improved agro-based production methodologies with selected FFS members.

2. Provide day to day support for the project team

  • Provide relevant support to district staff including budgeting assistance and basic translation of the project objectives into activities for implementation;
  • Provide support to the project team in reviewing the project’s technical progress  reports;
  • Liaise with project support team at local and district level and provide technical support;
  • Support to ensure high quality project implementation and liaise with project coordinator, PMU and technical experts to support the resolution of any on-site issues;
  • In liaison with district project implementing team, ensure that quarterly, annual reports and other reports are prepared and submitted on time.

3. Participate in stakeholder engagement

  • Contribute to the capacity development/training for the targeted entities to enhance the impacts and quality of the project;
  • Ensure donor visibility at each stage of the project, deliverables, reporting, training and monitoring-and-evaluation of activities;
  • Liaise with other district coordinators to monitor and manage project progress to ensure progress is not delayed in the responsible district;
  • Ensure high participation of community members, district officials and contractors in training for communities receiving project deliverables;
  • Explore the involvement of new stakeholders to improve projects and procedures.

4. Support monitoring and evaluation activities

  • Assists to coordinate the project activities, based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities;
  • Support in carrying out assessments, monitoring and evaluation of project activities for reporting progress; 
  • Monitor of risk issue logs ensuring that they are regularly filled in and are adhered to for addressing them;
  • Assist in timely preparation of analytical report and submission to Project Managers and Programme Specialist;
  • Support monitoring of delivery of inputs provided by the District Councils, beneficiaries and contracted companies and communicate findings to supervisors.

5. Participate in Knowledge Management 

  • Coordinates and organizes field visits, missions, and conferences; and participate in gathering information for dissemination;
  • Prepare of all related background materials for discussions, correspondence, and meetings with project stakeholders;
  • Coordinate the project progress assessment and compile success stories and case studies for dissemination with stakeholders;
  • Maintain records of District stakeholders and provide regular updates of activities progress to them to enhance partnership;
  • Contribute to capacity building and training activities to ensure that project deliverables are well received by the targeted community, and observe and report back to the CO.       

 

Institutional Arrangement

The District Farmer Organization Officer shall work in close collaboration with FAO, Project Management Unit and other operation teams in the CO in an integrated manner to ensure coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of UNDP support and delivery. The District Farmer Organization Officer will report to the Resilience and Sustainable growth Portfolio Manager, through the Program Analyst, UNDP in the day-to-day delivery of the project in line with the project document, workplans and objectives. Further at the district level, the officer will work closely with the Director of Planning and Development, Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources and in collaboration with all key sectors in agriculture, community development, irrigation and forestry in the implementation and coordination, and the operation of other project partners at district level. 
 


Competencies

CORE
  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 1: Plans and monitors own work, pays attention to details, delivers quality work by deadline
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 1: Open to creative ideas/known risks, is pragmatic problem solver, makes improvements 
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 1: Open minded and curious, shares knowledge, learns from mistakes, asks for feedback
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 1: Adapts to change, constructively handles ambiguity/uncertainty, is flexible 
  • Act with Determination:  LEVEL 1: Shows drive and motivation, able to deliver calmly in face of adversity, confident
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 1: Demonstrates compassion/understanding towards others, forms positive relationships
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 1: Appreciate/respect differences, aware of unconscious bias, confront discrimination 

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

Business Direction & Strategy: Effective Decision Making 

  • Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with ones authority, area of expertise and resources

Business Management: Project Management      

  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

Business Management: Partnerships Management 

  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with 

Business Management: Resource Management  

  • Ability to allocate and use resources in a strategic or tactical way in line with principles of accountability and integrity

Business Management: Monitoring         

  • Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results

Business Management: Evaluation           

  • Ability to make an independent judgement based on set criteria and benchmarks 
  • Ability to anticipate client's upcoming needs and concerns.

External Relations & Advocacy: Relationship management            

  • Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust and mutual understanding
 
 
Required Skills and Experience

 
Education:
  • Advanced University Degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Agriculture Extension, Agriculture General, Development Studies, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management OR
  • A first level university degree (bachelor’s degree) with an additional 2 years of experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree
Experience:
  • A minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience in dealing with applied agricultural extension, farmer mobilization and capacity building including climate change and natural resources management issues in Malawi .
Required Skills:
  • Demonstrable computer literacy, including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access;
  • Proven ability to work in diverse team of different partners and stakeholders;
  • Proven ability to work with rural farmers clubs, associations, and cooperatives.

Desired Skills:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in farmer organization, rural extension desired;
  • Work experience as District Project Coordinator, Analyst or work of similar nature preferred;
  • Strong team working skills/experience and willingness to travel;
  • Self-motivated, well organized, and ability to lead; ability/experience to work with minimum supervision while ensuring work as part of a larger team;
  • Excellent communication skills/experience with proven ability to express ideas clearly;
  • Familiarity with institutional, planning and regulatory structures, and rural livelihoods in Malawi;
  • Proven ability to work under pressure and quickly respond to any project matters in tight schedule.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English and Knowledge of local language (Chichewa or Tumbuka etc.) is required .
 
Disclaimer

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

 
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

 
Non-discrimination

 
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  

 
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 

 
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This vacancy is now closed.
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