Agricultural Development Fund Financial Instruments Specialist
Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
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- 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 member nations, and person 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 our values. FAO has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and FAO, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination
- All selected candidates, therefore, will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
- All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
- The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization
The Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Eswatini have partnered since the country joined the Organization in 1971. FAO assistance has covered the formulation and implementation of food security and nutrition policies, including risk reduction and management strategies, and activities to increase agricultural productivity. More recently, cooperation has included a focus on market access and agricultural competiveness, with support to smallholders’ transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture. Emphasis is also given to the sustainable management of natural resources.
FAO Eswatini is implementing a number of Technical Cooperation Programmes (TCP) projects and Emergency programmes. The TCP provides assistance in all areas pertaining to FAO’s mandate and competence that are covered by the Strategic Framework to respond to governments’ priority needs. These short-term, catalytic and sustainable projects are driven by the demands and priorities of member countries, addressing critical gaps in hunger and malnutrition eradication, sustainable production, rural poverty reduction more efficient and inclusive food chains and building resilience to crisis. TCP projects catalyze change, foster capacity development and assist countries in mobilizing resources, in line with the Country Programming Frameworks agreed to with governments. Currently FAO Eswatini is supporting a number of TCPs with the Ministry of Agriculture and jointly collaborating with other Ministries as related to projects.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of the Kingdom of Eswatini, and a major source of employment for more than 70 percent of the population. Eswatini’s young population and agro-based economy place the development of the country’s agro-food systems at heart of any strategy aiming to deliver employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people in both rural and urban areas. However, the sector has been impacted by the incidence of weather-induced crop failures, pests and diseases and limited access by especially smallholder farmers to financing instruments and technology. Agricultural activity has been declining in Eswatini over the last two decades. The Comprehensive Agriculture Sector Policy’s (CASP) which overall aim is to promote sustainable agricultural development, economic growth, poverty alleviation, food security and sustainable natural resource management. Through FAO support, Eswatini has now begun a process of reviewing its Agricultural Investment plan (E-NAIP Process) as an initiative to support Government to achieve the goals of the CASP and its strategic plan. It is envisaged that the E-NAIP will feed from the Agrinvest process and its associated network of institutions aimed at achieving the vision for the agricultural and natural resources sector and food security in the country within the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa (NEPAD) Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Moreover, with the current situation regarding Climate Change effects and the COVID-19, it is expected that the projects will also contribute towards addressing the impacts of Climate Change and those of the COVID-19 pandemic in the relevant thematic areas.
The AgrInvest Approach in Eswatini
AgrInvest initiative, which feeds into the new generation National Agricultural Investment Plan, can play a catalytic role in the development and successful implementation of important national, continental and global strategies. The overall objective of the AgrInvest initiative is to promote private investment in agro-food systems by promoting an environment favourable to these investments and by reducing the associated risks. This initiative also promotes the alignment of these private investments with sustainable development objectives, thus contributing to a sustainable economic, social and environmental impact, including the creation of large numbers of decent jobs for young people. The AGRIVEST initiative focuses on assisting the Government, the private sector (including SMEs, farmers, farmer organizations, and financial service providers), civil society organizations (CSOs), bilateral and multilateral development partners (including donors) by facilitating the creation of an enabling environment and appropriate business climate to attract and stimulate SDG-compliant investments in agricultural value chains. The AGRIVEST approach mainly facilitates i) improvement of enabling environment and ease of doing business in agriculture; ii) de-risking, risk sharing measures and blended financing tools for value chain players; iii) setting-up viable institutional arrangements and mechanisms to enable value chain players’ access to production and commercial infrastructure; and, iv) cooperation between Governments and sector industry associations to design and implement smallholder inclusive value chain sector development plans for each priority commodities. AGRINVEST also includes assisting Government to deploy enabling measures to roll-out smallholders’ aggregation (inclusive business models) and enable value chain players to achieve objectives such as: increased export, reduced import, improved trade balance, increased consumption per capita, … and overall food and nutrition security. Implementation of AGRIVEST results in development of concrete commodity sector/value chain specific development agreement proposals that have the buy in from Government and all value chain players. These concrete investment proposals can be can be financed through different modalities by Government, private sector value chain players, bilateral and multilateral funding partners. FAO is building an alliance of multilateral institutions including IFAD, World Bank, African Development Bank, etc. and bilateral institutions to support the AGRIVEST initiative
To date, 4 sector development plans for mango value chain, baby vegetables value chain, potato, onion and carrots value chain, and the papaya litchi and peaches value chain have been developed which outline concrete investment proposals can be can be financed through different modalities by Government, private sector value chain players, bilateral and multilateral funding partners. Through the Agrinvest process, a document which outlines the country’s Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), and its Regulation has been developed. This has been noted by Parliament and Cabinet, with overall green light to establish the EADF and its Secretariat. The country now intends to make the EADF Secretariat operational and begin to deliver its mandate according to the regulation
The Agricultural Development Fund Financial Instruments Specialist will perform this assignment under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative to Eswatini, and the direct supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative/Programmes, with technical support from the Agrofood Systems and Investment Policy Specialist.
The post is home based with travel to FAO Eswatini, Mbabane office.
The FAO country office intends to engage the Agricultural Development Fund Financial Instruments Specialist with the overall objective is to develop and elaborate the initial set of ADF Financial Instruments and their deployment mechanisms working closely with Agricultural Economist (Team leader). The focus of the consultancy will be the following outcomes:
- Situational analysis, literature review, and consultative engagements instruments and interview reports
- Draft set of initial instruments to be deployed by the ADF
- Presentation to commodity Sector Associations And Representatives , FAO, Government of Eswatini and other agricultural Sector VC Players
- Final validated set of initial financial instruments to be deployed by the ADF
Tasks and Responsibilities
Under the overall leadership of the FAO representative, technical guidance by FAO Project Lead technical officer and Sub Regional Agro-Food Systems and Investment Policy Support Specialist, in close collaboration with designated senior officials in Ministry Agriculture, the consultant will perform the following tasks:
- Review national and international examples on the modus operandi of secretariats of agricultural development funds and /or other similar funds
- Analyse global and African experience with respect to financial instruments that are applied successfully including the Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP) and the Bank of Uganda Agricultural Credit Facility (ACF) models
- Review the financial instruments contained in the SADC ADF, NEPAD / FAO Smart Policy Instruments platform documents and other continental financial instruments deployed through various multilateral and global development partners
- Review the Sector Development Plans Agreements and retrieve the scope of state aids/state support that will be required in each agricultural value chain in Eswatini
- Consult with Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, FAO, and other key stakeholders to get input on the overall operational modalities of the EADF secretariat and specifically the financial instruments that can be applied in Eswatini
- In close collaboration with the Agricultural Economist, develop a brochure presenting the initial set of smart financial instruments and their operational/deployment mechanisms to be deployed in Agricultural value chains through the ADF including but not limited to risk sharing facilities, guarantee facilities, grants, incentives and smart subsidies — Present them in the format recommended by FAO, showing clearly scope and description, eligible entities, implementation modalities and the estimated budget.
- Present in a validation meeting the initial set of financial instruments to Government particularly Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, FAO and other relevant UN agencies, Centre for Financial Inclusion, ESWADE, NAMBOARD, selected value chain payers, the private sector (including SMEs, farmers, farmer organizations, and financial service providers), bilateral and multilateral development partners (including donors).
CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING
- Advanced University degree in Financial Engineering, Agricultural Finance, Banking, Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness, Finance or closely related fields.
- Seven (7) or more years of concrete experience in design of financing systems, financial products for value chain players in the agricultural sector, incentive frameworks, inclusive finance and rural development models in Eswatini, Southern Africa and in a global context
- Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) for Consultants. Working knowledge of English for PSA.SBS.
FAO Core Competencies
- Results Focus
- Building Effective Relationships
- Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
- Able to work under pressure and adapt to an evolving and complex humanitarian context and within multidisciplinary and different cultural background teams.
- Relevant work experience in functions related to Agricultural Financing Systems / agricultural development Instruments; Agricultural Financing Systems Designing;
- Negotiation skills and ability to deal confidently with tact at management level;
- Team player with good interpersonal skills, and facilitation/motivational skills;
- Ability to work under pressure to tight timelines and without direct supervision;
- Strong analytical and conceptual abilities, communication skills, both verbal and in writing;
- Knowledge of humanitarian principles.
- Ability to coordinate and work with partners; to work with staff / team under pressure.
- Demonstrated use of initiative and ability to make appropriate linkages in work requirements and anticipate next steps;
- Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping clients and colleagues informed
- Extent and relevance of experience in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural project cycles, Agri-Business and Finance and Administration Management.
- Relevant work experience in more than one location or area of work.
- Experience in Agricultural Financing Systems / Instruments; Agricultural Financing Systems Designing;
- Experience in the field of financial instruments available in Agricultural sector in Eswatini, in SADC or Globally
- Experience working with government ministries and /or agricultural sector, NGOs, Donors and private financial sector stakeholders.
- Capacity to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
- Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex information and present ideas and recommendations in a clear and understandable manner.
- Ability to work independently, strong analytical skills and problem solving.
- Computer literacy with Word, PowerPoint and basic spreadsheets (Excel).
- Excellent communication (both written and oral) and presentation skills in English,
- Experience and strong knowledge of above systems in working with Int’l Organizations or the UN will be desirable.
Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency