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Agricultural Officer (Cropping Systems Agronomist)

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Food technology (Food tech)
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-27

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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 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.

Organizational Setting
The Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) enables the transition to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable plant production and protection through optimization and minimization. This requires the integration and harmonization of all appropriate crop production policies and practices in order to increase production in a sustainable manner in order to eradicate hunger while preserving the natural resources and environment for future use.

The post is located in Rural and Urban Crop and Mechanization Systems team (NSPLD), one of six teams in the division. NSPLD provides technical advice, support and guidance to Member countries and projects on how to sustainably increase crop production as a key contributor to food and nutritional security, improved livelihoods while protecting the environment in rural, urban and peri-urban contexts.

Reporting Lines
The Agricultural Officer reports to the Senior Agricultural Officer,Team Leader of NSPLD, and will collaborate with team members and respond to requests from NSP Director's Office.

Technical Focus
Lead technical guidance to FAO Members in the formulation and implementation of programmes and projects to develop sustainable crop production systems, including all elements of good agronomic practices; quality seed of adapted varieties for integrated and diversified cropping systems, low-input/organic farming, soil / water / nutrient / pest / disease/ weed management, conservation agriculture, under open field and protected cultivation, digital and precision agriculture, with focus on dryland and tropical farming for small-scale producers. Contribute to FAO initiatives on sustainable plant production and protection, including Global Programme on Sustainable Dryland Agriculture, Green Cities Initiatives, Global Action on Green Development of Special Agro-Products: 'One Country, One Priority Product' (OCOP) and Sustainable Mechanization.

Key Results
Technical and policy expertise to support the planning, development and implementation of Divisional programmes, projects, products and services in accordance with (Divisional and) FAO Strategic Objectives.

Key Functions

  • Plans and leads components of multi-disciplinary teams, leads and/or participates on Organization-wide, cross- Divisional committees, project teams, and working groups and/or provides specialized expertise on technical networks and/or international technical policy and/or international technical policy and standard setting bodies.
  • Develops technical analysis, assessment, monitoring and/or 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 cross-sector approaches, new tools, technologies, technical reports/publications, and/or policy proposals as well as the provision of technical/policy/ specialist advice and expertise.
  • Responds to Member country requests for technical and/or 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 Member countries such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning materials, on-line tools.
  • Promotes international cooperation/advocates best practices, increased policy dialogue and provides technical expertise at international/intergovernmental meetings.
  • Participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate strategy.

Specific Functions

  • Develops training manuals, curricula and videos for field demonstrations of sustainable crop production systems that are diversified, productive, profitable and affordable indicating the most suitable: crop species and varieties; planting patterns, crop rotations; intercropping and/or relay cropping; planting density and depth; fertility management (nutrient cycling); weed management; pest / disease management etc.
  • Designs technical specifications for agronomic practices
  • Develops procurement strategies for necessary equipment, materials and supplies
  • Supervises data collection and analysis to develop technical documents, reports, policy briefs and strategies to promote sustainable crop production and green innovation
  • Provides technical guidance and backstopping support through clearances, guidelines, standards and field missions
  • Develops and strengthens technical networks relevant to sustainable cropping systems and outreach events such as webinars, workshops and publications with strategic partners (academic/research institutions and centres of excellence, national, regional and sub-regional institutions, organizations and bilateral assistance agencies)
  • Develops communication products to increase awareness and adoption of good agronomic practices needed for sustainable crop production systems
  • Liaises with donors to facilitate resource mobilization to develop projects
  • Formulates project documents as per FAO project cycle guidelines and procedures
  • Liaises on technical matters with relevant officers at Headquarters and Decentralized Offices
  • Plans, organizes and participates in technical meetings, conferences, seminars, intergovernmental discussions to promote practices and policies for sustainable crop production
  • Performs other related duties as required by NSPLD and NSP



Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in Agronomy (Crop Production) with major emphasis on sustainability; environmental protection, income generation and social equity
  • Seven years of relevant experience in in sustainable crop management in Low and Middle-Income Countries
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Extent and relevance of knowledge and experience in sustainable cropping systems including for cereals and high-value horticultural annual crops that are resilient to changes in climate
  • Demonstrated practical field experience on optimization of cropping systems through appropriate management of plants, soil, water, nutrient, pests, diseases and ecological interactions that minimize synthetic fertilizer and pesticide use
  • Extent and relevance of management of soil, water, nutrients, pest, diseases and ecological interactions to minimize use of synthetic fertilizer and pesticides
  • Extent and relevance of experience in project management, in developing and implementing programmes of work and projects and results frameworks related to sustainable management of cropping systems with a focus on small scale producers
  • Extent and relevance of expertise in working with input suppliers, advisory agents, mechanization services, post-harvest services, market linkages and agri-business hubs
  • Extent and relevance of expertise to collect and analyze information as the basis for technical and policy advice for governments and to develop scientific publications
  • Extent and relevance of expert inputs to international and intergovernmental meetings
  • Extent and relevance of knowledge of the linkages between soil, microbiome and plant health and how to promote ecological interactions to attain sustainable crop production systems
  • Work experience in several countries, cropping systems and across different production environments and market types
  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable
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.

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