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Agricultural Officer (Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation)


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Border and Customs
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Natural Resource Management
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-01

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 the 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
The Food Systems and Food Safety Division (ESF) supports a coordinated approach to the development of food systems, including inter alia, engagement in global level dialogue, platform and initiatives, the strengthening of food safety and quality at national, regional and international levels, the development of sustainable food value chains, reductions in food loss and waste and the implementation of the urban food agenda.
The European Union (EU) funded project 'Strengthening food control and phytosanitary capacities and governance' (GCP/GLO/949/EC) foresees, inter alia, the implementation of food control systems assessments and phytosanitary capacity evaluations. ESF is lead technical division and budget holder for this project, which is implemented in collaboration with the International Plant protection Convention Secretariat, located in the Plant Protection and Production Division (NSP) in FAO, which will provide technical guidance for the implementation of nine Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluations (PCE).
This project will be implemented in English, French or Arabic speaking countries.
The Food Systems and Food Safety Division of the Economic and Social Development Stream and the Plant Production and Protection Division (International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat) of the Natural Resources and Sustainable Production Stream support the strengthening of food control and phytosanitary systems at national, regional and international levels. This involves providing scientific advice on food safety and phytosanitary issues, support to programmes of capacity development and facilitation of effective communication and access to information by all Members on food safety and phytosanitary issues. These divisions are recognized as global leaders in the provision of scientific advice on food safety and phytosanitary issues to support the implementation of international standards for safety and quality of foods and phytosanitary measures, in order to eradicate hunger while preserving the natural resources and environment for future use.
The position is located in the Food Systems and Food Safety Division (ESF), Economic and Social Development Stream at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines
The Agricultural Officer (Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation) reports to the Food Systems and Food Safety Division's Lead Technical Officer for the project (Senior Food Safety Officer), with technical supervision from the International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat.

Technical Focus
Through the facilitation of a Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) and the coordination of the development of national phytosanitary capacity development strategies and the provision of technical advice on phytosanitary regulatory documents, the Agricultural Officer (Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation and Technical Coordinator) will coordinate, plan, supervise and implement the phytosanitary component of the project and assist International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Contracting Parties in evaluating their phytosanitary systems, for those countries involved in this project. This will be done through rigorous analysis that incorporates country-specific components, in order to support governments, among other actors, to assess, approve and implement informed policy choices. In these countries supported by the project, the Agricultural Officer will coordinate the work of PCE Facilitators and liaise with National Plant Protection Organizations, other government departments and relevant stakeholders. The Agricultural Officer will also coordinate with FAO Legal Services the review of national phytosanitary legal frameworks.

Key Results
Research, technical analysis, and project related services to support the delivery of programme projects, products and services.

Key Functions

  • Researches and analyses technical, social, economic, environmental, institutional, and technology related information, data and statistics and/or related policy issues to support the delivery of programme projects, products and services.
  • Produces a variety of technical information, data, statistics and reports as well as input for technical documents and web pages.
  • Provides technical support/analysis to various assessments, studies and initiatives and provides technical backstopping to field projects.
  • Collaborates in the development of improved/updated tools, systems, processes, and databases.
  • Participates in multidisciplinary teams, and/or leads working groups/teams collaborates with other divisions and agencies on work groups and committees and promotes best practices.
  • Collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development activities within member countries such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning materials and online tools.
  • Promotes knowledge sharing and best practices at international meetings and conferences and influences partners in stakeholder consultations.
  • Supports resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate Strategy.

Specific Functions

  • Provides outreach and maintains contact with the governments involved in conducting Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluations (PCE) of their national phytosanitary systems; ensures the facilitation of the development of national phytosanitary capacity development strategies.
  • Supports, based on the results of the PCE, the review of national phytosanitary legal frameworks, liaising with the governments, FAO country offices, other FAO technical units, FAO Legal Services and lawyers, outlining the process.
  • Oversees and supervises the delivery of PCEs by certified PCE Facilitators, providing technical guidance to the team of the project.
  • Manages the collection and storage of confidential phytosanitary data through the PCE tool.
  • Represents FAO in relevant meetings as requested and collaborates with the African Union [the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Development (AUC-DARBE), the Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), the Inter-African Phytosanitary Council (AU-IAPSC), the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)] and the Near East Plant Protection Organization (NEPPO), by providing technical advice feeding into specific areas of work supporting the African Union processes aiming at strengthening phytosanitary systems (including policy frameworks, indexes, early warning systems, scientific basis for decision making, advocacy and capacity development activities).
  • Contributes to communication and visibility activities such as: publication of news stories on the IPPC web pages; preparation of material for media tools to give visibility to the project and the EU funding; dissemination of information on the project activities at relevant events.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in agriculture/agronomy or related biological science with emphasis on soil management, soil health or ecology or a related field.
  • Five years of relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: phytosanitary capacity development and evaluation, food control systems assessments and phytosanitary capacity evaluations.
  • Working knowledge (proficient - level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate - level B) of another official FAO language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or 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 knowledge and experience in phytosanitary measures.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in developing and delivering Programmes of work or FAO projects related to phytosanitary capacity development.
  • Ability to analyse information as the basis for the evaluation of national phytosanitary systems and provide advice for governments for the improvement of these systems as well to provide technical input for the revision of phytosanitary legal frameworks.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in working with regional plant protection organizations and relevant international organizations [such as the Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) and the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)].
  • Extent and relevance of experience in developing training tools and information materials.
  • Limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of French and Arabic.
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.