agric job

Category:Agriculture, Development and Project Management

Location:Mekelle, Woldia, Bahir Dar, Haramaya, Assela and Hawassa 

Career Level:Senior Level (5+ years experience)
Employment Type:Full time
Salary:Based on the Scale of BENEFIT experts

Job Description


The Bilateral Ethiopia Netherlands Effort for Food Income and Trade (BENEFIT) partnership is a portfolio of five programmes (ISSD Ethiopia, CASCAPE, ENTAG, SBN and REALISE), which is funded by the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands through its Embassy in Addis Ababa. REALISE: ‘Realising Sustainable Agricultural Livelihood Security in Ethiopia’ is the new pragramme under BENEFIT. REALISE Programme is designed to take the achievements of CASCAPE (Capacity building for Scaling up of evidence-based best Practices in Agricultural Production’ (CASCAPE) programme and the ‘Integrated Seed Sector Development’ (ISSD) Ethiopia programme to new areas and target groups in Ethiopia.

REALISE is a three – year (2018-2020) programme that will align with the Government of Ethiopia’s (GoE) Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). This GoE flagship programme currently reaches 8 million chronically food insecure Ethiopians with a wide array of instruments to smooth consumption, prevent asset depletion and promote livelihood diversification including uptake of improved agricultural practices. REALISE aims to take lessons learned from the Wageningen University & Research, CASCAPE and ISSD Ethiopia programmes to PSNP target woredas.

The goal of the REALISE programme is: ‘Enhanced human, organisational and institutional capacities to adapt, validate and scale best fit practices to improve the resilience of chronically food insecure households in PSNP woredas. REALISE’s goal is to be achieved through four primary outcomes:

  • Developed best fit practices that meet expressed needs and have the potential to contribute to increased productivity and resilience are available for scaling in selected PSNP Woredas;
  • Increased availability, timely delivery and use of quality seed of new, improved, and/or farmer preferred varieties through diverse channels;
  • Enhanced human, organizational and institutional capacities for matching, adapting, validating and scaling best fit practices; and
  • A conducive environment exists for the institutionalisation of evidence-based system innovations.

The implementation model is based on the experiences of the CASCAPE and ISSD Ethiopia programmes in that REALISE will partner with the Regional Agricultural Research Institutes and a number of Ethiopian Universities that will each manage so called clusters: Hawassa, Haramaya, Arsi, Bahir Dar, Woldia and Mekelle. There are two satellite Universities: Odabultum University that will collaborate with Haramaya University and Arbaminch University that will collaborate with Hawssa University. The REALISE programme will validate and scale best fit practices, will assure the availability of quality seed, will train related GoE and NGO partners in the proper scaling of the practices and will work with its partners towards the institutionalisation of evidence-based system innovations. As the REALISE programme is part of the BENEFIT portfolio of programmes, close collaboration with the sister programmes and their activities in the respective clusters is expected.

Rural development expert- Seed expert

The seed expert works as rural development expert (RDE) with other RDE team members. The expert is based in the University cluster and is supervised by the Cluster Manager. The team of the RDEs (agricultural economics expert, seed expert, scaling expert, social inclusion and capacity building expert, and agronomist) will be the front-line representatives of REALISE in the woredas. They will introduce REALISE promoted technologies and approaches that are aimed at increasing food security of small holder farmers – and more specifically PSNP clients. To this end, they will work closely as a team of experts together with their Cluster Manager and the colleagues in the other clusters. The RDEs will work closely with his/her colleagues from the CASCAPE and ISSD programmes.  The seed expert is responsible for implementation of seed related interventions.

Depending on the different skills and specific experiences, he/she may get additional assignments for:

  • Data management
  • Documentation
  • Climate change related issues
  • Any other theme that may be pertinent

Key responsibilities:

  • Participate in the implementation of the annual planning cycle: prepare succinct annual work plans and budgets, progress reports and annual reports;
  • Ensure a truly bottom up planning process and ensure continuous community participation in the work at hand;
  • Work with woreda staff and or NGOs and community organisations on:
  • Recommendation mapping;
  • Training needs assessments;
  • Training (of trainers) in various skills related to community development, seed, agriculture (best fit practices);
  • Innovative pilot activities;
  • Institutionalization and scaling of best fit practices preferred by PSNP beneficiaries
  • Responsible for ensuring that men, women and youth participate in and benefit from project activities;
  • Maintain close and collaborative relations with key programme partners, including (but not limited to) the woreda level PSNP staff, the Bureau of Agriculture and Livestock Resources staff, the agricultural research partners (RARI’s and if applicable EIAR) and the collaborating NGOs;
  • Strategically position the project in the playing field in the area covered by the cluster, make sure the strategic choices of the programme are aligned with those of the partners. Make sure the programme’s results are used to accelerate discussions on pertinent policy issues in the region. Actively participate in a wide range of fora pertinent to the programme;
  • Actively participate in the REALISE programme endeavours and the BENEFIT portfolio, interact with the other CASCAPE and ISSD teams at cluster levels and contribute to joint activities;
  • Within reasonable limits, respond to pertinent technical assistance requests from other BENEFIT projects (most likely CASCAPE and ISSD);
  • Any other assignments given by the REALISE Cluster manager; and
  • Serve as an ambassador of the REALISE programme in the area covered by the cluster.

Key responsibilities:

  • Capacity strengthening of seed producer organizations, which include community-based seed producer groups, seed producer cooperatives, small and medium private seed enterprises, in quality seed production. You will be expected to train and coach seed producers on quality seed production and post-harvest management. Seed production, marketing, business and financial management;
  • Facilitating linkages to key inputs and services. The role also includes helping seed producers identify and connect with relevant input and service providers, including: crop researchers and technology developers; early generation seed producers; agro-input suppliers; seed regulatory authorities; suppliers of post-harvest seed value adding products and services; and other relevant actors.  Build relationships and sustainable networks among seed value chain actors;
  • Annual planning for REALISE related seed demand and supply and link this to seed production and distribution channels;
  • Documenting and sharing experiences on quality seed production, handling, storage and transport: You will participate in programme knowledge sharing processes and events within your own team and with others; and
  • Oversee the validation of CASCAPE and other innovations.


Number of experts: six (6), one each for the six Universities (Mekelle, Woldia, Bahir Dar, Haramaya,  Arsi and Hawassa).

Duty station: Respective University

Travel: Able to travel frequently to the project partners in the area covered by the cluster. Travel may include visits to the field under challenging circumstances.

Oversight: Not applicable.

Remuneration: Commensurate with the responsibilities based on the salary scale of BENEFIT. Benefits include participation in the pension scheme and communication allowance. The salary will be adjusted on an annual basis to the cost of living in Ethiopia.

The position of REALISE Senior Expert M&E of the REALISE programme requires a full-time commitment of the successful candidate. No additional professional engagements will be allowed.

Job Requirements

Professional requirements:

  • A M.Sc. in seed technology, seed business;
  • At least 5+ years of professional experience in positions pertinent to the assignment;
  • Experience with research and development issues;
  • Experience in working with or within the GoE structure for agriculture, especially at woreda level;
  • Experience with bottom-up planning processes;
  • Proven experience with gender mainstreaming (not necessarily as gender expert but working in projects that mainstream gender);
  • Experience with participatory approaches and stakeholder networks;
  • Experience in the management of partnerships with a wide array of partners, including government at the woreda level, NGOs and local community organisations.

Additional skills and qualities:

  • Excellent team player, able to bring out the best in the team members as well as collaborating with the sister programmes within the BENEFIT portfolio. Able to inspire colleagues;
  • Excellent connector to the world around REALISE, creating a strong institutional and personal professional network that will contribute to the success of REALISE;
  • Adhering to the highest standards of integrity, honesty and loyalty, and demanding the same standards from the REALISE team;
  • Affinity with and dedication to the goals of the REALISE programme: providing support to the poorest in rural Ethiopia through the introduction of more productive agriculture practices and seed;
  • Understanding and commitment to the REALISE project vision of achieving a vibrant, commercial, and pluralistic seed sector. Knowledge of seed and the Ethiopian seed sector is an advantage;
  • Able to work independently while still maintaining good contact with the REALISE cluster manager;
  • Able to express him/herself in English in speaking and writing;
  • Ability of local languages: Tigrigna for those who want to apply for Mekelle University position and Oromo Language for those who want to apply for Haramaya and Arsi Universities position is a mandatory.
  • Up to date computer skills; and
  • Proven ability to work in multidisciplinary research teams.

Specific professional requirements:

  • At least 5 years of experience in applied rural development research and development;
  • Knowledge of statistical software such as SAS and/or other packages;
  • Knowledge of agricultural experimental designs and data analysis;
  • Knowledge
  • Knowledge of participatory approaches to research.

How to Apply

Interested candidates are invited to send a well-formulated letter of motivation of no more than one page and their up-to-date CV by within eight days from the date that the application is first posted on the web site by email:

For Mekelle University REALISE send to <[email protected]>/ <[email protected]> with copy to <[email protected]>;

For Woldia University REALISE send to < [email protected]> with copy to <[email protected]>;

For Bahir Dar University REALISE send to <[email protected]> with copy to <[email protected]>;

For Haramaya University REALISE send to <[email protected]> with copy to <[email protected]>;

For Arsi University REALISE send to <[email protected]> with copy to <[email protected]>;

For Hawassa University REALISE send to <[email protected]> with copy to <[email protected]>.

Please do not attach your credentials to the application, which is required to be delivered in hardcopy only at the time of interview.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for face-to-face interview. Short listed candidates are required to submit true copies of their academic credentials.

Aug 22, 2018

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