UNDP Vacancy: Technical Specialist - Food and Agricultural Policy - Abuja, NIGERIA 1

Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Application Deadline: 10th Sept 2012

Type of Contract: FTA International

Post Level: P-4

Languages Required: English

Duration of Initial Contract: Initial Period of One Year




The Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA), unveiled by the Honourable Minister for Agriculture presented opportunities for the provision of technical assistance and other support to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) for the scale up of positive inclusive markets experience in Nigeria. The ATA is aimed at establishing a sustainable agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria to raise the income of rural farmers. UNDP through its project, Facility for Inclusive Markets (FIM) has offered to support the Government of Nigeria (GoN) in key demand areas that include developing and implementing key value chains in agriculture and agro-industry and enhancing inclusiveness. FIM will also work towards its goal of catalysing the scale up of positive Inclusive Market experience in Nigeria and as a platform for capturing knowledge in and out of Nigeria.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is providing, through UNDP, long term technical assistance to the Agricultural Transformation Implementation Group (ATIG) as the organ established by the FMARD to implement the Agricultural Transformation Agenda. This support will compliment the UNDP-FIM project and ensure the successful delivery of the goals of the ATA. This project will provide critical technical expertise to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to successfully implement the ATA. The UNDP-BMGF technical assistance to FMARD will support term technical assistance for capacity development and the expansion of value chains in agriculture and agro-industry, institutional policy support and direct intervention to farmers and other small holder value chain actors that are vital to ensuring inclusiveness and sustainable results in the creation of business opportunities and jobs at the grassroots.

The implementation of the agricultural transformation action plan requires very close supervision and execution at the state and local government levels, working closely with the private sector. To ensure effective execution, active participation of the states, and monitoring and evaluation of the action plan, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have now been decentralized to regional and state levels. A key component of the transformation of agriculture at the state level is the development of agriculture as a business, with special focus on young entrepreneurial commercial farmers, private sector investments, and development of agri-businesses (seeds, fertilizers, machinery, storage and logistics, food manufacturing etc.).

The successful development of agri-businesses within the staple crop processing zones at the state and regional levels will ensure reduction of post-harvest losses, backward integration to use surplus production of agricultural produce, assure markets for farmers and ensure the emergence of more competitive food systems that can produce and deliver food at competitive costs. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture will work with the state governments to attract foreign direct investments and local investments into the staple crop processing zones.

The government is treating agriculture as a business to help diversify the economy away from oil, create jobs, secure food supply and expand foreign exchange earnings through a market-led agricultural transformation that will impact on the lives of millions of smallholder farmers. This requires sharp focus on development and expansion of agri-businesses.
This post is Development Project Funded (DPF).

Duties and Responsibilities

The Office of the Senior Technical Adviser, Agricultural Policy will have the following terms of reference:

  • Spearhead in-depth and critical review of the state of food and agricultural policy in Nigeria and advise the Honourable Minister on priority evidence-based food and agricultural policies, and institutional, legal and regulatory reforms needed to drive the agricultural transformation agenda and rural development.
  • Coordinate the Food and Agricultural Policy Transformation Group –
    made up of leading policy experts from universities, economics and policy think tanks and public sector agencies across Nigeria – to develop an Agricultural Transformation Policy Action Plan to drive the agricultural transformation agenda.
  • Provide analytical support for the determination of the impacts of agricultural policies on agricultural producers and consumers and how to sequence policy and institutional reforms to ensure successful implementation of the agricultural transformation action plan.
  • Develop a clear policy advocacy action plan to effectively communicate the policy directions to drive the agricultural transformation agenda.
  • Build strong policy advocacy networks for the successful implementation of agricultural policies, through creating awareness and effectively communicating the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) to non-state actors, and ensuring that stakeholders are adequately informed of the ATA programmes.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of food and agricultural policies.
  • Preparation of policy briefs for the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, policy briefs for the Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council.
  • Develop and deepen the internal policy institutional capacity within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example
  • In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting
  • Ability to lead formulation and monitoring of management projects
  • Solid knowledge in financial resources and human resources management, contract, asset and procurement, information and communication technology, general administration
  • Ability to lead business processes re-engineering, implementation of new systems (business side), and affect staff behavioral/ attitudinal change

Management and Leadership:

  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Ability to lead effectively,  mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure
  • Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Business Administration, or Master’s /PHD in  Agriculture or other relevant subject


  •  7  years in a senior management position in agricultural or related sector in Nigeria  with a government, international or private sector agency
  • Remarkable track record in developing and executing strategies plans and initiatives on agriculture development/transformation ( or related sectors)
  • Demonstrated track record in building, leading and managing high-performing organizations and teams.
  • Exceptional experience in communicating consistently, clearly and effectively with a broad range of stakeholders
  • Deep knowledge of Nigeria and the ability to navigate the Nigerian system to achieve results

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in English is essential. Fluency in one national language is desired.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Apply through this Link


Agribusiness Information