Markets II, a USAID-funded project, is seeking to hire a full time Irrigation and Inputs Specialist. This position will be located in Abuja, with travel to project target states as required.
Position: Irrigation and Inputs Specialist
- The Irrigation and Inputs Specialist shall coordinate all activities, including planning, implementation and monitoring of MARKETS II irrigation and inputs development strategy, and monitor sub-contractors’ technical assistance activities.
- S/he will prepare an inventory of available improved pro-poor irrigation technologies, supervise pilot demonstrations of promising irrigation technologies, facilitate training of local manufacturers in irrigation equipment production and marketing, and assist with the development and dissemination of innovative water and soil best practices.
- The Irrigation and Inputs Specialist will also work with private seed companies on product portfolio review, development of distribution networks, and training of outgrowers on best seed production practices.
- Additionally, the Irrigation and Inputs Specialist will assist with the development of training and training materials in collaboration with private service providers hired by MARKETS II.
- The Irrigation and Inputs Specialist will assist with M&E activities, draft scopes of work and provide inputs for periodic and quarterly reports.
- S/he will pay particular attention to the equal participation of women and youth in all activities.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities:
- As directed, the Irrigation and Inputs Specialist is charged with the coordination and supervision of activities, directly or via delegation, as appropriate. These include but are not limited to the following tasks:
- Supervise the planning, implementation and monitoring of MARKETS II irrigation and inputs development strategy including but not limited to:
- Drafting scopes of work for short-term consultancies;
- Identifying expatriate and local trainers, technical advisors, and marketing specialists in support of irrigation and inputs development;
- Coordinating work of local and expatriate consultants to ensure timely delivery of quality products; and supervisory review of the irrigation and inputs development action plans and the effectiveness of activities.
- Liaise with client firms, other stakeholders and subcontractors to assist with the planning, implementation and monitoring of MARKETS II irrigation and inputs specific activities including, but not limited to: monitoring of subcontractor technical assistance activities and ensuring timely and effective delivery of quality products consistent with expected milestones and results.
- Prepare an inventory document of available proven pro-poor, low cost irrigation technologies that can be produced locally and help to minimize transaction costs, including drip irrigation equipment, treadle pumps, low-cost tube wells, and catchment basins.
- Provide technical guidance to support private-sector driven efforts that increase access to pro-poor, low cost irrigation technologies for farmers. This will include piloting the African Market Garden (AMG) low pressure drip irrigation technology in collaboration with ICRISAT and Dizengoff Agro and Kickstart’s Moneymaker treadle pump to support homestead gardens for women, youth, and/or vegetable value chain activities, should that value chain be selected.
- Train local manufacturers in irrigation equipment production and marketing, technology promotion that links manufacturers with interested farmers, and equipment quality control to allow more poor fanners to benefit, all the while establishing a sustainable market-driven equipment supply system.
- Assist with the development and dissemination of soil and water management best practices and incorporate into MARKETS II training materials and package of practices.
- Support the rehabilitation of small-scale irrigation systems and the provision of operations and maintenance training building on MARKETS’ and Bridge to MARKETS 2′s training of water user associations and their roles and responsibilities with the irrigation systems.
- Assist private seed companies with the analysis and product portfolio review and assist with the development of downstream seed distribution networks.
- Liaise with private seed companies to provide training support to their outgrower farmers using existing and improved Packages of Practices (POP) with the aim of regional-level production for village-level distribution of seed.
- Liaise with MARD, the National Agricultural Seed Council, Africa Rice, IITA and ICRISAT and NARI’s to facilitate the introduction of appropriate crop varieties and hybrids including stress-tolerant crop varieties which help to mitigate against climate change. Incorporate variety descriptions and best agronomic practices in POPs to ensure that farmers, extension agents, and agro-processors have access to proper information on available varieties.
- Facilitate the entry into the Nigerian market by international seed companies and/or irrigation equipment providers, making seed and/or irrigation equipment available for demonstration and training purposes.
- In addition to technical tasks, the Irrigation and Inputs Specialist will assist with M&E activities, drafting scopes of work and provide inputs for quarterly reports, other periodic reports, and work planning exercises.
- Produce work products in conformity with MARKETS II and clients standards.
- Communicates, information in a way that demonstrates a basic-understanding of development assistance work, MARKETS II culture, values, and practices, and the specific scope and nature of the MARKETS II project.
- Demonstrate maturity, dependability, integrity, and initiative to learn competencies and skills required for the job assignment.
- Contribute positively to a work environment that emphasizes teamwork, respect for differences, accepting and giving constructive feedback.
- First degree in Agronomy, Irrigation development or related discipline,
- And more than five years of professional experience in private sector and/or Agribusiness development.
- Master’s degree preferred.
- Demonstrated experience in smallholder irrigation development and/or seed marketing is required.
- Knowledge of USAID project or agricultural value chain development is a strong advantage.
- Demonstrated ability to provide technical and marketing assistance to input dealers and/or equipment manufacturers is desirable.
- Experience developing and promoting environmentally sustainable agricultural production and processing techniques is also advantageous.
- Experience with gender mainstreaming and youth development.
- Ability to work collaboratively and build alliances with relevant groups, organizations, agencies, businesses, in private or public sectors is important.
- High level of initiative and creativity.
- S/he must be a team player, able to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills in English.
- Strong organizational and work prioritization skills, attention to detail.
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
- Demonstrates leadership, versatility, and integrity.
Method of Application:
Markets II is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates are requested to submit a CV and cover letter via e-mail to Christin Hutchinson, [email protected] on or before 3rd September, 2012.