Associate Program Officer, ACCRA, GHANA – Job Reference: APO/GH/02/2020

About AGRA

Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.

Under its 5-year strategy, AGRA looks to catalyze and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. Under this strategy, AGRA will deliver through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems and puts government at the center to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at national level.

To support this transformation from a country perspective, AGRA is seeking to recruit an experienced and exceptional individual to the role of Associate Program Officer, to be based in Ghana.

The Position

Reporting to the Country Manager, the Associate Program Officer will contribute to the implementation of the AGRA Ghana Country Strategy by creating or strengthening existing partnerships, supervising implementing partners and managing grant portfolio at the downstream level. He/She will work together with the Ghana team to ensure successful coordination and implementation of activities that will contribute to AGRA’s overall goal of catalysing an agricultural transformation in target areas.  

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide technical capacity to private sector companies involved in seed development to improve their understanding of business-related concepts such as: factors of production; costs of production; quality control/market standards; opportunity cost; gross margin and profit analysis; return on investment; credit/budgeting; and risk.
  • Work with private sector at local level to upgrade agricultural value chains and expand market opportunities for smallholder farmers;
  • Coordinate with other players to create synergies between AGRA funded programs and other agricultural initiatives;
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration with small, medium and large agribusinesses in the geography;
  • Assist the Program Officer to create road maps documenting the resources and constraints to agricultural transformation;
  • Assist in the identification of opportunities for investments via competitive grants;
  • Coordinate capacity building of grantees in data capturing, management and reporting;
  • Monitor, evaluate and supervise grantee activities;
  • Provide regular periodic reports as may be required;
  • Carry out administrative functions such as coordination of periodic audit, stakeholder forums etc.; and
  • Documenting and knowledge-sharing of the success stories, best practices and lessons learnt.
  • Provide support and guidance to the development of the capacity of implementing partners to identify sustainable agro-based economic opportunities and understand and implement a demand-driven, commercialisation approach to rural development based on access to markets.
  • Contribute to the development of an M&E system to measure profitability and relevant business indicators of targeted seed companies.
  • Assist the Implementing Partners to establish linkages with private sector service providers and buyers for accessing new farm and non-farm enterprise opportunities and in the negotiation of market contracts and MOUs with selected private sector partners.
  • Assist in the facilitation of linkages with local agencies for accessing new non-farm enterprises opportunities.
  • Maintain working relations with relevant government line ministries and private sector/research institutions to coordinate the adoption of new seed varieties and approaches in agriculture development and marketing.
  • Support formulation of projects that strengthen agricultural/rural extension and provide technical assistance in capacity development of agriculture innovation systems.
  • Contribute to the promotion of extension/advisory services relating to the seed sector and agribusiness opportunities.
  • Maintain networks of collaboration with technical specialists to gather information and promote awareness of technical issues to improve extension systems and advisory.
  • Capacity development with special attention to demand led and market-oriented, and participatory approaches that meet the diverse needs of smallholder farmers.
  • Provide support in the organization and delivery of technical workshops, consultations, seminars and training sessions on conceptual and practical aspects of extension and rural knowledge institution improvements.
  • Design a strategy to strengthen linkages between civil society organisations, government representatives and the private sector.
  • Provide technical support in the establishment of a marketing database to keep farmers, consumers and buyers informed of the prevailing market prices of various agro-industrial products and commodities.
  • Support the implementation of the Ghana Business Plan (GBP) within the framework of AGRA’s Overall Strategy for Africa
  • Support the development and strengthening of the national and regional agro-dealer networks to operate on sound business and association principles;
  • Develop and strengthen entrepreneurships, including SMEs and Producer Cooperatives in marketing and in technical skills for sustainable agricultural input-output supply systems in target Regions and Districts, linking them to the relevant industry stakeholders (including governments, Private sector, seed firms, Financial institutions and market/trade associations);
  • Strengthen capacities of entrepreneurs in quality and business management with regards to quality assurance and management, input and output marketing and the adoption of best practices in production and marketing systems;
  • Strengthen capacity of regulatory agencies and other stakeholders in monitoring input-output quality in the marketing channel;
  • Develop business models on AGRA’s selected agricultural commodity value chains and demonstrate to stakeholders (farmers, public and private sector) socio-economic benefits and options for increasing productivity
  • Carry out awareness campaigns and capacity strengthening programs to empower the private sector actors in policy advocacy, consultative dialogue and communication;
  • Support the implementation of strategies to promote market Information in rural Areas and the marketing of the AGRA selected agricultural commodity value chains;
  • Facilitate Linkage of the input-output market by supporting the development of value-chains that drives demand for improved technologies;
  • Facilitate coordination, communication and liaison, monitor of milestones and coordinate internal operations in relation to the Ghana Business Plan and strategy;

Key Qualifications and Experience required:

  • Master’s degree in agricultural economics, Agribusiness, marketing or business administration, or related field.
  • 5-7 years’ experience in agro-business development, preferably in seed farm planning and economic analysis.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work with private sector players (financial institutions, exporters, buyers, traders, transporters, input suppliers or processors).
  • Familiarity with commonly used tools for market analysis and program design such as sub-sector analysis, gross margin analysis and business planning.
  • Experience with community-based programming.
  • Extent of knowledge of and experience in advisory capacity in the fields of agriculture extension/advisory services and agriculture innovation systems and services.
  • Experience in small to medium scale agro-enterprise management and seeds sector management.
  • Experience with externally funded development programmers would be desirable, preferably with experience in market-oriented projects.
  • Experience in dealing with local NGOs, government ministries, and development partners preferably in Ghana Context.
  • Knowledge in USAID Rules and Regulations is an advantage.
  • Ability to promote the vision, mission and strategic goals of AGRA, (through the objectives of CAADP and the Feed the Future Initiative), and demonstrate integrity by adhering to the AGRA’s core values and ethical standards.
  • Ability to work with, coordinate and inspire, multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams in a multi-partner environment, and to engage in both local and high level policy dialogue with clients

An attractive remuneration package commensurate with this position’s responsibility will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail and telephone contacts) to recruit@agra.org. Please quote the job reference number in the subject line of the application e-mail.

To be considered, applications must be received by 17th February, 2020.

For more information on AGRA, applicants can visit www.agra.org

Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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