AGRA and its Work
AGRA is an African-led institution that actively supports the drive towards inclusive agricultural transformation and sustainable food systems. We do this by empowering the continent’s 33 million smallholder farming households to transform their agriculture from a struggle to survive to profitable businesses. The continent’s farmers regularly face challenges, and we aspire to provide uniquely African solutions that respond to their agricultural and environmental challenges, leading to increased harvests for reduced hunger and more income.
Working in alignment with the development priorities of our focus countries, we enable farmers to access improved and high-yielding seeds, gain knowledge on sustainable farming, and linkages to profitable markets.
In our work, we aspire to build the alliances, partnerships, and networks required to drive an inclusive agricultural transformation. We work with our partners to create an equitable youth-friendly environment that harnesses the youth dividend on the continent to drive growth and facilitate open employment opportunities for young women and men. We achieve our key objectives through a focus on the following four areas of intervention:
- Policy and state capability – We support governments in creating an enabling environment for private sector involvement in agricultural transformation.
- Seed systems – We trigger higher productivity by increasing the availability and access to improved seeds by farmers allowing them to increase their harvests for food security and better incomes.
- Sustainable farming – We support farmers in building resilient farming systems for sustained high yields through interventions such as mechanization and irrigation.
- Inclusive markets and trade – We work to increase the linkages between farmers, and other market actors for a positive, sustained cycle of commercialization and reinvestment.
AGRA’s 2030 Strategy
The continent has, in recent years, taken steps towards inclusive agricultural transformation resulting in notable improvements in food security, with clear progress across all AGRA’s focus countries. However, with over 20% of Africans still suffering from hunger, we need to accelerate our progress and mitigate against the growing external pressures of conflict and climate on our food systems.
AGRA 2022-2030 Strategic Framework (SF2030) demonstrates our long-term vision for how we intend to contribute to, and align with, global and continental priorities, applying a food systems lens towards the goals of zero hunger, improved nutrition, an end to poverty, and climate adaptation. We have split our Strategic Framework 2030 into two 5-year strategies so that we have a clear mid-way point to evaluate progress and re-route our strategic focus if necessary. Our 2023-2027 Strategic Plan sets out to catalyze the growth of sustainable food systems across Africa by influencing and leveraging partners to build a robust enabling environment where the private sector thrives, and smallholders are empowered to produce sufficient, healthy food.
To contribute to a food system-inspired inclusive agricultural transformation across Africa, to reduce hunger, improve nutrition, and adapt to climate.
To catalyze the growth of sustainable food systems across Africa by influencing and leveraging partners to build a robust enabling environment where private sector thrives, and smallholder farmers are empowered to produce sufficient, healthy food.
- Empowering and building the resilience of small holder farmers
- Supporting the development of inclusive markets and finance to strengthen agricultural systems.
- Strengthening state capability to sustain agricultural transformation.
Implementing Our New Strategy Through People
AGRA is at the threshold of a new chapter where we begin implementing our new strategy of catalyzing inclusive, resilient and sustainable agricultural transformation. At AGRA we believe Agriculture is the single greatest opportunity to deliver inclusive economic growth, jobs, and health to the African continent.
People are the heart of our organisation and remain the true drivers of our delivery and our impact.
We are excited about a new fit-for-purpose organizational structure that is largely driven by an ambition to enhance collaboration across teams and drive sustainable growth. We have therefore purposed more focus on delivery of country programs within the new strategy giving even greater attention to optimising existing talent in addition to upscaling technical and operational resources.
We work with incredible people and partners who have roots in farming communities across the continent combined with an inclusive and diverse workforce from over 24 nationalities. Our values of (I-RISE; Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Stewardship and Equity) espouse our commitment to a call to action to go beyond ourselves as we arise and transform Africa’s Agriculture.
We are looking for people who are passionate about Africa, curious and collaborative to join our innovative, growing, and multidisciplinary team. Together, we can grow Africa’s food systems improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Want to join us?
Head of Markets & Post-Harvest Management
The Head, Markets & Post Harvest Management is responsible for designing and implementing a strategy to achieve large scale use of output market access techniques for agricultural commodities and higher value products for smallholder farmers.
The Head, Markets & Post Harvest Management will work to create market opportunities for farmers; to develop new market institutions to improve the efficiency, inclusivity, and resilience of agricultural markets; to reduce transaction costs and risks facing poor farmers; to expand income opportunities from value added market activities; and to lower the price of food for consumers, especially for poor net-buyers of food in rural and urban markets. The goal is to link at least 5 million smallholder farmers in eight years to profitable local, regional and international markets, ultimately expected to improve the lives of 25 million people. This position reports to the AGRA Director – Markets, Trade and Finance and works closely with AGRA leadership, Country teams and other Program Officers to develop partnerships with national and international organizations to expand and scale-up successful programs across Africa and to manage their performance.
Key Measures of Performance
The performance of this role holder will be assessed on the basis of the achievements made on:
- Improved market access
- Initiatives and their impact on small holder farmers
Major Duties and Responsibilities
Purpose – Transform
- Leads the design and implementation of grant-making activities that address constraints to farmer knowledge, practices, and behaviour change, which apply new ideas to the extension of improved market access.
- Leads the creation of an approach that will reform national and regional policies and institutions to facilitate agricultural market development and trade.
- Develops and facilitates innovative value chain approaches that increase the participation of smallholder farmers in local, regional, and global trade flows.
- Identifies and steer efforts that enable smallholder farmers to sell their products and capture value from downstream activities. This includes designing and implementing product aggregation, value addition, market linkage, access to finance models and market information systems and grading and standards.
- Leads efforts to facilitate economic transactions between value chain players and smallholder farmers in Africa.
- Develops and facilitates programs for training the next generation of agri-business leaders in Africa.
- Strategizes and directs all AGRA’s markets and post-harvest management activities.
Engagement – Compel
- Inspires the program officers of the Markets & Post Harvest management unit to build initiatives that translate smallholder farm activity gains into increased incomes.
- Builds and maintains networks with policymakers and leaders of private, governmental and non-governmental organizations providing market and post-harvest management extension services and experts to stay abreast with trends and developments in market access for smallholder farmers.
- Inspires the AGRA policy and regional trade team to develop appropriate policies to promote regional agricultural trade and facilitate linkage of smallholder farmer productivity with demand mechanisms e.g. school feeding programs
- Directs and provides coaching to relevant technical and administrative staff.
- Enables talent management and development of existing staff, acquiring of new staff as necessary and manages team dynamics to ensure high-performance and positive employee experience.
- Communicates results through presentations, written and verbal communication
Delivery – Define Program cycle
- Directs markets and post-harvest management projects and programs, assuming overall responsibility for the direction and management of the programs and projects under it and mobilizing needed financial, human or organizational resources for program execution.
- Set standards for technical and operational excellence in the execution of AGRA Initiatives, with a focus on markets and post-harvest management issues.
- Plans and manages the Program’s budget; obtains approvals from senior level management and monitors budget utilization against allocation.
Model the IRISE Values & Be a Culture Carrier
- Integrity: Uphold moral convictions and always doing the right thing.
- Respect: Value differences and embrace diversity and inclusion.
- Innovation: Strive for excellence and embracing continuous improvement, bold creativity, and change.
- Stewardship: Be responsible for actions undertaken and resources entrusted.
- Equity: Be governed by fairness in all undertakings.
Academic and Professional Qualifications
- Advanced degree in Business (Marketing option), Agricultural Economics or related disciplines
- Fluency in English required; ability to communicate in French will be considered an advantage
- Experience managing multinational initiatives in the private and/or public sector.
- Solid understanding of agricultural markets, commodities and higher value products.
- Solid understanding of farmer incentives that influence the adoption of technologies and market linkages and ability to work with national and regional agricultural institutions to accelerate technology uptake.
- Proven ability to lead effective and high impact teams and partnerships.
- Sound knowledge of, and experience in agricultural trade development at national, regional and/or international levels.
- Experience in working with key stakeholders to reform national and regional policies and institutions.
- Sound understanding of underlying demand and supply challenges in Africa, and ability to lead program officers to implement high-impact programs to solve these challenges.
- Technical knowledge of drivers that influence smallholder market linkage
- A proven entrepreneur able to develop and implement innovative solutions to markets and develop agribusiness linkages which serve poor farmers.
- Minimum of 12 years of experience, leading agri-businesses and development efforts, at least partially in Africa.
- Deep knowledge of agricultural development in Africa.
- A sound knowledge of risk management tools that respond to smallholder farmers (includes crop insurance products, market information/ICT platforms)
- Knowledge/experience with warehouse receipt system/commodity exchanges and commodity trading.
- Strategic Orientation: Focus on the big picture and overall Strategic Framework. Ability to identify and pursue strategic initiatives which provide the greatest value and sustainable impact; balances long and short-term trade-offs; communicates clearly and precisely the strategic goals and the strategies for achieving them.
- Leadership: Demonstrates ability to mobilize, focus, align, and build effective groups to enable them conceptualize and achieve collective objectives. Inspires Trust and Passion in the AGRA Mission: Ability to show great drive and commitment to AGRA mission; help others understand how their daily work contributes to the AGRA’s mission and inspires others to proactively meet the AGRA’s strategic objectives in partnership with clients. Maintains high standards of personal integrity and provides support for professional development efforts linked to business objectives.
- Customer and Market Orientation: Demonstrates knowledge of the customers they serve, competitors, suppliers, and the regulatory environment. Provides a balanced a responsive and proactive approach to meeting client needs; encourages staff to understand client needs and concerns; ensures provision of customized services and products as appropriate; Responds promptly and effectively to client and market needs. Adds business value based on own understanding and service of the customers and the market in which they work.
- Driving Results: Demonstrates drive for improvement of business results, based on well-rounded understanding of general business principles and own activities’ commercial and financial implications.
- Planning and Organising: Devises plans of action with explicit paths and measures of accomplishment for self and/or others and allocates suitable resources so that objectives are achieved. Strong administration skills.
- Technical Competencies for the position: Demonstrates knowledge of all own work role specific issues. This encompasses the technical skills or knowledge required to perform the essential duties as described in this Job Description. Specific technical competencies: quantitative analytical skills including use of appropriate software, results-based management systems, designing tools and strategies for data collection, analysis and production of reports; In-depth knowledge on development issues
- Accuracy and Attention to Detail: High level of accuracy, attention to detail and thoroughness. Ability to maintain a timely and efficient workflow.
- Managing Resources: Demonstrates the ability to plan and use resources (people and/or finance and/or physical assets) in accordance with AGRA guidelines and delegated accountability so that objectives are achieved in the most effective manner possible.
- Coaching and Developing Staff: A demonstrated capacity for working effectively within multi-disciplinary teams for collective success and provide effective coaching and encourage appropriate development activities in order to support staff in identifying and meeting their training and development needs.
- Communication and Interpersonal Relations: Exceptional communication skills and ability to represent AGRA externally at high levels. Demonstrates ability to maintain lasting, healthy, and effective one-to-one working relationships with colleagues, suppliers, customers, professional peers, etc.
- Intercultural Sensitivity and Effectiveness: Demonstrates ability to cross and bridge different racial, cultural, or business cultures. This requires and is exhibited by personal experience of international or cross-cultural business with improved achievements.
- Teamwork: Demonstrates productive drive in working with peers, partners, consultants and others to achieve pre- targeted and measurable business results
Terms of Appointment
3 Years Fixed Term (Consideration for renewal will be made subject to AGRA’s needs, available funding and performance).
Based in Nairobi, Kenya with frequent travel, approximately 50% per month/year.
How to Apply
If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 07 September 2023. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV.
All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.
SRI Executive is exclusively retained by AGRA to undertake this assignment.