Job Reference: POQA/CESSA/08/2023
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 optimizing 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?
Program Officer – Quality Assurance & Regulation. Job Reference: POQA/CESSA/08/2023
This is a critical role in the seed systems and CESSA as a whole given that from the SeedSAT assessments, seed quality was founding wanting in almost all countries and if not addressed farmers will lose confidence in the seed on the market. The role is expected to work closely with public and private institutions involved in seed production and marketing. These include national seed regulatory agencies, national research systems, private seed companies, national seed trade associations.
Digitization is one way of addressing seed quality issues and S/he is expected to work with IT firms to digitize some components and work closely with AGRA Policy and Seed teams to identify, resolve or give direction on seed regulatory impeding bottlenecks. S/he’s responsibility is to give AGRA a guidance on seed quality assurance and establishment of regulatory frameworks.
Key Measures of Performance
- Partnerships made with national seed regulatory agencies made to help address counterfeit seed on market.
- Percentage of quality seed reaching farmers
- Interventions introduced including digital tools to reduce counterfeit seed on market.
- Grant making and management.
- Seed regulatory impediments identified and addressed.
- Number of national seed regulatory agencies supported and professionally in operation.
- Seed regulatory frameworks developed and implemented.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
Purpose – Adapt
- Identifies opportunities for making grants to seed regulatory bodies that could be brought to scale and do so in ways that leverage public and private investments.
- Captures and provides technical input in integrated grants in the area of seeds regulation and seed quality.
- Identifies opportunities to improve the networking of seed analysts, scientists, agronomists, and other researchers engaged in the target countries in Africa.
Engagement – Persuade
- Secures collaboration with stakeholders to identify potentially high-impact opportunities to complement and enhance seed systems in integrated grants.
- Builds strategic partnerships with public and private sector in seed system/regulatory systems/seed quality.
Delivery – Adapt the Project Cycle
- Organizes and carries out (including the use of consultants) rapid market assessments to ascertain the areas for intervention.
- Responds to grant requests from country and Geographical Service Teams
- Builds the capacity of grantees in the area of seed quality.
- Develops concept notes and proposals for resource mobilization.
- Plans, oversees, monitors and evaluates the awarded grants to ensure that targets and milestones are being achieved in a manner that is consistent with the mission and objectives of AGRA and its funders.
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
- A master’s degree in agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Public Finance, Public Administration, Law or related disciplines
- A relevant Doctorate degree will be an added advantage.
- Thoroughly familiar with and experience in working with Research and Development (R&D), national seed trade associations and analytics houses.
- Good understanding of how international seed agencies like International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) work
- Fluency in English required; ability to communicate in French will be an advantage.
- Strong understanding of and the ability to interpret and action smallholder farmer resilience needs.
- Analytical, excellent data mining ability
- Clear understanding of how national regulatory agencies work, their limitations and how to put them on track.
- Deep knowledge and understanding of national, regional and international seed regulatory frameworks.
- Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks.
- Experience in seed regulation/ supervision and/or development of seed systems pertaining to African rural development.
- Experience designing and implementing programs and/or policy and regulatory reform in a relevant sector experience working primarily in Africa.
- Achieving Results: Anticipates constraints, identifies solutions and takes responsibility for addressing critical situations; Sets self and others stretching goals, over and above those required to meet organizational standards and targets; Takes the necessary actions to meet these goals; identifies and applies measures to track and quantify achievement; Aligns projects with organization’s mission and objectives and demonstrates a good understanding of the impact of team’s and own work on external and internal counterparts..
- Managing & Sharing Knowledge: Disseminates and shares knowledge openly and actively contributes to knowledge/network communities for topics relevant to area of expertise; Builds networks for the effective communication and exchange of knowledge and ideas and puts others into contact with various sources of knowledge; Contributes to an environment that is conducive to innovation and learning.
- Accountability: Maintains ethical behavior, admits mistakes and exhibits responsible behavior in the meeting of performance expectations; Actively seeks out solutions to achieve results; Holds self-accountable for achieving results as an individual as well as team members; Identifies and assists in addressing areas of weakness that may impact the department’s performance..
- Diversity & Inclusion: Takes a conscious effort to learn about different styles of conflict resolution; Is proactive in managing conflict over differences when it arises rather than avoiding it; Listens actively for the frames of reference and does not prejudge; Seeks to understand and adapt to different styles when working with those who are different; Treats others as they wish to be treated; Shows readiness to change the way he/she does things to meet the needs of those from diverse backgrounds.
- Adaptability: Adapts personal approach to meet the needs of different or new situations; Seeks guidance in adapting behavior to the needs of a new or different situation.
- Stakeholder Focus/Partnerships: Contacts stakeholders to follow up on services, solutions or products to ensure that their needs have been correctly and effectively met; Understands issues from the stakeholder’s perspective; Keeps stakeholders up-to-date with information and decisions that affect them; Monitors services provided to stakeholders and makes timely adjustments as required; Maintains ongoing communication with stakeholders; Regularly and systematically contacts stakeholders or prospective stakeholders to determine their needs; Uses understanding of stakeholder’s perspective to identify constraints and advocate on their behalf; Works with stakeholders to adapt services, products or solutions to meet their needs; Encourages co-workers and teams to achieve a high standard of service excellence; Anticipates areas where support or influence will be required and discusses situation/concerns with appropriate individuals; Proposes new, creative and sound alternatives to improve stakeholder service delivery; Engages effectively with all stakeholders.
- Teamwork: Establishes strong relationships with colleagues and partners; relates well to people at all levels; Is fully aware of the team purposes, respects and understands individual and collective responsibilities; Willingly puts in extra effort without being asked and adopts a ‘hands-on’ approach whenever necessary to achieve team objectives; Coordinates own work with that of the team to meet agreed priorities and deadlines.
Terms of Appointment
3 Years Fixed Term (Consideration for renewal will be made subject to AGRA’s needs, available funding and performance).
Based in Accra, Ghana.
How to Apply
If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail address and telephone contacts to firstname.lastname@example.org noting to quote the job reference number in the subject of your email)
To be considered, applications must be received on or before Monday 18th September 2023.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer