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18 August 2016

USAID GHG Assistant Agronomist NGO Careers - Mercy Corps

Job Title:         Assistant Agronomist
Organization: Mercy Corps
Project Name: USAID/Food for Peace-funded program
Duty Station: Uganda

About Mercy Corps:
Mercy Corps is an International NGO that exists to alleviate poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps has been fully registered in Uganda as an operational NGO. Currently Mercy Corps has an office in Kampala and is implementing Food Security programs which comprise of Water and Sanitation, Livelihood and Agriculture and Conflict Mitigation Management Program in North and North Eastern Uganda. We implement programs in the northern districts of Pader, Kitgum, Agago, Lamwo, Kaabong, Abim and Kotido with funding from USAID, USDA, Walmart Foundation, SDC, DFID as well as other private donations.

About USAID GHG Program:
Mercy Corps implements a market-development focused 5-year USAID/Food for Peace-funded program working in the northern half of Karamoja (Abim, Kaabong and Kotido districts) called Growth, health and Governance (GHG), and a Safety Net and Resilience (SNR) Program with World Food Program. Both of these projects aim to support the immediate needs of program beneficiaries while promoting long-term development by spurring systemic improvements in key economic sectors of northern Karamoja.

Job Summary: The Assistant Agronomist will work to achieve a transformation of attitudes and behavior to improve the economic future and quality of life of GHG program beneficiaries. The ability of the Assistant Agronomist to drive the implementation of effective agricultural extension and advisory services for adoption of improved farming practices will be the position’s primary success factors. The second will be the degree to which s/he promotes and captures learning with his/her team, institutionalizing activity reviews, identifying and evaluating preconceptions and promoting a culture of inquisition. The third success factor will be the degree to which the incumbent successfully incorporates gender into program activities, not just by meeting gender beneficiary targets, but also innovatively consider the specific needs of women farmers and their constraints to farming (time, land ownership, money, decision making to mention a few.)

Key Duties and Responsibilities:  
  • Actively participate in developing messages, structures and systems to continually improve GHG/SNR’s Agricultural Extension Services to improve the productivity of poor farmers and help them turn that productivity into improved food security and livelihoods. Focus is on crop production, vegetable gardening and post-harvest handling.
  • Directly take lead in GHG/SNR Agricultural Extension Work and supervise field activities to ensure effective use of resources and successful targeting of services to the most vulnerable beneficiaries’ farmers in northern Karamoja.
  • Actively participate in community mobilization and sensitization for adoption of best agronomic and post harvest handling practices.
  • The incumbent will identify training needs, production constraints and devise solutions to address the problems at hand.
  • Carry out training of GHG/SNR beneficiaries on selected topics in the extension curriculum and ensure training is in accordance with the guidelines.
  • Identify technologies, practices, tools, equipment, varieties and partners that have the greatest potential to improve the agricultural productivity of Northern Karamoja and food security of the area’s most vulnerable, and engage/introduce them into GHG/SNR.
  • Collect, compile, verify, enter and keep data on GHG/SNR program beneficiaries to inform programming, this will involve collecting all Agricultural Extension Workers monthly reports from the field.
  • Prepare timely sector monthly and quarterly progress reports by providing data to support evidence of tasks accomplished by all AEWs and other work plan activities accomplished and submit to Agronomist.
  • Work closely with the Crop sector to guide and link farmers to access genuine agro-input implements from agro-input dealers, retailers, agents or stockiest.
  • Coordinate and work closely with district production department/sub county authorities to ensure that they are informed about the program activities through curtsey visits to the Sub county headquarters of program operation and at the production department at the district.
  • Represent the Agronomist and the agronomy sector in any GHG/SNR agricultural extension and advisory services in northern Karamoja.
  • Carryout ground field verification of AEWs reports to capture the face and rate of farmer adoption to new technologies and better farming practices. Participate in organizing and conducting of monthly sector review meetings.
  • Provide technical support and ground supervision of AEWs to ensure implementation of quality demonstration plots, farmer field days, farmer exchange visits, and community seed multiplication, perma-gardening and seed nurseries bed that may be supported by GHG/SNR program.
  • Coordinate with other GHG/SNR teams and partners, including but not limited to: Livestock, Financial Access, Urban Development, Maternal and Child Health and KAPDA.
  • Incorporate gender mainstreaming into GHG/SNR program activities, considering the specific needs of women farmers and their constraints to farming (time, land ownership, money, decision making etc.)
  • Actively participate in the program reviews, assessments, monitoring activities, learning and evaluations. 
Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The ideal candidate for the Mercy Corps Assistant Agronomist job opportunity should hold a B.Sc. in Agronomy or related field within Agriculture is desirable and preferred. A candidate with a Diploma in General Agriculture
  • At least three years field experience in agricultural extension services, agricultural programming, farmer training and community mobilization, project planning, activities with women, and similar relevant activities can apply.
  • Candidate must be a self-starter, motivated and able to work independently and take initiative.
  • Excellent English language, verbal and written communication skills; ability to speak Karamajong is required.
  • Candidate must be willing to and able to travel extensively throughout northern Karamoja districts or program sites.
  • Computer skill i.e. MS Office, MS excel and valid motorcycle riding permit is an added advantage.

How to Apply:
All prospective Ugandans who wish to join Mercy Corps are encouraged to send their applications via email including a cover letter clearly stating your salary requirements, CV (with 3 referees), and copies of academic qualifications/certificates to addressed to the Senior HR and Legal Manager, Kampala Head Office on 4th Floor Embassy Plaza, Plot 1188-1190 Ggaba Road.

Deadline: 23rd August, 2016

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