2 Agronomist International NGO Job Opportunities - Mercy Corps

Job Title:          Agronomist (2 Job Opportunities)
Organization: Mercy Corps
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 Agronomist will encourage farmers to adopt improved methods of farming using a variety of methods to reach farmers through personal contact with farmers on their farms; other methods such as: organizing study groups for farmers, establishment and management of crop demonstration plots, farmer field days and exchange visits will be used in reaching out farmers to promote adoption. The Agronomist will achieve this in liaison with lead or model farmers and Extension Workers, Farmer groups, Local government and Sub-county production department, agro-input dealers, and other SNR program staff. The agricultural extension and advisory services will also include community based seed multiplication and he or she will take lead with his or her technical personnel to lead the farmers on ground.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:  
  • Actively participate in developing messages, structures and systems to continually improve SNR Agricultural Extension Services to improve the productivity of poor farmers and help them turn that productivity into improved food security and livelihoods.
  • Directly take lead in 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 practices.
  • Identify training needs, production constraints and devise solutions to address the problems at hand.
  • Carry out training of 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 SNR.
  • Collect, compile, verify, enter and keep data on SNR program beneficiaries to inform programming, this will involve collecting all Agricultural Extension Workers monthly reports from the field.
  • 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.
  • Prepare timely monthly progress reports by providing data to support evidence of tasks accomplished by all AEWs and other work plan activities accomplished and submit to Agronomist.
  • Represent the Agronomist and the agronomy sector in any 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 SNR program
  • Coordinate with other SNR teams and partners.
  • Incorporate gender mainstreaming into 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.
  • Assist the Agronomist with overall implementation of agriculture activities; develop future follow-on activity and any task as required.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
  • The ideal candidate for the Mercy Corps Agronomist job opportunity should hold a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy or related field within Agriculture.
  • At least five years of field experience in agricultural extension services, agricultural programming, farmer training and community mobilization, project planning, activities with women, and similar relevant activities can apply.
  • Be a self-starter, motivated, be able to work independently and take initiative.
  • Excellent English language, verbal and written communication skills; proficiency in Ng’akarimojong or Lepthur is also preferable.
  • Willingness to travel extensively throughout northern Karamoja districts or program sites.
  • Good computer skills i.e. MS Office, MS excel
  • Possess a 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 ug-mcjobs@mercycorps.org addressed to the Senior HR and Legal Manager, Kampala Head Office on 4th Floor Embassy Plaza, Plot 1188-1190 Ggaba Road.

Deadline: 29th May 2017

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