Agronomy Officer Job Opportunities – Mercy Corps

Job Title:    Agronomy Officer

Organization:
Mercy Corps

Duty Station:
Uganda

About US:

Mercy Corps is a
global non-governmental, humanitarian aid organization operating in
transitional contexts that have undergone, or have been undergoing, various
forms of economic, environmental, social and political instabilities

About the Project:

Mercy Corps
implements high-quality, analytical development work in very difficult places.
We have been operating in Uganda since 2006 and currently implement development
programs in the Acholi and Karamoja sub-regions of Uganda with funding from
USAID, EC, SDC, and USDA, WFP. We are currently implementing a
market-development focused 5-year USAID/Food for Peace-funded program working
in the northern and southern half of Karamoja (Amudat, Moroto, Karenga, Kaabong
and Kotido districts) and in search of competent and creative persons to fill
the positions of Agronomy Officer. The project, called Apolou aims to support
the immediate needs of program beneficiaries while promoting long-term
development by spurring systemic improvements in key economic sectors of
northern and Southern Karamoja.

Job Summary:  The Agronomy Officer with support from the
agronomy sector team work to achieve a transformation of attitudes and behavior
to improve the economic future and quality of life of Apolo program
beneficiaries. The ability of the Officer to drive the implementation of
effective agricultural extension and advisory services for adoption of improved
farming practices and technologies will be the position’s primary success
factors. The second will be the degree to which the incumbent promotes and
capture 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 considering the specific needs
of women farmers and their constraints to farming (time, land ownership, money,
decision making to mention a few.)

He or she will be
responsible for sphere heading and planning of agronomy related trainings and
monitoring with continuous reporting of the status of the schools to the
Agronomy Extension Team Lead together with good collaboration with the
different district agriculture bodies like the Sub County Agriculture Officers
and different Livelihoods partners such as Harvest Plus and CIP.

The Agronomy officer
will directly be in the frontline and responsible for successful implementation
and rolling-out of good farming practices in line with the agronomy calendar
through close and supportive monitoring of Assistant agronomists and Agronomy
graduate trainee in fields of  which may
include crop rotation/intercropping, seedbed preparation, planting, weed, pest
and disease control measures, post harvest handling and storages, soil water
conservation, perma-gardening and crop/livestock integration through field
based training. He or she will support her team to foster adoption of farmers
to improved methods of conservation farming using a variety of methods to reach
farmers such as personal contact with farmers on their farm, 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 Officer will achieve this in liaison with his key team
members, AVAs lead or model farmers, MCGs, VSLAs, Youth groups, Farmer groups,
Enterprise Groups, Local government and Sub-county production department,
agro-input dealers, and other Apolo program staff. The agricultural extension
and advisory services will also include community based Orange Flesh Sweet
Potato and Iron beans and he or she will take lead with his or her technical
personnel to lead the farmers on ground and ensure promotion of farmer scale up
on production.

The main target is
to promote crop diversification for proper and successful utilization of
quality agro-inputs (improved seeds, equipments and tools, fertilizers, crop
protection chemicals) to increase production and productivity of the priority
crops towards improved food security and livelihoods of the program beneficiaries
while addressing malnutrition challenges in Northern and Southern Karamoja. In
addition, the work involves considerable monitoring and assessing agricultural
conditions and results.

Key Duties and Responsibilities: 

·       Participate in developing messages,
structures and systems to continually improve Apolou`s Agricultural Private
sector led 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 Apolou 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 and Southern Karamoja.

·       Actively participate in community
mobilization and sensitization for adoption of best Famer field school
agronomic practices.

·       Identify training needs, production
constraints and devise solutions to address the problems at hand for both the
Assistant Agronomists and the Farmers through the Assistant agronomists who
will directly work with the AVAs.

·       Supervise training of Apolou beneficiaries on
selected topics in the extension curriculum and Famer Field School and ensure
training is in accordance with the guidelines.

·       Identify technologies, practices, tools,
equipment, varieties majorly on conservation agriculture and partners that have
the greatest potential to improve the agricultural productivity of Northern and
Southern Karamoja and food security of the area’s most vulnerable, and
engage/introduce them into GHG.

·       Supervise and ensure the collection,
compilation, verification, entry of data and keep data on Apolou program
beneficiaries to inform programming, this will involve ensuring Assistant
Agronomist are collecting all Agricultural Village Agent`s monthly reports from
the field.

·       Work hand in hand with the Market system
development 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 training, workshop, weekly and
monthly progress reports by providing data to support evidence of tasks
accomplished by all AVAs through the Assistant Agronomists and other work plan
activities accomplished and submit to the Agronomy extension lead.

·       Represent the agronomy extension sector in
any Apolou designated and delegated agricultural extension and advisory
services in northern and Southern Karamoja.

·       Carryout verification of sector field
submitted data by the Assistant Agronomists through different modes
verification such as AVAs reports to capture the face and rate of farmer
adoption to new technologies and better farming practices, organize AVA field
extension days among others.

·       Participate in organizing and conducting of
monthly sector review meetings.

·       Conduct Timely annual performance reviews of
the assigned Assistant Agronomists

·       Give technical support and ground supervision
of the Assistant Agronomists and the Agronomy graduate trainees to ensure
implementation of quality demonstration plots, farmer field days, farmer
exchange visits, and perma-gardening and seed nurseries bed that may be
supported by Apolou program.

·       Coordinate with other Apolou teams and
partners, including but not limited to: Livestock, Market System development,
Health System Strengthening, KAPDA, RIAMRIAM, NARWA,AIDI

·       Incorporate gender mainstreaming into Apolo
program activities, considering the specific needs of women farmers and their
constraints to farming (time, land ownership, money, decision making etc.)

·       Participate in the program reviews,
assessments, monitoring activities, learning and evaluations.

·       Support the Agronomy Extension Team Lead with
overall implementation of agriculture activities; develop future follow-on
activity and any task as required.

·       Any other duty as assigned

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

·       The ideal candidate must hold a B.Sc. in
PURELY Agronomy is desirable and preferred field experience in agricultural
extension services, agricultural programming, Famer Field school, 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. The successful candidate
will also have excellent English language, verbal and written communication
skills; proficiency in Ng’akarimojong is an added advantage preferable.  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.

·       The ability of the Agronomy Officer to drive
the implementation of effective Famer agricultural extension services and the
adoption of improved conservation agriculture practices.

·       Ability to promote and capture learning with
her/his team, institutionalizing activity reviews, identifying and evaluating
preconceptions and promoting a culture of inquisition.

·       Degree to which that person successfully
incorporates gender into program activities, not just by meeting gender
beneficiary targets, but also be innovatively considering the specific needs of
women farmers and their constraints to farming (time, land ownership money,
etc.).

How to Apply:

All suitably
qualified candidates are encouraged to apply online at the link below

Click
Here

Deadline: 20th July 2020

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