Senior Agronomist at Catholic Relief Services

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an International non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 99 countries around the world. CRS programs assist person on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs, therefore, strengthening and building the capacity of these partner organizations is fundamental to programs in every country in which CRS operates. CRS re-established presence in Nigeria m 2000 and currently focuses on agriculture, HIV and health extractives and governance, and peace building programming.Band: 9
Department: Programs
Reports To: Deputy Chief of Party
Location: Adamawa
Job Ref Code: SAG210119
Full JD Link: https://goo.gl/yXxWzb
Project Background:
CRS is bidding for a multi-million-dollar, multi-year USAID/Nigeria Water for Agriculture Program. This program seeks to develop and implement interventions that will sustainably increase water availability and management, towards increasing agricultural productivity in in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states of Nigeria. This effort will contribute to CRS’ agriculture and livelihoods signature program area and ongoing efforts to promote resilience, recovery and development within Nigeria and neighboring countries around the Lake Chad Basin. **
Job Summary:
The Senior Agronomist will manage the agricultural component of Water for Agriculture Program. S/he will work closely with farmers’ and livestock groups to increase production of crops and livestock using the newly developed / rehabilitated water infrastructure in a sustainable manner. S/he will lead capacity development of farmer groups in climate-smart crop production, weed / pest control, harvest and post-harvest management
Specific Job Responsibilities:

Oversee formation of farmers’ / livestock groups and sustainable utilization of newly developed /rehabilitated water infrastructure.
Provide strategic guidance and leadership on viable value chains across the program; ensuring thorough assessments and analysis of commercial viability of potential value chains before investment.
Support adoption of appropriate technologies in agricultural production and post-harvest processing to reduce costs and increase commercial viability of selected value chains.
Support farmers’ / herders’ access to financing through community-level micro-credit and savings schemes / linkages with MFIs.
Working jointly with other stakeholders and relevant government ministries and department agencies (MDAs), develop sustainable intervention strategies for prioritized value chains.
Work closely with other program managers to demonstrate and promote commercial viability of selected value chains and agribusinesses.
Ensure compliance with CRS and USAID policies and requirements.

Commitment to gender sensitive programming and management

Qualifications and Skills:

Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Agronomy, Agricultural Economics or other relevant field.
At least 7 years of international experience in senior position supporting similar programs across sub-Saharan Africa.
Demonstrated knowledge in sustainable livelihoods approaches and experience working with rural farmers’ cooperatives.
Sound crop management knowledge and understanding of soil fertility and water management issues in North East Nigeria.
Prior experience on donor-funded programs of a similar size and scope.
Demonstrated ability to reach under-served communities and design products for excluded population segments including young women and men.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.

Required Travel: To field locations in Nigeria
Work Environment: Office environment in the field (Adamawa State).
Key Working Relationships:
Supervisory: Water for Agriculture Program Managers and Sectoral Team Leads
Internal: Consortium Partners; CoPs and Project Managers of other CRS projects; Support Departments including Operations etc.
External: Government Ministry Agencies (MDAs); UN agencies; Peer agencies (NGOs) and Community Representatives.