Vacancy Announcement: Program Officer – Rice

Duty Station: Nairobi, Kenya
Contract Type: Full Time
Department: AATF Rice Project
Deadline for Application: 09/17/2021

Organizational Context

AATF is an international not-for-profit organisation that facilitates and promotes public/private partnerships to promote food security and enhance the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in SSA. AATF works with African governments, private and public technology owners and developers, NGOs, seed companies and African smallholder farmers to identify and access technologies that address farmers’ key problems and empower them through the availability of a choice of agricultural innovations that generate wealth and health for their families and communities. AATF is a registered charity under the laws of England and Wales and has host country status with the Government of Kenya. The Foundation depends on the ongoing support and collaboration of different partners and investors to meet its objectives. AATF is implementing two projects on rice aimed at improving rice productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa:

First is the Nitrogen use Efficiency, Water use Efficiency and Salt Tolerance (NEWEST) aimed to develop, testing and deploying of farmer preferred and locally adapted rice varieties with enhanced Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE), Water Use Efficiency (WUE) and Salt Tolerance (ST) for smallholder farmers in SSA. The project is being implemented in 3 pilot countries (Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria). The project is currently at the regulatory phase.

Second is the Hybrid Rice Project: Breeding by Design aimed at improving food security and rural livelihood among African small-scale rice producers by developing hybrid rice, with a significant yield advantage and create sustainable hybrid rice agro-businesses to support rice farming in SSA.

The project is being implemented in Kenya and Tanzania as the pilot countries with project partners already testing the hybrids in other parts of SSA. Ensuring sustainable transition of the 2-line hybrid rice technology to private seed companies and commercialization of products is the current key priority of the project. In addition to the two projects, AATF leading a Public-Private Partnership initiative known as the Alliance for Hybrid Rice in Africa (AHyRA) that develops, promotes and catalyses sustainable agro-business through licensing and commercialization of hybrid rice technology to improve the livelihood of rice farmers towards a rice self-sufficient Africa.

The position will provide technical and administrative support to the implementation of the NEWEST and Hybrid Rice projects as well as AHyRA to ensure timely and high-quality delivery of activities and reporting. This is a nationally recruited position and will be based at AATF’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and reporting to the Project Manager – Rice.

Functions / Key Results Expected

Project Management

1. Support the development and implementation of product delivery strategies and work plans for effective commercialization of rice projects

2. Support in implementing the customized monitoring and evaluation plans for the projects and seed quality management in target countries

3. Assist in the preparation of technical reports and publications, including editing, proofreading, and formatting

4. Day to day management of information and data related to product development, seed production, deployment and quality management

5. Support coordination and technical backstopping of product deployment partners and stakeholders to enable efficient seed production, commercialization, demonstrations and quality management in target countries

6. Assist in the Rice Project schedules to ensure timely task completion of work plans, including meetings and workshops with stakeholders Reporting and Accountability

7. Support the Project Manager in timely submission of AATF Corporate and Donor reports.

8. Follow up for timely submission of the monthly report, mid-term, and annual report in accordance with sub-grantee agreements.

9. Produce ad-hoc reports as required by the role and project from time to time. Coordination

10. Assist in development, implementation and monitoring of Rice projects and initiatives.

11. Support the Project Manager in convening meetings with the partners, and other stakeholders as needed.

12. Develop and manage the Rice Database at the national and Africa level to ensure timely provision of information to project partners and stakeholders.

13. Support facilitation of Rice Project activities through concept design, program development and following up on the action points.

14. Management of Project-related events in mounting and managing Rice project displays in exhibitions and meetings as required.

15. Engage in effective dialogues, provide timely responses to communication, and enquires to nurture relationships and generate desirable traffic.

Corporate Competencies:

• Exceptional interpersonal skills with an ability to consistently maintain good working relationships, and work effectively in a team setting

• Demonstrated ability to provide constructive performance feedback, effectively recommend, and communicate needed improvements

• Commitment to and a strong capacity for working through collaboration and partnerships – must have superior relationship management skills.

• Good problem-solving skills: demonstrates resilience and initiative when faced with challenges.

• Demonstrated financial/ budget management skills

• Outstanding organizational and time management skills including the ability to prioritize and multi-task

• Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.

• Strong organisational skills with the ability to plan and priorities work activities to meet project goals and objectives

• Strong diplomatic and negotiation skills and nimble to changing environments and relationships

• Good networking skills and ability to build and sustain relationships with key partners.

• Ability to write/edit good reports, impact stories and minutes of meetings

• A good understanding of agricultural biotechnology social – political and regulatory environments

• Ability to build and sustain relationships with key constituents (donors, research institutions, media, government institutions, etc.)

• High-level interpersonal and cross-cultural skills including the ability to build alliances and collaborative relationships with sensitivity to diversity.

• Ability to maintain high standards of integrity; establish straightforward, productive relationships; treating individuals with fairness and respect.

• Fluency in English. Knowledge of French or Portuguese would be an added advantage

Recruitment Qualifications

  Education:Minimum of Master’s Degree in agricultural or related science from a recognized University
  Experience:At least 5 years of relevant technical and administrative experience in technology transfer to farmers, with hands-on experience in the commercialization of crops in Africa.
Sound knowledge and experience in the rice value chain in Africa.
Excellent communication skills including fluency in written and spoken English and the ability to write effectively for varied purposes and audiences.
Good understanding of Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural biotechnology, social-political and policy environments.
Experience in data management and analysis.
Administratively self-sufficient and strong computer skills with advanced proficiency with MS applications, and a willingness to learn additional software and systems as required experience in rice market analysis and impact assessment will be added advantage.
  Language Requirements:  Fluency in written and spoken English.  A working knowledge of French would be an added advantage  

Submission of Applications

Qualified candidates are invited to log in to our website to obtain the full job description and send their applications on or before 17 September 2021 to and clearly indicate on the email subject –Program Officer –Rice.

AATF is an equal opportunity employer; committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all religious and ethnic backgrounds and any other diversity groups to apply and become a part of our organization.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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