Everyone deserves the opportunity to build a better future. This simple idea has been at the heart of TechnoServe’s work around the world for over 50 years. TechnoServe is a pioneer in leveraging the power of business and markets to create sustainable pathways out of poverty.
The low-income communities in which we work are full of enterprising people. Their small-scale farms and businesses are the keys to economic development. But they face many challenges: low literacy, lack of access to jobs and markets, unpredictable political dynamics and, increasingly, the effects of climate change. For many women and young people, the challenges are even more daunting. Working with TechnoServe staff, people around the world are lifting themselves out of poverty. The results are amazing…when incomes increase and living conditions for families get better, they are able to access health care and education previously out of reach. Communities and even whole countries are better off.
TechnoServe Zimbabwe has integrated farmers into the fresh produce export markets by providing them with technical assistance and linking them with exporters. Two main pillars for the next phase are capacitating the farmer groups to comply with market standards as well as strengthening a Trust to operate a new Packhouse which is under construction. TechnoServe is developing innovative approaches and building relationships with both corporate and public partners to enable more smallholder horticultural households to achieve livelihood security.
The AVC Coordinator will coordinate agronomy extension and production support to smallholder and large scale commercial farmers in response to market demand. The role will also strengthen the capacity of farmer groups to commercialise their operations as they progress from subsistence farming. This will entail developing, executing, and reviewing group-specific business plans to ensure sustainable year-round production in compliance with Good Agricultural Practice standards, including GLOBALGAP. Reporting to the Program Manager, the role will train Farmer Trainers, government Agricultural Extension Officers, lead farmers as well as private sector actors to implement recommended commercial models to meet volume, quality and yield targets, mainstreaming a regenerative approach to production. The position should result in the following milestones being achieved:
Planting programs in place for all the farmer groups. Planting programs are implemented, with regular updates on the set KPIs.
Meeting volume, yield and quality targets, with regular updates on the set KPIs.
Planned and executed Agronomy and production training program for Farmer Trainers, ARDA and ARDAS (AGRITEX), Lead Farmers; and, cascading of the training to farmers
Regular meetings with groups to evaluate progress, with minutes shared with stakeholders.
Primary Functions and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of The Program Manager, you will:
Farm Production Management and Agronomy Support
Support the implementation of the Whole Farm Management Approach, mainstreaming regenerative business practices. Organize groups into Farming Business Units in liaison with the Trust Resource and ARDA and ARDAS.
Draw and implement a pathway to help smallholder farmer groups to grow from subsistence to fully-fledged commercial entities.
Identify best irrigation schemes and farmers to partner, including large scale commercial farmers
Execute the planting program on schedule
Provide Agronomy support to the farmers
Report on farm budgets, focusing on plans vs actuals
Facilitate regular meetings with farmer groups to measure performance.
Train Farmer Trainers, ARDA and ARDAS (AGRITEX), Lead Farmers on Agronomy and Production practices, mainstreaming regenerative business approaches.
Facilitate look and learn visits to keep farmers abreast with best global practices.
Support the Program Manager to develop standard training material for the above.
Develop an excellent working relationship with the farmers, farmer groups,
Program Manager, ARDA and ARDAS personnel and all project partner organizations
Develop and nurture excellent working relations with all relevant stakeholders in Midlands province (exporters, private sector companies, ARDA, ARDAS, financial institutions and local authorities)
Packhouse Management Support
Support the Standards and Packhouse Coordinator to set up systems and infrastructure for the packhouse, mainly through logistical support
Support the MEL Coordinator with the technical inputs into different reports
Donor reports – quarterly
Stakeholder reports (RDCs) – monthly
Support the MEL Coordinator to capture lesson learnt and stories of change.
Bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences or other relevant fields and/or extensive experience in commercial export horticulture.
Experience in Agronomy, Farm Management, planting programs and availabilities in an export set up.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Export horticulture experience in a private sector set up
An understanding of GLOBALGAP standards.
Coaching and mentoring skills
An analytical mind: you know how to break a problem into easily understandable pieces of information. You use your intuition and logic to guide your research and find solutions.
Ability to tell stories with data, educate effectively, and instil confidence, motivating stakeholders to act on recommendations
Outstanding communication skills, both written and oral. Ability to develop well written, cohesive analyses and reports
Computer skills in MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel
We encourage all qualified individuals who share TechnoServe’s vision of improving the lives of others through proven business solutions to apply.
With our commitment to diversity, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and affirmative action employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, HIV/AIDS status, protected veteran status, disability and all other protected classes.
We are also proud of our commitment to protecting staff, partners, and beneficiaries from abuse and exploitation and thoroughly vet all final candidates through rigorous background and reference checks.
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