OSC Post-harvest and Marketing Officer at Agriterra: (Deadline 15 December 2021)

OSC Post-harvest and Marketing Officer at Agriterra: (Deadline 15 December 2021)

OSC Post-harvest and Marketing Officer at Agriterra: (Deadline 15 December 2021)

Vacancy for ambitious and knowledgeable professionals with a passion for rural development 

Project: Out-grower Service Company model for maize and soybean in Rwanda

We are Agriterra, a Dutch agri-agency that provides business development services to ambitious cooperatives and farmer organizations in developing and emerging economies. We assist them with advice and training by locally based business advisors and by deploying practitioners from the Dutch and international farmer organizations and (cooperative) companies; the so-called Agripool experts. We apply a three-track approach: we make cooperatives bankable and create real farmer-led companies, we improve extension services to farmer members, and we enhance farmer-government dialogues. Our advisory practice covers the full range of services on Management & Organization, Financial Management, Governance, Business Development, and Lobby & Advocacy.

Agriterra works from local offices in a large number of countries. We work with self-steering teams, so our employees are challenged to use every bit of determination, creativity, and strategy to achieve our compelling goals. Being a self-steering organization makes Agriterra an inspiring and challenging environment for professional growth and development.

Agriterra has an annual turnover of approximately 15 million euros, is ISO certified, and has over 160 employees, both in the Netherlands and abroad. For more information, visit our website www.agriterra.org.

For a new and innovative initiative in the Rwandan maize and soybean value chains, specifically in Ngoma district, Agriterra Rwanda is looking for an accountant of an out-grower service company.

I. Introduction of the project

The Out-grower Service Company (OSC) model for maize and soybean in Rwanda is a pilot project that seeks to increase the soybean and maize productivity and supplies of raw materials for animal feed production. Several factories have been set up in Rwanda to process animal feeds, but they all lack sufficient availability of domestic quality maize and soybean, forcing them to import their raw materials. Most maize and soybean producers have organized themselves into cooperatives, but the efficiency of the cooperatives often requires further professionalization and upscaling. Having seen the situation, Enabel initiated the Out-grower Service Company model to provide solutions to challenges faced by both smallholder farmers and animal feed processors. In November 2020 Agriterra received a grant from Enabel to implement this project for a period of 3 years. The targeted number of direct beneficiaries is 3,000 maize and soybean farmers, located in the eastern province, Ngoma district. Experiences of the pilot in Ngoma will be shared with cooperatives in Gisagara and Kirehe districts in year 2 of the project.

II. Background of the assignment 

The animal feeds industry is a critical component of the livestock sector in Rwanda. However, over the years the sector faced significant challenges in producing sufficient animal feed to support the development of its livestock sector. These challenges include:

i. Low productivity of the livestock sector with farmers utilizing grasses, maize and legumes in feeding their animals which in many cases affects their productivity.
ii. Poor quality (high aflatoxin levels) and limited availability of maize (energy source).
iii. Lack of reliable domestic supply of Soya (plant protein) or alternatives.
iv. High cost of imported animal feed ingredients which positions the price of feeds above farmers’ purchasing power.
v. The limited availability of alternative sources of calcium.

To this end, Enabel funded the implementation of the Out-grower Service Company Model to be piloted by Agriterra in the maize and soybean sectors to increase the local supply of animal feeds ingredients, increase the production levels of animal feeds and improve the productivity in the livestock sector.

Position: OSC Post-harvest and Marketing officer

Location: Ngoma district, Eastern province

As post-harvest and marketing officer, you will be based in the OSC office in Ngoma and will support the implementation of the Out-growers services company model in the maize and soybean value chains. The recruited post-harvest and marketing expert will have the responsibility to capacitate the newly established aggregation company to become of added value to its founding cooperatives within a competitive market, through coaching and introduction of best practices in post-harvest handling, marketing, logistics, and other relevant fields of expertise for businesses operating in grains handling and marketing.

To ensure that the project objectives are achieved in full, the job holder will be required to establish a great cooperation and communication with OSC staff on the field, liaise directly with project partners (i.e. Enabel, RAB, and local government), and other key maize and soybean value chain partners (off takers, suppliers of post-harvest handling and storage materials and devices and other services providers).

 Duties

  • To support the OSC to progressively improve its post-harvest handling and storage while anticipating market demand.
  • Proactively establish and maintain relationships with value chain partners, in the interest of the affiliated farmers.
  • Develop learning materials about post-harvest handling and storage for maize and soybean, efficiency of delivery and quality management.
  • Train OSC team of agronomists, farmer promoters, and lead farmers on post-harvest handling and storage techniques.
  • Oversee the post-harvest handling and storage training of farmers to be conducted by farmer promotors and lead farmers.
  • Focal person for all queries related to delivery and quality of the production.
  • Support the follow-up on payment of the production delivered to buyers by the OSC.
  • Ensure proper recording, reporting, and analysis of the production, aggregation, and sales data.
  • Organize the contract negotiation and signing meetings between OSC and buyers.
  • Facilitate the OSC access to an output credit.
  • Attendance at quarterly and/or yearly review meetings.
  • Capacitate the agronomists and other relevant OSC staff in the understanding of best post-harvest handling practices.

Expected results

  • Improved post-harvest handling techniques, from farm to firm.
  • Knowledge transfer in post-harvest handling practices.
  • Improved quality of produced and aggregated maize and soybeans.
  • Efficient access to reliable and profitable markets for maize and soybeans.
  • Facilitate the drafting of reports to the Board of Directors, Enabel, and the district.
  • Carry out other relevant tasks as assigned by Agriterra Rwanda or the OSC manager.

Your profile

  • A0 in Agriculture Sciences, Food Sciences, Agribusiness or a related field with at least 2 years of working experience in post-harvest handling and storage.
  • A respectful and motivated attitude towards farmers and their organizations.
  • Good computer skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Good interpersonal and writing skills in Kinyarwanda, French, and English.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Ability to work in an innovative business model, with loyalty to farmers, cooperatives.
  • Ability to work in Ngoma District.
  • Strongly developed analytical abilities and commercial insight.
  • A robust personality combined with the ability to work independently.
  • Experience in post-harvest handling and storage techniques for maize and soybeans crops is an advantage.

Are you interested?

Are you interested in this position, and do you fit the profile? Apply before the 15th of December 2021 with a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and academic certificate in one PDF file, by sending an e-mail to rwanda@agriterra.org to the attention of Mr. Jasper Spikker, Agriterra Rwanda country representative, with reference code ATRW-8706PH. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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