Friday, 29 September 2017

Job Opportunity At Natural Extracts Industries Ltd-Junior Agronomist- Farmer Outgrower Program- Short Term Consultancy


Moshi Kilimanjaro


Natural Extracts Industries Ltd (NEI), a start-up social enterprise, is pioneering the sustainable, natural flavour manufacturing industry in Tanzania, starting with vanilla and other flavour extracts. The company works in all areas from cultivation, to post-harvest processing, value-add manufacturing and international sales and marketing. The supply chain currently integrates over 1,600 farmers from Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Morogoro regions, and through this sourcing model NEI aims to deliver long-term, sustainable income for each smallholder household. Current products include natural flavours, such as liquid extracts from vanilla, orange, cacao and coffee, and solid flavours like gourmet-grade bourbon vanilla pods, cocoa powder and nibs. The company was recently awarded the Nestle Creating Shared Value Prize and has secured long term funding from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund and social impact investors. It is embarking on a high growth trajectory, particularly in expanding its supply chain, to reach over 6,000 farmers, and achieving turnover of over USD 1 million.

Role responsibilities

 The Junior Agronomist will be responsible and accountable for the following activities:
Manage the successful implementation of technical, financial, and administrative activities of assigned sub- region of NEI’s agriculture program, including:
Manage the network of all NEI-affiliated farmers for the assigned sub-region, farmer representatives (Champions) of sub- region and strategically identify, register and contract additional new farmers and groups for allocated region;
Ensure the delivery of classroom training sessions for Champions and/or assigned groups as per the NEI Vanilla Husbandry Manual;
Providing feedback to Value chain manager ( VCM) in preparation of relevant education and training materials, including good agricultural practices (GAPs as identified in the “Vanilla Husbandry Manual”) for the various crops in the Company’s supply chain (primarily vanilla planifolia); Responsible for implementation of all trainings to the farmers with assistance of Farmer Champion in the field and ensuring maximum training effectiveness and cost-efficiency, as specified in the vanilla husbandry manual;
Assist the VCM in roll out of ICT platform to NEI farmer Extension Program and monitoring the adoption of ICT platform by farmer champions.
Maintain regular communications with field staff to stay current on program activities; facilitate communications between Management and field staff; and proactively identify and troubleshoot problems;
Ensure regular communications with farmer Champions & farmers s via telephone and SMS, both to promote GAPs and to keep them abreast of company activities (e.g., for procurement and relationship building);
Track program expenditures against budget and obligated funds;
To keep upto date on on existing tools and leading the development of innovative, effective, country-appropriate approaches and best practices in Vanilla agronomy.
Identify training needs for farmers, by monitoring activities related to vanilla husbandry (pollination, stimulation, harvesting, etc.), and for farm-specific conditions such as diseases, growth patterns, soil conditions, rain/irrigation patterns, etc.;
Promote and evangelise the increase of area under vanilla cultivation, the increase in yields, and geographic expansion, in order to meet procurement targets;
Keep detailed, up-to-date and well organised electronic and paper records (e.g., farmer database), field reports and contracts;
Assist the VCM in following procurement activities, including:
Promote, organise and coordinate collection centres to minimise the cost of procurement and reduce post-harvest waste;
Oversee the timing and quality of harvesting;
Direct procurement coordinator to procure raw materials from collection centres and other locations/organisations;
Maintain effective controls to mitigate procurement risks.
Ensure monthly report versus agreed targets of training, farmers farm inspections, farmer champion reports, procurement, for the assigned area of work.
Capture, distribute, and promote program best practices, lessons learned, success stories and impacts;
Conduct any other activities as may be required to ensure NEI’s success.

Desired skills

 The following qualifications and competencies are required:
Bachelor's degree or equivalent in Agronomy, Agricultural Economics, or general science
At least 1-2 years of experience in working with field operations in agricultural value chains
Basic knowledge on Agronomy and entering data in the excel sheet.
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both oral and written, in English and Swahili;
Comfortable handling smartphone devices , since the incumbent will be recording data on ICT enabled smart phone devices
A passion for farmer-level social impact.
Team player and ability to lead the team of fellow field officers as well as lead farmers.
A hunger to learn and grow with company goals.

Reporting structure Reports to: Value Chain Manager
This role requires intensive travel in rural areas to visit farmers across all areas of operations including Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Morogoro regions, and to villages with limited transport access. The candidate should be comfortable with extensive travelling.
If you would like to apply for this role, please contact us at, including your CV and a brief message about your reasons for choosing our social enterprise
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