The Seeds for Impact Programme (SIP) started as a 6-year programme, funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) – operating in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, and Nigeria. SIP’s hypothesis is that access to improved seed will effectively enable smallholder farmers to increase production and improve their livelihoods. SIP’s Flagship initiative aims to:
- Make seed market systems work better for smallholder farmers across Africa.
- To increase the incomes of hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers (SHFs) and households across Africa.
- To increase Smallholder farmers’ access to seeds of new high-yielding and climate-smart crop varieties beyond hybrid maize to increase production, mitigate against adverse climate, and diversify food production.
As the importance of resilient and strong local seed systems is more acute than ever before, the SIP Programme, with potential funding from the Swedish Embassy in Tanzania, is anticipated to expand with a dedicated Window in Tanzania. This two-year project within SIP’s flagship programme will aim to increase smallholder farmers’ (SHF) access to seeds of improved and high-yielding crop varieties that are tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Funding will be deployed through financial and technical support to Africa-based small and medium-sized seed companies.
The Portfolio Officer will be responsible for the overall comprehensive planning and execution of assigned programme activities to ensure that: implementation is on track, performance targets are met, progress reporting is timely and accurate, and resources are utilized appropriately. The role holder must have excellent technical skills and the ability to offer expert support to the portfolio of seed companies, as well as a deep understanding of business management processes and the challenges SMEs face in the seed business.
- Work with the Agribusiness Lead to design the marketing strategy and conduct new funding competitions/challenges in the Mbeya region.
- Contribute to establishing appropriate linkages with the relevant state/government departments, donors, private sector bodies, potential project partners, and civil society.
- Effectively onboard and manage the portfolio of approved investees to ensure delivery of set programme objectives and development impact targets as well as Technical Assistance.
- Support in developing a sustainable seed system in Tanzania that will deliver seeds of improved and climate-smart crop varieties to rural smallholder farmers to mitigate against the challenges posed by climate change.
- Lead in continuous learning and design of initiatives related to seed marketing, market intelligence, and seed business to address seed production and marketing challenges.
- Prepare periodic portfolio status reports (performance, risks, and opportunities).
- Maintain a database of pipeline investees, while analyzing emerging financing opportunities to feed into funding proposals.
- Regularly apply learning, emerging innovations, and best practices from project evaluations, field visit reports, and project reports across the program, and from other development organizations and donors to new proposals.
- Ensure compliance with internal controls and risk management of the portfolio in accordance with the wider AECF Limited Risk and Compliance Management Framework.
Suitable candidates should:
- Hold a University degree in Agronomy, Seed Science and Technology, Agricultural Economics, or a related field.
- Have at least 5 years of relevant experience in seed sectors, including work related to seed policy, seed production, and quality control. Experience in relevant AECF sectors is preferred, and in portfolio or investment management – including experience with financial and operational due diligence of early or growth-stage businesses.
- Have proven project management skills, demonstrate the ability to manage complex and competing resource allocation requirements, with the ability to work with a diverse group of clients.
- Have a good understanding of rural markets in Africa and especially Tanzania. An understanding of the operations of donors and international development organisations will be an added advantage.
- Have good analytical and communication skills with the ability to prepare proposals, reports, and concept papers to a high level of proficiency.
- Have experience working with SMEs, and financial intermediaries working with micro and small businesses.
- Be proficient in English and Kiswahili.
- Have a high degree of initiative and energy, a “can-do” attitude, flexibility, teamwork, and attention to detail.
How to apply
The AECF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants will be considered based on merit without regard to race, sex, colour, national origin, religion, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
AECF does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training, or any other fees).
To be considered, your application must be received by: 23rd February 2023
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