Jobs in Uganda - Agronomy Extension Team Leader-Apolou Job at Mercy Corp

Agronomy Extension Team Leader-Apolou Job Post

Location:  Jobs in Uganda 2021

Work Hours: Full-time, 08 hours per day

Salary: UGX

No. of vacancies: 01

Deadline: 05 April 2021

Hiring Organization: Mercy Corp

Program / Department Summary
The $41 million USAID Food for Peace Activity (Apolou) and the $5 million USAID Resilience Challenge Fund (RCF) Activity support agriculturalists, agro-pastoralists, and pastoralist households living across the districts of Amudat, Kotido, Kaabong, Karenga, and Moroto in Karamoja.
Apolou is implemented by a consortium of actors led by Mercy Corps, including Save the Children, Whave Solutions, four local partners (KAPDA, NARWOA and Riam Riam), TUNADO, FIDA Uganda, Strong Minds and Tufts University’s Feinstein International Centre (FIC). Apolou’s goal is to “improve the overall food and nutrition security of vulnerable households in Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto and Amudat districts within the Karamoja region,” and has major 4 objectives as follows:
1. Inclusive and effective governance contributes to food and nutrition security
2. Adolescent girls, Pregnant and Lactating Women, and Children under 5 are nutritionally secure
3. Reduced incidences of WASH related diseases
4. Improved livelihoods and income support household food security
The RCF program works in the districts of Kaabong and Amudat, with the goal to “Improve the veterinary governance and increase public and private investment in disease prevention, surveillance, control and response systems to strengthen productive assets for improved resilience in Karamoja.” RCF has the following objectives:
1. Increased domestic resource allocation into animal health services in Karamoja
2. Central and local government develop animal health services capacity-strengthening plan for the Karamoja region
3. Disease control plan for economically prioritized diseases (PPR and FMD) developed and implemented
4. Private sector animal health development strategy developed and rolled out

The Agronomy Extension Team Leader will oversee the directly Sphere head and oversee a private sector led Agriculture Extension System while ensuring promotion of diversification of sustainable and community affordable crop production systems that will not only increase food availability and production but also addressing the nutrition status of the Apolou beneficiaries of Northern part and southern part of Karamoja rejoin to archive food security.
The Team Leader will oversee sector work to achieve a transformation of attitudes and behavior to improve the economic future and quality of life of Apolou program beneficiaries through close supervision of the sector team members. The degree at which the candidate will incorporate gender in his or her planning of the sectors implementation plans.

S/he will directly be in the frontline and responsible for successful implementation and rolling-out of good farming practices which may include crop rotation/intercropping, seedbed preparation, planting, weed, pest and disease control measures, post-harvest handling and storages, soil water conservation, perma-gardening and crop/livestock integration through supervision and review of training submitted data and drawing conclusions upon evidence monitoring of field based trainings. The Team Leader will ensure farmers adopt improved methods of farming using a variety of methods to reach farmers. S/he will ensure good working relationship and coordination between the sector, other partners and the district and sub county production offices. Through sharing of monthly and quarter sector reports, joint monitoring representing the sector and organization in any district and partner agriculture meetings or forums. .

Program Management
• Developing messages, structures and systems to continually improve Apolo Agricultural Extension Services to improve the productivity of poor farmers and help them turn that productivity into improved food security and livelihoods. Focus is on crop production, vegetable gardening and post-harvest handling.
• Oversee the sector`s work implementation and supervise sector staff to ensure effective use of sector resources and successful targeting of services to the most vulnerable beneficiaries’ farmers in northern and Southern Karamoja.
• Identify training needs, production constraints and devise solutions to address the problems at hand.
• Ensure Apolou beneficiary trainings take place at the specified time and as per the work plan on selected topics in the extension curriculum and ensure training is in accordance with the guidelines.
• Identify technologies, practices, tools, equipment, varieties and partners that have the greatest potential to improve the agricultural productivity in Karamoja and food security of the area’s most vulnerable, and engage/introduce them into Apolou
• Provide technical input during the PREP and DIP preparation
• Prepare and update the sector work plan in line with the allocated sector budget.
• Allocate and manage sector budget within the right scope of time while ensuring good and correct accountability for the sector allocated funds
• Organizing and conducting of monthly sector review meetings
• Work hand in hand with the Market Systems development sector to guide and link farmers to access genuine agro-input implements from agro-input dealers, retailers, agents or stockiest.
• Incorporate gender mainstreaming into program activities, considering the specific needs of women farmers and their constraints to farming (time, land ownership, money, decision making etc.)
• Working closely with other sectors and ensuring all crosscutting issues are addressed as regards the sector s/he is leading.
Gender and Youth Integration
• Ensure that program activities apply gender equity and youth empowerment principles, and meet the varying needs of men and boys; women and girls; and other vulnerable groups.
Team Management
• Carryout ground field verification of the Agronomist and Assistant Agronomist reports to capture the face and rate of farmer adoption to new technologies and better farming practices
• Conducting Annual performance reviews for the sector staffs and ensure they are done on time.
• Give technical support and ground supervision of the Agronomist and the Assistant Agronomist to ensure implementation of quality demonstration plots, farmer field days, farmer exchange visits, and community seed multiplication, perma-gardening and seed nurseries bed that may be supported by Apolou program.
• Identify knowledge gaps among his/her team and come up with a plan to do deliver tailor-made refresher trainings.
• Support the Agronomist with overall implementation of agriculture activities; develop future follow-on activity and any task as required.
• Motivate and empower the team through a good mix of management functions to foster a cohesive team.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
• Verify and keep data on Apolou program beneficiaries to inform programming, this will involve receiving all Agricultural Village Agent`s monthly reports from the team
• Draft monitoring and evaluation systems for the sector which best suit the required data for archiving the allocated sector program indictors
• Draft sector monthly and quarterly progressive reports that will inform the sector status and progress and guide on decision making and submit them to the Livelihoods Manger
• Participate in the program reviews, assessments, monitoring activities, learning and evaluations
• Update activity tracking tools as required per Apolou reporting timelines
• Ensure timely collection and entry of all the required sector data into ComCare and ensuring that the databases are up to date according to the ongoing activities
• Work with implementation team to document lessons learned from the sector and share them in to improve on impact
Influence & Representation
• Coordinate and work closely with district production department/sub county authorities to ensure that they are informed about the program activities through curtsey visits to the Sub county headquarters of program operation and at the production department at the district.
• Create partnership with private sectors e.g input dealers and those e involved in Orange Flesh Sweet potato production, Cassava production and those companies that deal in conservation agriculture to aid in achieving the sector goal
• Ensure good Coordination and communication with other Apolou teams and partners and harmonizing the shared thematic areas.
• Organise and support joint monitoring activities as requested by the DLG.
Coordination with District Implementation Team
• Build the capacity of the members of the implementation team on their particular sector through orientations, one on one discussions and demonstrating in the field.
• Supporting the district implementation team after conducting a needs assessment will decide an intervention to be layered. The district implementation team will require support in developing a sector specific plan for a particular community.
• The district implementation team member will mobilize the extension service agents which will go on to mobilize the community groups to provide the services to conduct the activity in the field. The member of the technical team will coordinate with the district implementation team to conduct the activities in the field.
• The technical team member will monitor the activities conducted in the field and provide feedback to the technical extension service agents to improve the quality of implementation of activities.
• The technical team member will meet quarterly with the district implementation team to review the activities conducted in the field and reflect with the team to understand how the quality of implementation of activities would be improved.
• Collaborate with the MEL team on the design and implementation of the Apolou CLA/Learning Agenda
Finance, Compliance AND Operations Management
• Oversee the smooth flow of routine program support functions (e.g., finance, administration, logistics) in the field office and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
• With the support of the Operations Director and Senior Operation Manager ensure adequate operational systems are in place to provide for sector operations
• Timely provision of monthly sector financial projections according to the work plan and procurement plan
• Review all Scopes of work, Purchase requests, Payment requests for codding accuracy before submission for approval.
• Strictly follow Mercy Corps Fraud and Corruption Prevention guidelines.
Ethics and Integrity
• All Mercy Corps staff are expected to behave ethically and demonstrate highest integrity in their professional and personal life. Mercy Corps has zero tolerance to any form of fraud, corruption, abuse, harassment or exploitation. Any breach of our policies or misconduct will lead to disciplinary action or may lead to termination.
• Ensure data protection policies are adhered to, establishing security controls for software, hardware and archive beneficiary databases
• Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership
• Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies
Organizational Learning
• As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
• Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
• Sensitise communities on Apolou's CARM system and encourage them to share feedback through the promoted channels
• Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission
• Other duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibility
Assistants and Officers Agronomists
Reports Directly To: Livelihoods Manager
Works Directly With: District Implementation Team, Technical Team, Gender and Youth Team, MEL and other Mercy Corps program, finance and operations staff, Partners

Knowledge and Experience
• A minimum of a B.Sc. in Agronomy or related field within Agriculture is desirable and preferred.
• A minimum of 4 years field experience in agricultural extension services, Farmer Field School, agricultural programming, farmer training and budgeting, project planning, activities with women, and similar relevant activities can apply. Candidate must be a self-starter, motivated and able to work independently and take initiative.
• The successful candidate will also have excellent English language, verbal and written communication skills.
• Candidate must be willing to and able to travel extensively throughout northern and Southern Karamoja districts or program sites.
• Computer skill i.e. MS Office, MS excel and valid motorcycle riding permit is an added advantage.

• The ability of the Team Leader to drive a private sector led Agriculture Extension System
• Ability to promote and capture learning with her/his team, institutionalizing activity reviews, identifying and evaluating preconceptions and promoting a culture of inquisition.
• Degree to which that person successfully incorporates gender into program activities, not just by meeting gender beneficiary targets, but also be innovatively considering the specific needs of women farmers and their constraints to farming (time, land ownership money, etc.)
• Degree to which the team work cohesively towards achieving Apolou objectives

Experience in Months: 48

Level of Education:
Bachelor Degree

Application procedure

Use the link to apply: 

Date Posted: 2021-03-26




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