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Posted Jan 10

Agro-economics coach; Senior agri-finance expert

The Bilateral Ethiopia - Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade (BENEFIT) in Ethiopia
Gondar, Amhara, Ethiopia Full Time

Senior agri-finance expert

Job Description

Background

Sesame is an important agribusiness sector in Ethiopia. It is a priority crop in the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP). It has a significant turnover and more importantly, the sector has significant potential for further growth and development, both in terms of production and yield improvement, reduction of post-harvest losses, domestic value addition and in terms of market access and turnover.

The largest part of the Ethiopian sesame production and export originates from the lowlands in the North Western part of the country : KaftaHumera, Tsegede, Wolkayit, TahtayAdiyabo, Tselemti and AsgedeTsimbla woredas in Tigray Region and Metema, Quara, Tegede, Tach Armachiho, MirabArmachiho and Jawi woredas in Amhara Region.

The Sesame Business Network (SBN) is a largely informal innovation network that is driven by local entrepreneurs and other stakeholders, who work together with the aim to move forward in their respective sesame related business ventures.

The Netherlands Government, through its Embassy in Ethiopia, funds a support project called BENEFIT-SBN which allows for accompanying the sesame sector stakeholders to achieve their objectives. The BENEFIT-SBN project provides its support in the above mentioned 12 sesame producing woredas.

The objectives of the support project follow the (economic) objectives of the members of the SBN. Research, extension training and facilitation services are supportive to SBN member initiatives, which in turn are linked to clear economic objectives of the participating stakeholders. Capacity and innovation development, in combination with knowledge sharing and learning, support the effective development and uptake of innovations to address identified challenges. Access to input and output finance has been identified as one of the major challenges of the sesame sector.

For more information on the Sesame Business Network and the Benefit-SBN project, visit: www.sbnethiopia.org

Duties and responsibilities:

The main role of the agri-finance advisor, one of the senior positions in the Benefit-SBN project team,is the development and coordination of the Benefit-SBN project activities for improving farmers’ access to input and marketing credit and for improving the attractiveness of the sesame production zones as an investment zone and service area of financial institutions, both for commercial banks and micro-finance institutions.

This role, which the agri-finance advisor plays in close collaboration with key stakeholders and the Benefit-SBN team, implies the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Leading the analysis and continuous monitoring of informal and formal rural finance systems, with attention for new national and regional policy developments, and for current and potential roles of farmers’ cooperatives and unions
  • Analysis of production costs of different sesame production practices and for different sesame farmer categories, leading to the assessment of financial risks and financial rate of return of different options for sesame production.
  • Analysis of the current portfolios of banks and MFI’s operating in the sesame sector, farmers’ repayment rate and habits and related risks for financial institutions.
  • Sensitizing farmers and cooperatives on financial management of their farms and on responsible loan management
  • Informing farmers and their organizations on the requirements of financial institutions.
  • Contributing to the roll-out of farmers’ literacy training and capacity development for entrepreneurial farm management at household level
  • Informing financial institutions on farmers’ financing needs, based on farmers’ cash flow analysis.
  • Creating linkages and better understanding between financial institutions and farmers/farmer organizations, and promoting investment in sesame.
  • Financial product development, in collaboration with the managers and senior officers of financial institutions
  • Prepare and monitor terms of reference for local and international consultants
  • Organise meetings and workshops in sesame production zones and at national level
  • Prepare activity and progress reports and contribute to the monitoring and evaluation system of the SBN and its support program
  • Contribute to newsletters, briefs and audio-visual productions of the sesame business network
  • Support any other tasks as requested by SBN stakeholders and BENEFIT-SBN project management

Place of work: Gondar; at Gondar Agricultural Research Centre. The position will involve frequent field travel to sesame producing woredas in the lowlands of North West of Ethiopia (Amhara and Tigray regions).

Job Requirements

Qualification and experience:

He/she:

  • has anMSc. degree in rural finance, banking or agro-economics or related fields of study
  • has a minimum of five years’ experience in relevant positions, preferably as staff or manager of a financial institution providing loans to farmers
  • has excellent knowledge of the (current situation and new developments in the) financial sector in Ethiopia, especially rural or agri-finance
  • understands and talks the language of agri-finance, both from a farmers’ and bankers’ point of view
  • hasexperience providing trainingsand can deliver trainings on agro-economics and rural finance
  • maintains relations with different organizations in the sesame production zone (MFI, banks, AGP woredas, BoAs, projects, …)
  • is able to capture, analyse, synthesize and present financial data
  • has experience with tools for value chain analysis, business planning and market prospection
  • masters MS office applications and statistical packages for financial analysis
  • has a hands-on and flexible attitude
  • thinks ‘out of the box’ and has a proven proactive approach
  • can deliver under conditions of high work pressure and is able to meet tight deadlines
  • is strong in problem analysis and strategic decision-making
  • works independently and takes responsibility
  • builds teams and the capacity of others
  • has good interpersonal communication skills at various levels
  • is excellent in speaking and writing Amharic, English (Tigregna is an advantage too)
  • is willing to work in sesame production areas of Northwest Ethiopia



Agro-economics coach


Job Description

Background

Sesame is an important agribusiness sector in Ethiopia. It is a priority crop in the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP). It has a significant turnover and more importantly, the sector has significant potential for further growth and development, both in terms of production and yield improvement, reduction of post-harvest losses, domestic value addition and in terms of market access and turnover.

The largest part of the Ethiopian sesame production and export originates from the lowlands in the North Western part of the country : KaftaHumera, Tsegede, Wolkayit, TahtayAdiyabo, Tselemti and AsgedeTsimbla woredas in Tigray Region and Metema, Quara, Tegede, Tach Armachiho, MirabArmachiho and Jawi woredas in Amhara Region.

The Sesame Business Network (SBN) is a largely informal innovation network that is driven by local entrepreneurs and other stakeholders, who work together with the aim to move forward in their respective sesame related business ventures.

The Netherlands Government, through its Embassy in Ethiopia, funds a support project called BENEFIT-SBN which allows for accompanying the sesame sector stakeholders to achieve their objectives. The BENEFIT-SBN project provides its support in the above mentioned 12 sesame producing woredas.

The objectives of the support project follow the (economic) objectives of the members of the SBN. Research, extension training and facilitation services are supportive to SBN member initiatives, which in turn are linked to clear economic objectives of the participating stakeholders. Capacity and innovation development, in combination with knowledge sharing and learning, support the effective development and uptake of innovations to address identified challenges.

For more information on the Sesame Business Network and Benefit-SBN, visit: www.sbnethiopia.org

Duties and responsibilities:

The overall tasks of the agro-economics coach is to contribute to the strengthening of entrepreneurial capacities of farmers and their cooperatives, to help improve the rural finance system and to promote innovations at the market side for the development of competitive, sustainable and inclusive sesame value chains. Local business development, strengthening of cooperatives and facilitating and improving relations between farmers and financial institutions are among the key words that are associated to this position.

The agro-economics coach works in a team of coaches that also consist of agronomic and training-extension-communication coaches. All coaches, irrespective of their professional background, have the following general tasks:

  • Analysis of business cases in the production zone,through engagement with individualfarmers, primary cooperatives and unions
  • Facilitation of sesame sector actors to jointly formulate and pursue clear economic objectives
  • Supporting the SBN stakeholders in identifying key challenges to address and identify options to overcome these challenges
  • Supporting the stakeholders with the elaboration of individual and joint action plans
  • Aligning different support modalities of the SBN support project to stakeholder initiatives and plans
  • Linking stakeholders to other programs and projects supporting the sesame sector
  • Supporting the stakeholders to collect and analyze relevant information for navigating their business and achieving their socio-economic objectives
  • Maintainingrelations with different organizations in the sesame production zone (AGP woredas, research institutes, bureau of agriculture, projects, …)
  • Organizing (different types of) meetings and workshops in the sesame production zone
  • Elaborate short summary reports on sesame sector topics, for different user and target groups
  • Contributing to the newsletter, briefs and audio-visual productions of the sesame business network
  • Contributing to the planning, monitoring and evaluation system and process of the SBN and its support program
  • Being available for tasks requested by the team coordinator, managers and coordinators of the BENEFIT -SBN project

Specific responsibilities and duties of the value chain and business development specialist in the coaching team include:

Action research and information management

  • Collection and tracking of economic information and studies on (developments in) the sesame sector
  • Identification of key market challenges for sesame and rotation crops (input, output and labour markets and rural finance system), leading to suggestions for appropriate action
  • Coordination and backstopping of agro-economic studies and coaching of studentswith specific responsibility for Amhara region.

Market information, business development and facilitation of business relations

  • Tracking of past, current and on-going research and development activities on sesame markets and prices and analysis of supply and demand dynamics, with emphasis on spot markets and trade relations in Amhara region
  • Analysis of market potential for relevant rotation crops (sorghum, different pulses)
  • Proactive identification of local entrepreneurs, with suggestion for their capacity strengthening
  • Developing and maintaining relations with buyers of sesame and rotation crops (processors, brokers, traders, exporters, ECX, …) with aim of improving supplier-buyer relations

Rural finance

  • Analysis and continuous monitoring of informal and formal rural finance systems
  • Analysis of production costs of different modalities of sesame production and for different sesame farmer categories
  • Analysis of financial risks and financial rate of return of different options for sesame production.
  • Analysis of farmer cash flows and finance needs, and information of financial institutions on farmers’ financing needs

Farmer entrepreneurship

  • Calculate the costs, risks and benefits of technical options for improved agricultural production and productivity, in collaboration with agronomists and farmers, cooperatives and unions
  • Support the roll-out of financial literacy training for farmer households

Cooperative governance and business development

  • Facilitate and participate in the (self)assessment of the performance of primary cooperatives
  • Train cooperatives on cooperative organization and management, in collaboration with relevant institutions, with emphasis on cooperative own business development
  • Establishing and maintaining an inventory of smart procurement and marketing practices, that are options for farmers and their organizations, in collaboration with input dealers, banks and MFI’s, traders and processors.

Training and coaching

  • Elaborate basic training modules on above mentioned subjects and coordinate, organize and deliver training sessions on agro-economic subjects
  • Train farmers and DA’s, among others, on methods, tools and techniques for value chain analysis, cost price calculation, cost-benefit analysis, market prospection and other relevant subjects

Place of work: Gondar;Gondar Agricultural Research Centre. The position will involve frequent field travel to six woredas in Amhara region in the North West of Ethiopia.

Job Requirements

Qualifications and experience required:

He/she:

  • has an MSc. degree in agro-economy, business management or related fields of study (a BSc. degree may be compensated with significant practical experience, preferably in the private sector)
  • has proven experience with agribusiness development (> 5 years) and understands and talks the language of traders, processors and financial institutions
  • can deliver training sessions to farmers and cooperatives on agro-economic and rural finance subjects
  • is capable of conducting market research and identifying and addressing input and output market challenges
  • has experience with tools for value chain analysis and market prospection and has experience with tools for business plan development
  • is capable of providing methodological backstopping for agro-economic studies at local level
  • masters MS office applications and statistical packages for economic analysis
  • is a team player with strong communication skills
  • has good reporting and writing skills
  • has a hands-on and flexible attitude and proactive approach
  • can deliver under conditions of high work pressure and meet tight deadlines

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates are invited to send their CV and a personal motivation letter by Email or Mail beforeJanuary26th 2017,

By Email to: sbnethiopia@gmail.com

By Mail to : BENEFIT-SBN, Gondar Agricultural Research Centre (GARC), P. O. Box 1337, Gondar, Ethiopia

Please note:

Candidates that pass the first screening will be invited for an interview. It is only at that stage that credentials such as diplomas, certificates and reference letters are needed.

Women are highly encouraged to apply.

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