Mercy Corps Baghlan, Afghanistan
Nov 08, 2017Full time
Job Description: PROGRAM/DEPARTMENT SUMMARY: The Economic Infrastructure Development for Afghanistan is part of the NRM Sector of the Mercy Corps Afghanistan Country Program. The Project concerns the rehabilitation of existing yet dysfunctional or inefficient small irrigation systems mainly used for wheat growing in the Northern provinces of Afghanistan. The purpose of the Project is geared towards (i) a quantitative and qualitative increase in yield and yield stability of wheat cultivation per hectare and farming family; (ii) an increased share in created value at the producers’ level through better marketing timing, lower production and transport costs; (iii) a reduction of losses along the wheat value chain from seeds to standing crop to grain; (iv) the creation and/or safeguarding of up to 5,000 jobs or income equivalent; (v) raising incomes for some 7,500 families by at least 600 USD p.a. The Project thus contributes to a sustainable economic development by improving wheat cultivation as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of the wheat value chain thus raising incomes and creating jobs in rural areas of Northern Afghanistan. GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY: The Agriculture & Wheat Value Chain Specialist will be based in Baghlan province, work under the direct supervision of the Senior Agriculture & Value Chain Specialist. S/he will be responsible for providing technical assistance in the planning and implementation of the Agriculture and Wheat Value Chain component of the program; ensuring that this component is managed and implemented in line with our program’s contractual requirements. He/she will be working closely with Senior Agriculture & Value Chain Specialist, community mobilizers, irrigation engineers, Monitoring Consultant and MRRD/DRRD staff, CDC, CLCDC, WUA/IAs and Mirabs. The Agriculture/Wheat Value Chain Specialist will be responsible for providing support to the program team to ensure achievement of program goals and mitigation of program risks; this will be undertaken through the following activities. ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: Arrange, facilitate and conduct feasibility studies, surveys and need assessments, as and when required for the ongoing program and/or future project proposals. Together with the irrigation engineering and community mobilization team provide input for the feasibility studies, actively take part and, identify the main constraints in irrigated wheat production. Introduce improved and appropriate irrigated crop production technologies. These may include the following: Watercourse improvements.Land leveling.Furrow irrigation.Use of better quality seed/planning material.Land preparation.Improved field irrigation techniques.Appropriate use of chemical and organic (manure) fertilizers.Integrated pest management.Water saving techniques/technologies.Develop irrigation scheduling.Calculate crop water requirement and irrigation requirement within canal command area.Introduce improved water distribution and allocation methods. The Agriculture & Wheat Value Chain specialist is responsible to manage, develop and implement programmatic technical activities, provide technical inputs for baseline survey, feasibility study, market survey, wheat value chain study, etc. Be familiar with program implementation approach, project cycle, work plan, log frame, including program goals, objectives and indicators. Provide technical inputs for the designing and developing of feasibility study, assessment and survey tools. Participate as active member of the feasibility study, assessment and survey team. He/she is responsible to conduct and collect required crops, meteorological, environmental data and calculate crop water requirement and irrigation requirement for the irrigation system. He/she is responsible to identify the current traditional based water distribution and allocation system and introduce the improved water allocation and distribution methods. He/she is responsible for developing capacity building materials and delivering training courses on various irrigation and agriculture topics. He/she is responsible for introducing wheat production practices including land preparation, seed selection, seed-rate planting, on farm water management, pest and disease management and weed control. He/she is responsible to demonstrate the harvesting techniques, timing, threshing, cleaning, packing, storage and transportation. He/she is responsible to collect and share market information and create linkages between wheat producers and local and nation markets. The specialist is responsible to train farmers in project areas in pest and disease management as well as post-harvest losses. He/she is responsible to carry out cost-benefit analysis of seed production marketing vs. grain marketing. He/she is responsible to identify the structure of wheat market players and determine the employment connected to wheat value chain. Work closely with farmers to minimize or avoid the post-harvest losses. Work closely with the project’ staff and stakeholders, ensure good coordination and communication with them. Come up with new ideas to increase the efficiency of the project. Identify needs, prepare training plan and develop training modules. Liaise with and support key program staff to ensure that the EIDA program is running effectively and making best use of project resources. Assist Senior Agriculture & Value Chain Specialist in developing weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports. Follow all MC policies, procedures and security protocols Provide written and oral translation and report writing for program staff, as necessary. Promote and adhere to the principles and objectives of the EIDA and Mercy Corps. Adhere to all Mercy Corps administrative procedures and policies. Other duties as assigned by supervisor.