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The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) was founded in 1987. CORAF/WECARD ( ) is composed of the National Agricultural Research  Systems (NARS) of 23 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tomé et Principe Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The Vision of CORAF/WECARD is “a sustainable reduction in poverty and food insecurity in WCA through an increase in agricultural-led economic growth and sustainable improvement of key aspects of the agricultural research system”.

Its mission is to ensure “a sustainable improvement of the competitiveness, productivity and markets of the agricultural system of West and Central Africa by meeting the major demands of target groups of the sub-regional research system”.

CORAF/WECARD is recruiting a highly skilled scientist for the position of Senior Agri-Input Expert. Candidates will be citizens of a country which National Agricultural Research System (NARS) is member of CORAF/WECARD.

The position is based in Dakar, Sénégal.

Senior Agri-Input Expert

The Agri-Input Development Expert will be under the authority of CORAF/WECARD Director of Research and Innovation and will work closely with the Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development (PAIRED) team towards the achievement of its objectives.

Responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, the following:

Key Responsabilities

Specific responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, the following:

Area 1: Establish the Alliance for Agri-Input Industry in West Africa

  • In collaboration with IFDC and AGRA, support the establishment of an Alliance for Agri-Input Industry by merging the Alliance for Seed Industry in West Africa (ASIWA) and the West Africa Fertilizer Association (WAFA) and broadening membership;
  • Develop governance system and strengthen capacities for the agri-input alliance governance members;
  • Oversee the functioning of a viable West Africa agri-input electronic platform ( information exchange and agri-input marketing.

Area 2: Improving Implementation of National and Regional Agri-Inputs Policies

  • Strengthen capacities of Member States in implementation of the regional agri-inputs regulations – in collaboration with IFDC and CILSS;
  • Promote Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and support advocacy approaches for sustainable funding mechanism for the implementation of agri-input policies;
  • Develop region-wide mechanism for effective implementation of agri-input sector policies and support the creation of an enabling environment for rapid response to crisis management.

Area 3: Increasing the Production and Use of Agri-Inputs

  • Facilitate sustainable agri-input production and supply mechanisms and promote the use of the agri-input demand forecasting tool;
  • Integrate quality agri-inputs in commodity value chains and promote innovative agri-input packaging to drive demand;
  • Strengthen farmer-led seed production systems.

Area 4: Increasing Private Sector Participation in the Agri-Inputs Industry

  • Assist the regional agri-input associations to develop sustainable resource mobilization plans and developing partnerships with multi-national companies;
  • Advocate for liberalization of foundation seed production by the private sector and promoting models for agri-input business management and access to finance;
  • Strengthen the organizational capacities of the private sector associations (including producers’ organizations (POs).

Facilitate Coordination and Communication

  • Coordinate strategic planning as well as financial resource allocation and management of technical activities;
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with agri-input production and marketing stakeholders – at the individual and organizational levels;
  • Facilitate communication between the Regional and the National Coordinating Units, through meetings, regular contacts and using communication tools;
  • Manage daily interactions with agri-input stakeholders and provide timely and appropriate information as needed;
  •  In collaboration with the Communication and the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Units at the CORAF/WECARD Executive Secretariat, develop appropriate tools (e.g., Website and Media), to facilitate information sharing with stakeholders;
  • Oversee planning, structuring, evaluation and reporting of major program meetings relating to seed and fertilizer production, supply and use.

Monitor and evaluate milestones

  • Facilitate Program planning, monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment relating to agri-inputs production, marketing and use;
  • Monitor progress towards results, both at CORAF/WECARD and national levels, identify and manage risks to ensure progress of implementation;
  • Support the preparation of Programme reporting and archiving.
  • Perform any other related duties as may be requested by the Management.

 Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will have the following profile:

  • Have at least an M.Sc. Degree in Agri-Business, Agri-Input Policy, Seed Technology, Plant Breeding, Agric. Economics or related subject;o    Have extensive knowledge in agri-input business systems in West Africa, having worked for, at least, 5 years in the agricultural sector with focus on the agri-input production and marketing of the major food commodities;
  • Have ability to promote the ECOWAS Regulations on the Harmonization of Rules Governing Quality Control, Certification and Marketing of Seeds and Seedlings, and Quality Control of Fertilizers in the ECOWAS-UEMOA-CILSS Region, to accompany the package approach;
  • Have extensive knowledge for building business entrepreneurship capacities of the private sector SMEs, National and Regional Agri-Inputs Associations, and international agri-input companies, to promote a holistic approach in promoting the adoption of agri-inputs, as a package;
  • Have extensive knowledge for establishing national and regional platforms (Committees, Alliances, Fora and Innovation Platforms), to promote agri-input value chain approaches and to bridge the demand gap;
  • Be able to work with, coordinate and inspire multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams in a multi-partner environment, and to engage in both local and high level policy dialogue with clients;
  • Have strong capacities to facilitate knowledge building and results-based management within the context of CORAF/WECARD agenda;
  • Be able to represent CORAF/WECARD in consultations with governments, multilateral and bilateral partners, and civil society
  • Be able to contribute to maintaining constructive working environment and excellent relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Have capacity and willingness to travel extensively within the sub-region and internationally;
  • Be able to communicate and write effectively in English and French.

This is an internationally recruitment position and CORAF/WECARD offers competitive terms of employment. CORAF/WECARD is an equal opportunity employer and applications from women are encouraged.

Applications should comprise a cover letter, a detailed CV, names and contact details (e-mail addresses and telephone) of three (3) references by e-mail at: no later than November 6th 2017 at 17:30 CET. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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