Farmers World Limited
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE- AGRONOMY
As part of its expansion drive, Farm Services Unit wishes to recruit suitably qualified person to fill the following existing vacancy, which is tenable at its Head Office, Kanengo, Lilongwe.
Job Title: Research Associate- Agronomy
Direct Report: General Manager-Farm Services Unit
The Research Associate links the General Manager, Regional coordinators, research team,
facilitators on the ground and data analyst and stakeholders with interpretable and actionable
operational and research outcomes. He/she will ideally have a thorough grasp of agronomical practices and endeavours in Malawi and across Meridian’s central African regions.
The Research Associate supports the implementation of FSU’s System Funder and External Engagement Strategy, working under the supervision and guidance of the FSU General Manager to promote the visibility of the Organization’s research and development profile and brand. This position works closely with different FSU teams to design and disseminate internal and external data analytics, decision support and communications that drive forward the Merdian Group’s agronomic priorities and potential funders to establish and maintain strategic relationships.
The position will all support understanding behavioural, market – and finance-related policy barriers to agroecological transformation in Malawi related explicitly to soil health and nutrition in coordination with teams in other regions. The incumbent will design research activities, organize.stakeholder workshops, assess business and financial models, collect and analyze primary data, and report on farmer and value chain actors’ preferences, capacities, and agency. Therefore, this position requires a professional with strong communication and writing skills, a high level of
attention to detail and the ability to manage spatial and non-spatial databases.
- Leads efforts with the head of FSU to develop, propose, and implement complex research techniques and procedures for analysing agronomic systems with a focus on soil and crop health and nutrition boundaries and
footprints of food systems in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Coordinates projects and supports outreach activities
- Takes lead responsibility in assuring those analytical techniques and/or fieldwork are developed in compliance with established quality standards.
- Contributes to impact evaluations related to agricultural development, markets and agriculture-nutrition linkages.
- Performs research and statistical analysis of the information collected on farmer/ customer boundaries and.footprints and develop a database to present the results achieved by various projects under the supervisor’s guidance.
- Coaches other staff members on data acquisition, analysis, interpretation, and curation.
- Assists in writing papers for international scientific journal standards.
- Supervises field activities as assigned and report abnormal situations that arise in the development of the projects assigned.
- Takes lead responsibility for carrying out special investigations as assigned by the GM FSU/project lead.
- Reviews publications for their inclusion in the database and collect information on the agricultural sector to prepare articles and research reports.
- Takes a leading responsibility as a team member to develop periodic reports and tables, allowing FSU staff to track their projects.
- Participates in the publication of research results through annual reports, presentations, and publications.
- Participates in special projects with other research institutions and international organizations.
- Strongly contributes to the training and updating of knowledge and research techniques to the rest of the staff working in the unit and keeps updated on new research techniques or processes.
- Visits and supervises other FSU/ Meridian fieldwork programs and/or field programs of collaborators.
- Coordinates efforts to raise awareness about project activities, products, and outcomes among stakeholders, partners, policymakers, and the general public.
- Assists in monitoring, evaluating, and reporting efforts by providing quality input and reports timely (as indicated by GM FSU).
- Uses advanced analytical techniques to develop and monitor indicators for climate adaptation, crop yield growth and soil nutrition using agriculture data
- Coordinates technical support and field activities assigned to the project areas on data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
- Documents results in the form of reports, journal papers and media reports
- Contributes to resource mobilization activities.
- Represents FSU in regional and international fora.
- Performs other duties assigned by the direct supervisor.
- Ability to work independently and with initiative.
- Willingness to travel.
Experience, Minimum Skills and Qualifications Required
- MSc in Agronomy/ Horticulture or MSc/ MTech with graduation in agriculture, systems analysis in agriculture, or another related field from a recognized institution.
- Advanced knowledge of relevant administrative and legislative protocols and policies for the SADC region.
- At least 3 years of professional work experience in research and research for development projects.
- Experience in farm surveys and conducting on-farm research trials, preferably with grains and legumes.
- Conceptual knowledge of theories, practices, and procedures within agricultural and environmental sustainability of food systems, soil health and nutrition, application of concepts from environmental sciences and agriculture including working with large spatial datasets.
- Demonstratable ability to write, publish and disseminate technical reports, success stories, and promotional materials.
- Ability to identify and finalize solutions to field problems (soil, water management, soil health, fertilizer application, nutrient management).
- Proficiency in using standard software at an advanced level; knowledge of R and potentially Python for data analysis.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
- Work experience in developing countries is desirable.
- Ability to work in a team and supervise technical staff.
- Critical Thinking, Communication, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Team Leadership and Teamwork as well as advanced knowledge of project management and M&E activities.
- Familiarity with GIS, remote sensing, crop modelling and gridded spatial modelling shall be an added advantage.
Terms of Appointment and remuneration
This is a regionally recruited position. Meridian offers an attractive compensation package, inclusive of a competitive salary, housing allowance, medical insurance and leave provisions. All benefits are dollar denominated and paid in Malawian Kwacha.
The successful candidate will be offered a fixed term contract, of which the first year will be a
probationary period. The possibility of the extension will be subject to the merit and productivity of the staff, availability of funding and continued need for the position.
Method Of Application
If you are interested and you meet the above requirements, deliver your curriculum vitae and cover letter including names and contact details of three traceable referees one of whom should be your current or former employer to:
The Head of Human Resources,
Farmers World Limited,
P. O. Box 1631,
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to reach him not later than Friday 9th December 2022.
Meridian is an equal opportunities employer. No canvassing of any kind is allowed.