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Sustainable Agriculture Specialist at Food and Agriculture Organization

Food and Agriculture Organization
Nairobi Agriculture Full Time

Organization Name:Food and Agriculture Organization

Job Title:Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

Job Type: Full Time

Job Category: Agriculture


The Full-Size Project “Integrated Landscape Management for conservation and restoration of the Mt. Elgon in Western Kenya”, aims to promote the sustainable and integrated management of the Mt. Elgon landscape through the development of inclusive responsible coffee value chain and sustainable staple food production systems. The project is a child project under the overarching Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) Impact Program funded by GEF7 which aims to: promote comprehensive land-use planning; improve governance and align incentives; scale up innovative and practical applications in commodity value chain partnerships; leverage investments through linkage with private and public partners; and promote institutional collaboration in integrated approaches at the global, country, and landscape level. The Impact Program targets large production landscapes that have the potential to deliver global environmental benefits at scale and can be sustained after the program concludes.

In line with the FOLUR program framework, the project’s interventions will be structured through four components: under the first, it will strengthen the “enabling” environment and the local capacity for the development of Integrated Landscape Management Systems; under the second it will support the promotion of sustainable food production practices (focus on maize) and the development of

responsible and inclusive commodity Value Chains (focus on coffee); under the third it will enhance the capacity to restore degraded natural habitats and sustainably manage them; and under the fourth, it will ensure project coordination, collaboration with the Global Knowledge to Action (K2A) Platform for knowledge exchange and capacity development and M&E.

Project preparation activities will consist of desktop studies as well as multi-stakeholder consultations and workshops to ensure involvement of key stakeholders in project design processes and generate project ownership, and systematization of knowledge about needs, potential and commitments of actors and agents at national and sub-national levels (i.e., project sites at municipal level). The activities will contribute to awareness raising on the project and ensure active participation by technical sectors and political support to maximize design synergies and buy-in during the project development phase.

The main outputs that will contribute to the preparation of the full project document (FPD) will consist of relevant baseline data and information collected during the preparation period, workshop reports, consultant’s analysis and cost/efficient proposals, financing plan, risk analysis and mitigation measures and realistic targets and indicators. The final product will be the detailed design of project components, including Results Framework, budget allocations and co-financing mobilization, on the basis of which the FAO-GEF Project Document and the CEO Endorsement Request will be prepared. The GEF7 core indicators will also be completed as well as the Environmental and Social screening checklist and certification form in the FAO format based on the Environmental and Social Management Guidelines.

The project will focus specifically on two Counties surrounding the Mt. Elgon Water Tower: Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia. Within these localities, the nature and extent of the specific target sites for field-level activities will be confirmed during the PPG phase, based on considerations including the existence of globally important environmental values and addressable associated threats, community buy-in, and resource availability.

Reporting Lines

The incumbent will work under the supervision of the FAOR, the technical supervision of the International GEF design Expert and the GEF-National PPG phase Coordinator and in close collaboration with other national experts.

Technical Focus

The objective of this assignment is to lead, in close collaboration with the national and international experts, the formulation and completion of the outputs under outcome 2.1 while contributing to other outcome 1.1, 3.1 and 4.1 linked to promoting sustainable and climate-smart agricultural practices with a strong focus on improving biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Outcome 2.1

Improved efficiency and sustainability of coffee and maize production systems

Indicators (and Targets)

(i) # of new business models adopted based on improved climate resilient farming practices with innovative finance mobilized

(ii) Area of landscapes under improved practices (50,000ha).

Outcome 3.1

Increased Mt Elgon landscape area under conservation and restoration

Indicators (and Targets)

(i) Area of degraded farmland under restoration/rehabilitation and improved management (5,000ha).

Tasks And Responsibilities

  • In support to design of Component 2, output 1 and 2, the consultant will draft a preparatory technical report on agricultural practices in both targeted project areas with a focus on maize production systems and extension systems in the project area, with the objectives to:
    • Identify and characterize key agricultural production systems linked to maize production in the project area, analyze challenges and gaps to sustainable agriculture, including in terms of capacities (technical, managerial…), infrastructures (processing, roads, markets, storage facilities…), etc…(identification of policy, institutional, technical, socio-economic barriers to sustainable agriculture)
    • Take stock of past projects/programmes aimed at scaling up of sustainable agricultural practices (CSA, conservation agriculture, agro-ecology), and capitalize successes and lessons learned (including identified gaps or weaknesses) from on the ground implementation
    • Assess current livelihood strategies of local stakeholder and identify opportunities for value addition (SME development, business models, incentive mechanisms) to agriculture, livestock and forestry products while conserving biodiversity and protecting ecosystem services within the landscape.
    • Assess public and private sector financing and investment in sustainable agriculture especially in maize and coffee value chains
    • Identify and map existing extension schemes and key service providers for capacity development (government, private sector, cooperatives, NGOs etc.) in the project area as well as knowledge referenced (trainings, manuals, websites etc.) on these different production systems
    • Assess capacity development approaches that could be used to widely disseminate the best agricultural practices identified (in particular approaches such as Farmer Field Schools, Dimitra club), and the institutional anchorage for collaboration on the ground.
    • Identify and map existing coordination structures at the different levels (National, County, Ward, Community) to promote an integrated approach across the landscape for sustainable food production in the project areas and capitalize on existing platforms and lessons learned.
    • Clearly outline the baseline scenario and the current barriers and how this project can bring change promoting sustainable agricultural practices across the landscape to reduce negative externalities from food crops production and avoid deforestation.
    • Support the PPG team to define criteria for site selection and lead the identification of the most degraded agricultural lands and propose key project sites for implementation
    • Building on the above, propose a set of detailed activities for component 2 (output 2.1.1, 2.1.2 and 2.1.3) to guarantee that 45,000 ha of degraded farmland are under improved management and 5,000 ha of landscape are benefiting biodiversity, and associated budget (following FAO budget lines) and corresponding indicators and baseline.
    • Along the same lines, assist the Integrated Natural Resources Management expert to propose a set of detailed activities for component 3 output 3.1.1. and 3.1.3 to guarantee that 10,000 ha of degraded farmland and forest are under restoration/rehabilitation and improved management, and associated budget (following FAO budget lines) and corresponding indicators and baseline.
    • Detail how the activities above can be sustainable and brought up to scale. Highlight the innovative part of the proposed strategy/activities.
  • Provide inputs to relevant sections of the full-sized project document and its supporting materials , including relevant baseline information, tracking tools, social and environmental assessments, results framework, national benefits, sections on gender equality, Free Prior and Informed Consent, human rights based approaches (including right to food, decent work, accountability to affected populations), capacity development, etc. information, analysis, comments, and others related to issues of gender and livelihoods.
  • Undertake field missions and participate in workshops/ meetings/ consultations as required, and complete and submit mission reports covering a brief summary of mission activities and conclusions, key persons/ organizations consulted and recommendations for the finalization of the project documents.
  • Provide a preliminary outline, proposed methodology, draft and final copies of all expected outputs.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree or PHD in agriculture or related field from internationally recognized university
  • Ten (10) years of demonstrated relevant professional experience in sustainable land management, with specific experience in working with communities on adoption of sustainable land management and climate-smart agricultural practices and diversified livelihoods in Kenya;
  • Working knowledge of English and Kiswahili
  • National of Kenya

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Proven record of support to implementation of community-based agriculture and/or sustainable agricultural intensification projects in Kenya;
  • Excellent knowledge of nature-based solutions for agricultural production systems in Western Kenya
  • Experience working with FAO and/or UN on GEF projects
  • Excellent communication skills (speaking and writing)

Method of Application

Interested and qualified? Go to Food and Agriculture Organization on to apply

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