Productivity and Extension Specialist at Land O’Lakes’ Venture37

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Food for Progress Lesotho – Sustainable Transformation of Enterprises in the Poultry Sector (STEPS)

Maseru, Lesotho

Background: 

Land O’Lakes’ Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening agriculture from farm-to-fork, helping businesses grow, and linking farmers to markets. Since our start in 1981, we have been leveraging nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights from our close affiliate, Land O’Lakes, Inc., a farmer-owned agribusiness committed to fulfilling its purpose of feeding human progress.

Our team is made up of nearly 350 employees who are committed to market-led approaches, and passionate about collaborating locally to create lasting inclusive economic growth. By unlocking the potential of agriculture for the last 36 years, the lives of more than 3 million people have been transformed through nearly 300 programs in more than 80 countries.

Project Description:

STEPS aims to catalyze private sector-driven transformation enabling local poultry sector actors to access Lesotho’s strong end-markets and reclaim market share. STEPS will transform Lesotho’s poultry sector to enhance the profitability of value chain actors, increase meat and egg production and improve food security.

Leveraging existing opportunities and tools, STEPS will address constraints which limit production, productivity, and efficiency of local poultry egg and meat markets. A segmented approach takes into consideration the unique needs of local poultry producers, including subsistence farmers, and small to large scale commercial poultry enterprises engaged in production, processing, marketing, and retailing of eggs, meat, and processed poultry products. These actors will be engaged through the indigenous and dual-purpose poultry value chains, and the commercial broiler and layer value chains respectively. STEPS will identify pathways to further integrate and grow poultry, and poultry related business opportunities for women and youth.

Position Summary:

The Productivity and Extension Specialist will, in close coordination with implementing partners, support improved poultry production through curricula development, training, extension, and technical assistance. This position will engage directly with private sector service providers and other key stakeholders to improve or offer additional services to farmers.  The specialist will support a review of existing curricula, provide trainings to training of trainers, poultry producers and extension agents and officers. The specialist will be responsible for monitoring quality of technical assistance, providing technical oversight to grantees and producers scaling up or starting poultry production, developing terms of reference, coordinating, and following up with technical assistance providers to ensure smooth implementation of activities.

Primary Responsibilities:

Training

Facilitate the mobilization, identification of training needs, preparation of training materials (leaflets, pamphlets, etc.), planning of training roll-out and implementation of farm management and poultry husbandry for producers, government, and private sector extension agents through Training of Trainers (ToTs) and specialized technical assistance

Identify specialized technical assistance needs for large and industrial commercial processors, develop scopes of work for targeted short term technical assistance, monitor roll out of action plans, and provide ongoing support and reporting.

Support in the arrangement of logistics and mobilization of participants for training events, workshops, farmer field days

Extension

Provide extension oversight to implementing partners, ToTs, government and private sector extension agents, ensuring quality and consistent extension messaging for both dual-purpose and single purpose poultry;

Monitor extension provision, and provide extension support to producers scaling-up or starting poultry production;

Support in evaluating technical field preparations of grant candidates aiming to scale-up or start up poultry production.

Production

Ensure programmatic involvement of under-served and under-represented audiences (e.g. women and youths) and that all training and demonstrations are conducted in full accordance with project and USDA policies.

Link with hatcheries and brooders to facilitate producer access and scale-up of improved breeds of dual-purpose village chickens and commercial enterprises access to broilers and layers.

Facilitate

Engage and coordinate stakeholder partnership relationships with key planned project stakeholders in the geographical area including private sector, farmer-based organizations, and government in target provinces.

Maintaincloserelationshipswithprivatesectorinput,equipmentandservice providers, exploring opportunities for collaboration and service piloting.

Support stakeholders to amplify media advisory campaigns on vaccines, health, hygiene, and production.

Ensure field project resources are being managed efficiently and effectively in compliance with organizational, donor and national rules and regulations.

Other duties as assigned.

Reporting & Supervision:

The Productivity and Extension Specialist will report directly to the Technical Director and has no direct reports. This position is based in Maseru, Lesotho.

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science degrees (BSc) in Animal/Poultry Science/Production, Veterinary science Agribusiness, Agricultural, Rural Development, or relevant fields
  • At least five years’ relevant experience supporting the implementation of improved poultry farming practices.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the poultry input and extension services sector in Lesotho.
  • Demonstrated experience training and providing extension services to small-scale subsistence and commercial farmers with an emphasis on poultry production. 
  • Ability to multitask and work independently.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft packages including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Good time management and willingness to work occasional long hours.
  • Ability to work in a team.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English and Sesotho.
  • Must be a citizen of Lesotho.

To apply, please visit Productivity and Extension Specialist – Careers (avature.net) and submit your application by Monday, April 8th 2024.

Land O’Lakes Venture37 will never ask you for personable identifiable information, and we will never request money or payment during the recruitment or employment process.

Land O’Lakes Venture37 is an equal opportunity employer and an organization striving to help global communities thrive through agriculture. We consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or veteran status, among other factors. Our culture values a diversity of voices. So, bring us your unique experiences, your workstyle, and your dreams — they’ll only make us stronger.

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