National Nutrient-Dense Crop Specialist (Agronomy)

  • Contract
  • Nepal
  • Posted 3 weeks ago

FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
  • FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized technical agency of the United Nations established in 1945 whose mission is to contribute to eradicating hunger and achieving food security for all. FAO contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through FAO’s Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-foods systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

A Country Programming Framework (CPF) 2023-2027 outlines the shared priorities between the Government of Nepal (GoN) and FAO regarding FAO’s technical assistance over a five-year period focused on technical capacity building, policy development, enhancing agri-production, strengthening food systems, improving food & nutrition security, enhancing resilience to Disasters and impacts of Climate Change as well as threats posed by zoonotic diseases to human health through the One Health approach.

FAO programs are guided by United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (2023-2027). The UNSDCF has four priority outcome areas namely 1. Sustainable Resilient and Inclusive Economic Transformation 2. Inclusive and Transformative Human Development 3. Environmental Sustainability, Climate and Disaster Resilience and 4. Governance, Federalism, Participation and inclusion. And FAO is contributing to all outcome areas. Likewise, FAO is custodian of 21 SDG indicators and contributing to achieve all goals particularly on SDG 2, 5, 6, 14, 15 and 16.

Nepal’s agriculture, a major GDP contributor and livelihood source, is transitioning from subsistence to commercial farming, backed by government policies and technology. Despite its potential and crop diversity, it faces challenges like outdated technology, inadequate infrastructure, limited market access, and climate change.

Promotion of crops like millet, quinoa, and oilseed can address these issues and boost productivity. A project is in progress to synthesize data for decision-making, pilot effective practices, and increase production capacity. It aims to enhance national capacity through training and skill development for agricultural staff and farmers.

The project will use an integrated approach, including GIS and crop modeling, to review productivity enhancement opportunities. It will also develop a planning framework, policies, and financial instruments for small-holder farmers. The goal is to bridge yield gaps, increase farm-level productivity, and build resilient, sustainable food production systems.

The overarching objective of this project is to unlock the potential of NDCs, new opportunities and solutions to address some of our toughest challenges posed by climate change associated with maximizing crop production, nutritional quality, and resilience in diverse agricultural landscape.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative and direct supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative (Programme), overall technical supervision of FAO RAP Lead Technical Officer and FAO HQ Technical Officer, the National Expert on Nutrient-Dense Crop (Agronomy) will collaborate with the FAO country office programme team to carry out assigned tasks.

Technical Focus

The incumbent will technically focus to identify and evaluate promising varieties of nutrient-dense crops that are well-suited to local agroecological conditions and expert with a deep understanding of soil science and nutrient management practices, including soil testing, organic matter enrichment, and precision agriculture techniques at low-cost mass production system with where possible.

Tasks and Responsibilities

• Conduct a comprehensive review of existing literature, research papers, and reports on innovative practices and technologies related to crop productivity of the targeted crops.
• Support to organize national inception workshops by engaging stakeholders from academe, government, non-government, private industry, and farmer leaders.
• Identify the possibility of improving good practices of intensive and landscape-integrated cropping systems at different ecosystem and cropping seasons and demonstrate those improved technologies for better adoption.
• Contribute to develop ToF curriculum and training materials and conduct ToF for developing facilitators who will carry out subsequent planned trainings for the government staff and farmers.
• Conduct background research on key ecosystem services provided by biodiversity, such as nutrient cycling, pest regulation, and pollination, sustain agricultural productivity.
• Identify and characterize diverse germplasm: identify, collect, and characterize diverse millets, quinoa, and rape seed germplasm with desirable traits such as drought/heat tolerance, disease resistance, nutritional value, and high yield potential.
• Support to organize policy forum/ stakeholder consultation or roundtable discussions and FGDs.
• Prepare a strategic action plan on sustainable and resilient intensive cropping systems of priority crops (millets, quinoa, and rapeseed) for promoting a climate-smart innovative production system through national expert consultation with different stakeholders.
• Document and update good agricultural practices and standards for increasing crop productivity of the target crops from seeding to harvesting and postharvest management.
• Contribute to conduct a national workshop involving agricultural extension officers, farmers, researchers, and local communities to gather input on their needs, preferences, and challenges related to agricultural practices.
• Strengthen capacities of extension workers, researchers, academia, and other value chain actors in producing, processing, and marketing nutrient-dense crops.
• Support to exchange of climate-resilient and high-yielding millet, quinoa, and rapeseed germplasm and seed preservation for short and long-term.
• Support to document and analyze the field demonstration results on climate-smart innovative good agricultural production practices and standards from the pilot sites.
• Support to develop pilot model farms on climate-smart, innovative, good agricultural production practices to showcase the successful implementation of tailored climate-smart, innovative, sustainable agronomic practices.
• Support to develop IEC materials and knowledge products for broader dissemination.
• Support in fostering collaboration and partnership with stakeholders and potential partners.
• Conduct national terminal workshops to share project results.
• Prepare and submit the project’s final narrative report.
• Provide technical assistance and information as required.
• Undertake other tasks as assigned.

CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING

Minimum Requirements

• Master’s degree in Agronomy and/or related field.
• At least 5 years of proven experience in project implementation, development of ToF curriculum and training materials and conducting ToF for developing facilitators using FFS approach.
• Working knowledge of English and Nepali.
• National of Nepal or resident of the country with valid work permit.

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

• Knowledge of computer skills (MS office package)
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly as field positions is desirable.
• Extended experience and knowledge in the diverse nutritional priority crop sector as well as in climate-resilient agriculture.
• Demonstrated experience in designing, collecting, and analyzing technical information and data on the GIS and nutrition dense crop modeling.
• Experience in agricultural research, planning framework, and field application working with a wide range of partners including international and national organizations, government counterparts, research institutions, UN organizations, and the private sector.
• Experience in the preparation, editing, and revision of technical/scientific documents and in organizing meetings and workshops.

Selection Criteria

• Proven experience on working millets, rapeseed and quinoa.
• Proven experience on designing and delivering technical training and capacity development activities.
• Demonstrated practical and technical experience in plant protection with major experience of biological control research, extension, and development.
• Ability to manage and work with a multidisciplinary and multicultural team.
• At least master’s degree in Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Health and nutrition, plant science or a related field and higher degree at least with some years of experiences in nutrient-dense crop cultivation project and extension focusing on local agricultural ecosystems, including soil types.
• Ability to write the reports and publications with proven documents.
• Previous experience working with UN agencies, research and government agencies in the similar area is desirable however, quality assessment report (QAR) will be assessed during the selection process.
• Selection mode will follow pre-screening, interview and written by the evaluation team.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing).
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.
  • Only language proficiency certificates from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT) will be accepted as proof of the level of knowledge of languages indicated in the online applications.
  • For other issues, visit the FAO employment website: http://www.fao.org/employment/home/en/
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.

HOW TO APPLY

• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help or have queries, please create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance: https://fao.service-now.com/csp

FAO IS A NON-SMOKING ENVIRONMENT

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