The Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) has been established by the Government of Ethiopia to identify and address systemic bottlenecks to Ethiopia’s agricultural development. The Agency does this through problem-solving to identify the bottlenecks to particular problems, supporting the implementation of interventions to address the bottlenecks identified and coordinating stakeholders who are involved in the implementation. The Agency reports to a Transformation Council chaired by the Prime Minister and whose co-chair is the Minister of Agriculture. ATA is seeking qualified candidates for International Consultant In Soil Fertility Mapping.
The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (the Agency or ATA) is an initiative of the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) established by federal regulation. The formation of the ATA is a result of two years of extensive diagnostic study across eight sub-sectors of Ethiopia’s agricultural system in a highly-consultative, multi-stakeholder process led by the Ministry of Agriculture with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The ATA, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and several other stakeholders has launched the Ethiopian Soil Information System (EthioSIS) project. EthioSIS is designed to analyze and map the country’s agricultural soils with the ultimate objective of producing a soil information database and using the information for increasing agricultural production and productivity. EthioSiS is also expected to play a vital part by generating up-to-date and complete information about the fertility status of the country’s agricultural soils, and through that, contributing vital information for improving soil fertility management and fertilizer strategies in Ethiopia.
Over the next 12-18 months, an extensive soil sample collection exercise will be undertaken in coordination with the National Soil Testing Centre (NSTC) and the federal regional and regional soil testing laboratories in the country, with the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) serving as a thought partner. This project will involve remote sensing and in-field soil sampling to produce a soil fertility map of Ethiopia, which will feed directly into the creation of the a National Soils Database (NSD) within EthioSIS. In addition, intensive soil and crop tissue sampling will be conducted from highly heterogeneous areas of the country. The senior international consultant is expected to backstop these activities which include intensive and crop tissue sampling, analysis using wet chemistry and spectral methods and interpret and mapping the data.
The main areas of responsibility of the international expert will be leading and managing soil fertility mapping, guiding and directing the soil fertility analysis, assisting in making decisions regarding strategies and actions necessary for revising the fertilizer advisory service in the country. The incumbent is expected to provide comprehensive advice in the day-to-day coordination of work-planning, sample gathering, geo-referencing and coordinating analysis with the EthioSIS project management team, the NSTC, relevant regional laboratories and AfSIS. Under the direction of the team leader, the consultant will also be required to build, train and guide national soil fertility analysis team so national and regional capacity is strengthened
The ideal senior soil fertility expert is expected to possess a passion for improving the lives of small-holder farmers, a deep familiarity with Ethiopia’s agricultural system and extensive knowledge of soil systems and fertility. S/he would likewise possess the entrepreneurial ability to visualize transformation, to mobilize stakeholders across the system and to drive practical change on the ground. S/he will also possess an understanding of soil fertility, soil mapping, geo-referencing and relevant project management expertise. Any understanding of spatial analysis of soil is a plus.
This position will officially report to the Program Leader of EthioSis. The international consultant shall maintain working relationship with the soil fertility director of ATA. The position will be a twelve-month contract position with high likelihood of extension as soil sample gathering, analysis will continue into 2013
- A doctoral degree in soil chemistry, soil fertility, and or related fields, with 5-10 years of experience in soil fertility management and mapping activities. On the other hand, a Master’s degree holder with international experience can also apply for the post.
- Good experience in soil fertility project management
- Deep technical knowledge ,scientific know-how and practical experience to improve soil fertility mapping and soil fertility management
- Knowledge in converting soil fertility data to impact national fertilizers purchase decision
- Experience is required in prioritizing and sequencing both programmatic and operational activities
- Ability to thrive in a fast-moving, start-up environment, with an emphasis on high-performance, teamwork, accountability and results
- Ability to build relationships with all kinds of people
- Highly facilitative and collaborative leadership style
- Excellent adaptive problem-solver in challenging environment
- Excellent analytical skills
- Strong set of personal values including integrity, honesty and desire to be of service
- Fluency in English is essential. Ability to speak any of the Ethiopian languages can be advantageous.
We invite all candidates meeting the required qualifications to send your applications including a detailed CV either through www.ethiojobs.net or e-mail: Recruitment@ata.gov.et by clearly indicating the position title.
Application Deadline: Friday August 3, 2012. NB. Only short listed candidates will be contacted