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National Professional Volunteer - Agronomist at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

Posted on Tue 29th Jun, 2021 - --- (0 comments)

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), is the world's leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. Our high impact approach brings people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action to change lives and make the world a fairer place.

We are recruiting to fill the position of:

Job Title: National Professional Volunteer - Agronomist

Location: Kano
Type of Role: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Duration: 36 Weeks (Starting July 20th, 2021)
Start Date: 20th July, 2021
Mode of Delivery: Working From Home and at Project Location

Role Overview

  • Working from home and at project location -  In this role, you will spend some time providing part-time remote support (e.g. from your home) to VSO projects or partners, and also a set period working full-time in the project location and/or VSO office.
  • This national Professional volunteer role will be focused on Researching, developing, and promoting farming practices or products that diminish the effects of changes in soil, climate, and weather or prevent damage from pests.The position would be based in Adamawa and Kano state of Nigeria.
  • The Agronomist will coordinate, implement, and monitor agronomic aspects of VSO Rural Livelihoods projects; a (support for innovation and demonstration of best practices).
  • The key task will be setting up, maintaining, monitoring, and reporting on a series of farmers field demonstrations with participating farms and businesses The Agronomist will further provide ongoing agronomic expertise and support to VSO operations in Nigeria.

Job Purpose

  • This national Professional volunteer role will be focused on Researching, developing, and promoting farming practices or products that diminish the effects of changes in soil, climate, and weather or prevent damage from pests.
  • The position would be based in Kano state of Nigeria.The Agronomist will coordinate, implement, and monitor agronomic aspects of VSO Rural Livelihoods projects; a (support for innovation and demonstration of best practices).
  • The key task will be setting up, maintaining, monitoring, and reporting on a series of farmers field demonstrations with participating farms and businesses The Agronomist will further provide ongoing agronomic expertise and support to VSO operations in Nigeria.

Technical Support:

  • Support stakeholder mapping of agricultural and resilience stakeholders.
  • Support the identification and registration of vulnerable smallholders farmers
  • Identify/create farmer and livestock associations/cooperatives for strengthening
  • Adapt Resilience Design in Smallholder Farming Systems to the State needs
  • Produce user friendly training manuals/guides on the production and reduction of post-harvest losses for various crops produced in North East Nigeria
  • Facilitate training-of-trainer modules for the States ADP extension services
  • Develop knowledge dissemination plan for RD in smallholder agriculture with the State Ministry of Agriculture,
  • Premium-priced traders are linked to mature associations
  • Provide business support services and facilitate business linkages for improved seed suppliers to increase ease of access and availability of improved seeds for smallholder farmer.

Knowledge Management:

  • Support resilience teams including theVSO Project in collection and or publication of good practices, success stories, project outcome documents, etc. in resilience work with Communication, Learning to develop knowledge products, communication materials and other IEC materials to promote awareness raising about Resilience for schools, farmers and communities.

Capacity Building:

  • Responsible for coordinating all BMP activities (fIeld visits, farmer sensitization, training, data collection and collation, reporting, etc.) at the BMP demonstration sites.
  • Coordinates and prioritises relevant project activities at the local level in cooperation with the partners, as well as in organizational preparation and in the implementation of these activities
  • Training farmers and plantation staff in good agronomic practices.

Monitoring and Reporting:

  • Set agreed indicators and milestones based on the result framework developed
  • Provide feedback to the programme teambased on the field monitoring visits
  • Support the project team in developinghigh quality project/ programme reports regarding resilience perspective
  • Liaise with VSO colleagues and some project partners to ensure timely submission of contributions.

Networking and Project Logistics Support:

  • Represent VSO in meetings and conferences as requested by the Project Manager.
  • Responsible for maintaining relationships with farmers and Institutions
  • Co-operates with and ensures regular contacts and dialogues: does PR work and cooperates with local communities, relevant organisations, non-governmental bodies and persons within the project/ programme environment as well as with other projects in order to enhance and maintain good working relationships

Key Performance Indicators

  • Most vulnerable areas and causes of vulnerability identified
  • Risk preparedness and management plans developed.
  • Training module on resilience and toolkits developed
  • Workshops/ training / coaching on resilience, risk preparedness and management conducted.

The final objectives will be confirmed in a three way discussion between the volunteer, employer and VSO in the first three months of the placement.

Building and Sustaining working relationships:

  • The social skills to build and actively maintain working relationships that foster teamwork and collaboration with others for the benefit of a common goal.

Open Minded and Respectful:

  • A non-judgemental approach that values other people and culture.

Seeking and Sharing Knowledge:

  • Recognition that learning is a two-way and continuous process.

Facilitating Positive Change:

  • The ability to analyse problems and develop lasting solutions in line with VSO approaches.


  • A flexible approach and the ability to adapt behaviour to different situations.


  • The self-confidence to work with a variety of situations, diverse people and ambiguity.

Professional Skills and Qualifications

  • Degree in Agronomy / Relevant Training
  • Experience in Farmers Training
  • Two- three years’ experience in related work
  • Experience/knowledge in Climate-Smart Agriculture
  • Experience in participatory methodologies
  • Good computing skills, including MS Word and Excel
  • Experience in facilitating training of trainers
  • Knowledge in developing training curriculum
  • Experience working with International NGOs
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written
  • Strong initiative, flexible and able to plan and implement work plan with minimum supervision
  • Awareness of security matters and protocols
  • Willingness to take challenges and to work in difficult conditions
  • Courtesy and sensitivity in working with communities
  • Willing and able to be based and travel regularly within remote where services are limited
  • Experience in developing training module Good knowledge in projectcycle management
  • Excellent attention to detail for providing accurate DRR capacity gap analysis, documentation and data.

Personal Qualifications:

  • Committed to rights based and gendersensitivity work, pro-poor policy, committed and strong civil society organizations and social mobilization.
  •  Able, willing, and committed to workwith people from different backgrounds
  • Contribute constructively to a workingenvironment based on mutual respect, trust, and commitment.
  • Able to cope with stress and workunder any challenging circumstances.

Competencies and Behaviour
At VSO we believe progress is only possible by working together. Whether you want to join us as an employee, or as a volunteer working in your own country, overseas or online, our selection process includes an assessment based on these core competencies:

  • Ability to be open minded and respectful
  • Ability to be resilient and adaptive to new situations
  • Ability to facilitate positive change and build sustainable working relationships
  • Ability to seek and share knowledge

Work Environment:

  • Minimum supervision;
  • Relate with people across a wide social range (i.e. project participants, Government partners and volunteers and employees of VSO).
  • The position holder will primarily be based in Kano with frequent travel to project implementing in the state. Other travels need would also be featured based on business need.

Application Closing Date
11th July, 2021.

Interview Date
13th July, 2021.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Click here for more information


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