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10 Aug 2023

Lead, Soil Health & Integrated Management at AGRA

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Job Description

AGRA is an African-led institution that actively supports the drive towards inclusive agricultural transformation and sustainable food systems. We do this by empowering the continent’s 33 million smallholder farming households to transform their agriculture from a struggle to survive to profitable businesses. The continent’s farmers regularly face challenges, and we aspire to provide uniquely African solutions that respond to their agricultural and environmental challenges, leading to increased harvests for reduced hunger and more income.

Working in alignment with the development priorities of our focus countries, we enable farmers to access improved and high-yielding seeds, gain knowledge on sustainable farming, and linkages to profitable markets.

The Opportunity

Lead – Soil Health and Integrated Management

Role purpose

The Lead – Soil Health and Integrated Management is responsible for creating a national and regional capacity in operationalization of integrated soil fertility management, targeted fertilizer use and the broader soil health in the continent, mainstreaming nutrient use efficiency and recycling thinking and approaches in AGRA’s strategy and country plans, as well as serving as AGRA’s technical lead in this area to shape potential investments, unlock soil health funds for priority programs on the continents, and strengthen AGRA’s knowledge management and thought leadership.

Role Summary

In collaboration with AGRA’s teams and partners, s/he will work at farmer level, systems level and national level to put in place programs and policies that develop more soil health and fertilizer innovations and enhance farmers’ and systems’ capacity to deal with the broad range of land degradation and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), such as soil fertility decline, land degradation and resilience.

Key Measures of Performance

The performance of this role holder will be assessed on the basis of the achievements made on:

  • Strengthening of AGRA’s country plans in incorporating ISFM, soil health and resilience thinking
  • Funds unlocked for AGRA’s programming or for African agriculture more broadly from funding sources like the USAID space to place, Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, and others that specifically prioritize soil health
  • Advancement of knowledge management and thought leadership in soil health

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose – Adapt

  • Mainstreams soil health and nutrient management thinking into AGRA’s country operational plans around the continent to build resilient agricultural systems at all levels
  • Reviews strategy and M&E dashboard to understand where AGRA is and is not making progress on soil health outputs and outcomes, in order to inform leadership decisions on next steps and new interventions
  • Develops and implements policies that can help the countries to achieve ISFM and soil health
  • Drives support from various institutions to develop and implement innovative financing and soil health initiatives that will support the provision of affordable credit and crop insurances
  • Collaborates and lead the development of soil fertility management technologies and practices that enhance productivity and prepare small holder farmers to threats through research and capacity building interventions for building resilience
  • Develops proposals to secure investment in soil health, integrated soil fertility management and fertilize systems
  • At continental level, expand and drive (through relevant parties) the increase of regional engagements to strengthen and compliment pan-African efforts of the AUC-NPCA (and RECs) by translating its vision and commitments to actionable country priorities.

Engagement – Persuade

  • As a thought partner, advices the country teams and other AGRA management on how to strengthen soil health programming strategies
  • Provides technical advisory support to governments (strategy support, capacity building and data analytics) to help in developing national agricultural plans, value chain analysis and private sector partnerships
  • Advocates for soil health related policies that volatility in the agriculture sector as a result of externalities, promotes private sector engagements and increases in public sector investments in resilient technologies e.g., weather-based insurance, mechanization
  • Builds mutually advantageous partnerships and draws on diverse networks among communities, civil society, research institutions, NGOs, technical agencies, government and the private sector on policy, research & development, analytics, financing etc.
  • Positions AGRA as a broker/agent between AU/NEPAD, RECs and national governments leveraging the AGRA influence to align regional and national political interests and investments in soil nutrient and the broader soil health management

Delivery – Adapt Project cycle

  • Devises a mutual accountability system and regional agenda; influences and manages the regional agriculture transformation narrative; provides assistance to RECs to harmonize regional soil health, resilience and natural resources policies, regulations, standards;
  • Creates farmer awareness training programs on the appropriate use of the farm inputs and good agronomic practices (GAPs) through public and private extension advisory services
  • Promote integrated soil fertility management technologies and management practices to reverse land degradation
  • Mobilizes and optimizes resources for the program.

Model the IRISE Values & Be a Culture Carrier

  • Integrity: Uphold moral convictions and always doing the right thing.
  • Respect: Value differences and embrace diversity and inclusion.
  • Innovation: Strive for excellence and embracing continuous improvement, bold creativity, and change.
  • Stewardship: Be responsible for actions undertaken and resources entrusted.
  • Equity: Be governed by fairness in all undertakings.


Academic and Professional Qualifications

  • A Master’s degree in Soil science, Natural resources management, Agriculture, Agricultural Economics or related disciplines
  • A relevant Doctorate degree will be an added advantage
  • Experience managing complex initiatives with proven ability to develop high impact partnerships
  • Experience in working with similar organizations or institutions will be an added advantage
  • Fluency in English required; ability to communicate in French will be an advantage

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Thoroughly familiar with and experience in working with R&D and analytics houses
  • Strong understanding of and the ability to interpret and action smallholder farmer soil health needs
  • Analytical, excellent data mining ability
  • Strong ability to influence positively both upwards and downwards across cultures and countries
  • Proven leadership ability to influence, develop, and empower employees to achieve their best with a team approach
  • Deep understanding of both the government and private sector policies and governance structures
  • Results and detail orientated with a hands-on approach
  • Excellent leadership, organizational, and problem solving/decision making skills
  • Intelligent, motivated self-starter with strong interpersonal skills and work ethic

Relevant Experience

  • Minimum 10 years of relevant work experience on soils, NRM and/or sustainable intensification, primarily in Africa
  • At least three (3) years’ Senior-Level experience designing and implementing programs and/or policy and regulatory reform in a relevant sector
  • Experience driving resilience initiatives in a similar environment will be an added advantage

Terms of Appointment

3 Years Fixed Term (Consideration for renewal will be made subject to AGRA’s needs, available funding and performance).


Based in West Africa (Ghana/ Burkina Faso) with frequent travel, approximately 40% per year.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please click Apply and complete the Application Form on or before 7 September 2023. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV.

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Method of Application

Submit your CV and Application on Company Website : Click Here

Closing Date : 26th August, 2023

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