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Seeking Permaculture expert to work with GreenPath Food, new ag business in Ethiopia

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Hi there,

My organization is seeking a permaculture expert that's interested in moving to Ethiopia for 3-6 months later this year. We are starting a new agriculture business working with smallholder farmers a few hours from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, and your expertise would be invaluable. Please see the job description below. To apply please email sid@greenpathfood.com

GreenPath Food
Consultancy Description - Agronomy Team Leader
Permaculture Pilot Project in Ethiopia with smallholder farmers

Ethiopia is an East African country with vast agricultural potential and a large farmer base. 85 percent of the country’s 90 million people are smallholder farmers, with average land sizes below 2 hectares. Crop yields are still far below the rest of the world, and there is high potential for improvement. Moreover, Ethiopia suffers from a high degree of topsoil erosion due to its topography, heavy rainfall and land management techniques. Most farmers are subsistence farmers, and what little harvest is taken to market is sold in markets with poor transparency and fluctuating prices.

GreenPath Food is social enterprise that aims to teach farmers sustainable agriculture techniques that increase crop yields sustainably, and then works with farmers on the post-harvest supply chain to ensure that prices farmers obtain are fair and stable.

In 2014, GreenPath is planning a pilot with 20-30 farmers in the Butajira region of Ethiopia (130 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa) to test both the yield impact of permaculture techniques as well as the GreenPath operational model. The organization is currently constructing an elite agronomy team that is driven and experienced in sustainable agriculture implementation, to lead and manage this pilot.

Position Summary
The Agronomy Team Leader will function as the day-to-day manager of this permaculture pilot with smallholder farmers. S/he will work with the GreenPath Food management team to identify the appropriate strategies given the objectives of the pilot and the specifications of the farmland, and implement these over the course of the pilot. The Team Leader will oversee a small operations team and will be required to work closely with the participating farmers on their fields, in order to teach, train and implement a variety of sustainable agriculture techniques.

The term of the consultancy will run from August 15th to February 15th for a period of six months. There will likely be an option for a 3 month extension. Should the pilot prove to be successful, there is high potential for long-term employment. These dates are approximate and subject to change. Dates are somewhat flexible should the ideal candidate have any specific circumstances that need to be considered.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
+Lead and manage the GreenPath Food operational team including extension staff and other staff
+Manage relationships with farmers, ensuring that farmers are well-trained and fully aware of the activities being undertaken on their fields
+Construct a broad implementation strategy looking across all pilot farms, to meet the broad objectives for the pilot
+Develop implementation plans for each farmer’s specific conditions that draw on best practices in permaculture
+Devise a curriculum and ensure that training and teaching is conducted in an apprenticeship model with the rest of the operations team and the participating farmers, in order to improve the ability for farmers to operate under minimal support/supervision in future seasons
+Develop a manual for operations that documents the various activities being implemented
+Maintain full responsibility for the implementation of the pilot including land preparation, planting, growing management, harvesting and managing the post-harvest process
+Work closely with the GreenPath Food management team providing weekly updates and timely communication
+Identify an explicit set of achievable targets in terms of crop yields and other pilot objectives in conjunction with the GreenPath Food management team
+Construct and operate a measurement & evaluation system for the pilot working in conjunction with the GreenPath Food management team
+Conduct analysis on the scalability of the pilot as requested by the GreenPath Food management team, drawing on the Team Leader’s permaculture expertise and experiences during the pilot
+Be based around the identified farmers in Butajira for the duration of the project with some travel

Desired Qualifications
+At least 5 years of experience directly implementing permaculture or sustainable farming systems anywhere in the world
+Experience selling produce (fruits & vegetables) to intermediary buyers and retailers and an understanding of quality requirements when engaging in commercial agriculture. Experience with exporting fruit is a plus
+Experience teaching or providing training in permaculture/sustainable agriculture, ideally at a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) or equivalent level
+An entrepreneurial mindset, and a willingness to take calculated risks and experiment
+A degree in agriculture or a related field and the ability to demonstrate a deep understanding of agronomy in different contexts and climates
+An understanding of African smallholder farming and experience in the Ethiopian context
+Strong team player with outstanding team management skills
+Excellent communication skills; comfort with working with a team based in multiple locations
+Self-starter, motivated and proactive with solutions
+Fluency in English is essential. Fluency in Amharic and/or an additional Ethiopian language is a plus
+A desire to learn, build relationships, be creative and have fun on the job!

Compensation is competitive. Should the pilot be successful, there is high-potential for long-term employment in a commercial operation and incentive-based compensation.

To apply please email sid@greenpathfood.com with a CV and a one-page cover letter explaining why you are particularly suited for this role
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