Full Time Agronomist at FARMERS WORLD
As part of its expansion drive, Farm Services Unit (FSU) wishes to recruit suitably qualified person to fill the following existing vacancy, which is tenable at its Farmers World Head Office, Kanengo, Lilongwe.
Reports to: FSU General Manager
Purpose of the Position:
The successful Agronomist will link the General Manager, Regional coordinators, research team, facilitators on the ground and data analysts and stakeholders with actionable and operational agronomic outcomes. He/she will ideally have a thorough grasp of agronomical practices and endeavours in Malawi and across Meridian’s central African regions. The Agronomist supports the implementation of FSU’s smallholder and estate (commercial) extension strategy, working under the supervision and guidance of the FSU General Manager to promote the visibility of the Organization’s research and development profile and brand. This position works closely with different FSU teams to Co-lead the implementation of project objectives and deliverables through quantitative and qualitative, soil nutrition, seed and crop-system-focused analyses within Meridian’s Regions of influence. The Agronomist aims to support efforts to move Meridian’s research and development and extension development in agri-food systems towards more diverse, productive, profitable, inclusive, and environmentally sound futures that support a sustainable integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) program. The Agronomist will be expected to provide agronomic knowledge and leadership to growers in their assigned market while performing job duties such as field scouting, soil management and market analysis, decision support and communications that drive forward the Merdian Group’s agronomic priorities and potential funders to establish and maintain strategic relationships and support business and client (smallholder and commercial) growth. The incumbent will be expected to maintain contact and initiate sales with the Company’s core product customers throughout Malawi. Customers are defined as buyers, agronomy specialists, field representatives (push effect), and study groups (pull effect). Meetings, training, promotional days and field visits will maintain contact
The main strategic responsibilities of this position will be
- Grow a new territory of commercial clients and manage, secure and maintain relationships with existing clients/farmers.
- Identify and implement business opportunities to grow and expand the Company’s market share
- Maintained contact and initiated sales with the Company’s core product customers in Malawi.
- Fully promote own core products on a regional level with current and potential customers, reporting to and coordinating with Meridan Group General Managers.
- Work closely with FSU GM to liaise with the Meridian Group Companies concerning strategies, forecasts, product developments and market forces regarding core products in Malawi and central Africa.
- Build and develop the trust and confidence of the farmer through knowledge of products, persuasive presentations, and overcoming objections.
- Where necessary, construct crop production plans for grain, legume and horticulture crops for designated farming units in conjunction with the FSU GM.
- Build and maintain customer relationships through regular on-site visits to secure repeat business.
- Stay current on business/market conditions, intensively plan sales efforts, recognize new opportunities within each account and maintain the necessary territory records.
- Achieve targets as set out by management.
The main operational responsibilities of this position will be
- Lead efforts with the head of FSU to develop, propose, and implement complex research techniques and procedures for analyzing agronomic systems with a focus on soil and crop health and nutrition boundaries and footprints of food systems in Malawi.
- Take lead responsibility in assuring analytical techniques and/or fieldwork are developed in compliance with established quality standards.
- Developing a framework that includes making chemical- and fertilizer recommendations with respective chemical representatives and agronomists.
- Continuously visit designated farming units to follow up, help solve challenges and problems, and monitor general progress.
- Soil sample fields, including multiple depth sampling, sampling by geo-reference and multiple site sampling in the event of changes in soil texture.
- Providing technical recommendations to customers based on various analyses (soil, leaf, etc)
- Manage field trials, plant physiology and irrigation practices.
- Gather, compile, analyze and interpret test results and prepare progress reports.
- Carry out literature studies on topics pertinent to Sales and Marketing of the Company’s products.
- Writing scientific/commercial articles for publications as required.
- Carry out basic weekly report to FSU GM
- Supervise field activities as assigned and report abnormal situations that arise in the development of the projects assigned.
- Take lead responsibility for carrying out special investigations as assigned by the GM FSU/project lead.
Required Qualifications and experience:
The ideal candidate must have:
- MSc in Agronomy/ Horticulture or MSc/ MTech with graduation in agriculture, systems analysis in agriculture, or another related field.
- At least 5 years of professional work experience in agronomy, horticulture or similar roles.
- Demonstrated skills in the facilitation of public-private partnerships
- Experience in systems agronomy, field research, farm surveys and conducting on-farm research trials, preferably with grain and legumes.
- Requires conceptual knowledge of theories, practices, and procedures within agricultural and environmental sustainability of food systems, soil health and nutrition, including working with large spatial datasets.
- Familiarity with GIS and remote sensing shall be an added advantage.
- Demonstrated ability to write, publish and disseminate technical reports, success stories, and promotional materials.
- Ability to identify and finalize solutions to field problems (soil, water management, soil health, fertilizer application, nutrient management).
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
- Travel of up to 50% time is also anticipated.
- Ability to work in a team and supervise technical staff.
- Must have a Drivers License
Terms of appointment, salary, and benefits
This is a full-time employment of which the first year will be a probationary period.
How to ApplyIf you are interested and you meet the above requirements, deliver your curriculum vitae and cover letter including names and contact details of three traceable referees one of whom should be your current or former employer to: The Head of Human Resources, Farmers World Ltd, P.O. Box 1631, Lilongwe. Or email: email@example.com to reach him not later than Friday 21st April 2023. Farmers World Limited is an equal opportunities employer. No canvassing of any kind is allowed.
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