Agricultural Technologies Specialist - Regional Agriculture and Market Systems (RAMS) Activity

Abt Associates

Job Summary

Applications are invited from qualified persons for the above vacant position.

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Senior level
  • Experience Length: 10 years

Job Description

Organization Overview

The International Development Division focuses on improving the lives and economic well-being of people in lower and middle-income countries. We command technical expertise in health, agriculture, climate change, food security and governance—as well as in international evaluation. Our multi-layered health portfolio includes policy, health promotion and disease prevention, health finance, and health systems management. In partnership with government clients and local experts, our high-quality programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East are known for impact and innovation.


The 5-year, anticipated USAID-funded Regional Agriculture and Market Systems (RAMS) task order activity, under the broader Regional Integration and Stronger Economies (RISE) IDIQ, aims to promote increased agricultural production, trade, improved policies, finance and investment, and resilience to shocks and stresses, in the East Africa region by addressing agricultural issues that can only be solved on a regional basis. RAMS focus area includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zambia.

The Agricultural Technologies Specialist will provide strategic leadership, management, and technical direction and support to the project team, client, and counterparts in the integration and implementation of agricultural technologies to facilitate increased cross border trade, including information and communications technology (ICT). The Specialist will report to the Project Manager. This position is contingent upon award.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

·         Provide subject matter expertise as necessary to identify, integrate, and implement technology across the project components, including ICT, that supports strengthening regional agricultural production, trade, policy, and resilience and/or address gender/youth market systems barriers or other constraints, and interrelated areas, including: 

o    Improving access to and scaling up modern, innovative agricultural technologies to increase agricultural production throughout the region

o    Based on value chains that will be determined under the project, better use of technology to address all forms of inputs, such as high quality seed, appropriate and affordable fertilizer, pest control, irrigation, feed, fodder, and pharmaceuticals, including better use of technology and financial services

o    Encouraging trade of existing improved seed varieties to local markets and the development of new and more productive seed varieties that are appropriate to the region

o    Using technologies (financial and non-financial) to facilitate increased cross border trade

o    Facilitating improvements to regional distribution mechanisms

o    Increased adoption of improved agricultural practices or mechanisms that reduce infection and diseases, which presently inhibit regional trade

·         Provide strategic and technical leadership, technical support, and quality assurance to the project team, client, and country counterparts in the area of agricultural technology, ICT, and relevant subject matter expertise

·         Help enhance collaborative networks with international, regional, and national research institutes to identify transformative agricultural technologies

·         Collaborate with the private sector and other partner institutions and use a market systems approach to address constraints

·         Leverage activities and lessons learned in one country and apply these experiences region-wide, as appropriate

·         In the conduct of this work, promote interoperability of country systems and policies and the scaling of new technologies to rapidly increase adoption of these technologies in the region

·         In the development and implementation of interventions, consider gender and youth constraints and opportunities, and the promotion of livelihoods

·         Explore and identify, as possible, opportunities for uptake and scaling of modern, innovative agricultural technologies, as appropriate

·         Provide capacity building as needed to advise on digital platforms or other technologies

·         Supervise and provide technical oversight of any technology related work conducted by RAMS technical personnel, short-term technical advisors, and subcontractors

·         Coordinate with the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) team on any subject matter related assessments and to track progress of implementation and results

·         Liaise with relevant USAID, regional, and national-level stakeholders/counterparts to support the identification and development of effective strategies and approaches

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

·         Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, agricultural engineering, agricultural mechanics, soil science, computing science, or other relevant field

·         Master’s degree preferred

·         Minimum of 10 years relevant work experience

·         Experience in working effectively with inter-governmental or government representatives and other stakeholders, particularly at the regional level

·         East/Sub-Saharan Africa work experience preferred

·         USAID experience preferred

·         Excellent written and oral communication skills

·         Fluency in English required

Minimum Qualifications

·         (8+) years of experience and a master degree OR the equivalent combination of education and experience

Abt Associates is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse workforce. Abt Associates provides market-competitive salaries and comprehensive employee benefits. Local candidates strongly encouraged to apply.

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