AGRONOMIST
Full Time
January 23, 2024
Lilongwe, Malawi
January 29, 2024

Company: Umodzi Consulting

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Overview

Job Title: Agronomist
Reports to: Project Coordinator

Purpose of the post
The Agronomist will lead in conducting research and field checks, develop demonstration plots, and make observations. He/She will be key in helping farmers to; develop innovative farming techniques to increase crop quality and yield; manage crop planting and implement efficient farming practices; improve crop efficiency and sort any agricultural problems.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Provide overall agronomy expertise and information to LIP extension officers and the grantees.
  • Plan, schedule, execute, evaluate, analyze, interpret, and report results of demonstration plot activities.
  • Attend and make valuable contributions during project meetings etc
  • Coordinate field activities involving government and LIP extension officers focusing on improved value chain production.
  • Support transfer and adoption of best agronomic practices that increase agricultural productivity while maintaining the natural resource base by the project participants at the household level.
  • Take the lead in documenting cases for changes occurring in the production level of the value chains.
  • Continuously visit the grantees’ demonstration sites and project participants’ households to follow up, help solve challenges and problems, and monitor general progress.
  • Assist in trial and demo plot establishment, monitoring, weed control, plot maintenance, agronomic and disease notations, and harvest, as necessary.
  • Coordinate value chain-related demonstrations, farmer field days, and agri-technology demonstrations.
  • Study plants and soil to develop better planting, cultivation, and harvesting techniques, improve crop yield, and solve problems facing the agriculture activities in the 14 demonstration sites.
  • Ensure that there is production of crops and livestock fodder at the demonstration sites and project participants’ households throughout the year.
  • Research, develop, and promote farming practices or products that diminish the effects of changes in soil, climate, and weather or prevent damage from pests.
  • Support adopting Climate Smart technologies such as manure production and application, mulching etc. to the project participants at the household level for improved value chain production and post-harvest management.
  • Support capacity building of grantees e.g. in governance, leadership, financial management, value addition, etc.
  • Facilitate different value chain production and related interventions. including adoption of good agronomic practices and solutions.
  • Visit fields to collect seed, plant, and soil samples and test samples for nutritional deficiencies, diseases, or other changes in the groups established around 14 health facilities.
  • Assist with the plant selection process and the development of planting and irrigation schedules, budgets, and timelines.
  • Conduct farm visits, and general crop inspections and provide technical advice to farmers.
  • Assist in the development, review, and monitoring of implementation plans, and preparation of monitoring reports.
  • Facilitate market linkages for surplus produce.
  • Ensure that all the assets at the demonstration sites (equipment, livestock, and structures) are in good condition.

Desirable skills

  • Good facilitation and training skills.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Good computer application skills.
  • Ability to work independently with a minimum of supervision.
  • Ability to work under time pressure and meet deadlines.

Knowledge

  • Knowledge of field plot design and experimental procedures
  • Proven experience in horticulture production, greenhouse management and irrigated agronomy.
  • Be familiar with proper identification and treatment of plant disease and insect pests affecting field and horticultural crops.
  • Thorough knowledge of livestock management, apiculture, aquaculture, and integrated agricultural systems.
  • Experience in providing agricultural extension services to smallholder farmers.
  • Excellent knowledge of the crop varieties, physiology, and calendars

Abilities
• Self-motivated
• Excellent listening, communication, and problem-solving skills
• Effective communication both oral and written English
• Ability to produce good reports
• Strong report-writing skills in English

Attributes
• Professional
• Trustworthy
• Confidentiality
• High degree of autonomy and responsibility

Minimum qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy, or Crop Science or Horticulture. Those with MSc Degree will have an added advantage.
  • Minimum of 5 years practical experience
  • Proficiency with computers
  • Safe motorcycle riding skills and valid license is required

Applications should be addressed to:
info@umodziconsulting.com or P.O. Box 3543, BLANTYRE, MALAWI not later than 29th January, 2024