Project Extension Officer, Value Chain Development

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Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.


Creating Wealth in Malawi’s Groundnuts Value Chain through Digital Solutions and Investment(nDi-Chuma) is a project-based in Mchinji, Malawi which seeks to create wealth in Malawi’s groundnuts value chain through digital solutions and investment. The Project Extension Officer will report to the Project Manager. The officer will provide leadership in strengthening farmer organizations to increase farm productivity and financial inclusion. The position will involve working directly with Community Facilitators and partners to increase groundnuts smallholders’ productivity and income through enhancing access to digital services. This position will interact with similar positions in the project team and other teams to promote consistency throughout the project and organization. 75% of the working hours will be spent in the field.

Essential Character Traits:

Team player results-oriented, creative and able to think outside the box, self-driven, high integrity, accountable, and good communicator.


A. Project Coordination and Management (40%)

  • Supervise project participants, Community Facilitators, partner organizations, and local authorities in the implementation of field project activities.
  • Mobilize project participants farmer organizations’(FOs)
  • Mobilize the community to engage in the groundnut value chain economic activities through training, coaching, exposure, and other innovative ways
  • Build capacity of FOs in digital systems for groundnut production, financial management, business management, marketing, governance
  • Promote awareness and use of digital products and services
  • Support the processes of land registration
  • Facilitate the formation of formal FOs
  • Awareness-raising and sensitization of project and its scope and train Community Facilitators
  • Support the operations of the model farm and ensure good coordination with FOs
  • Facilitate the mobilization, and documentation of Catalytic Leverage Funds – CaLF
  • Ensure the actualization of the Values-Based Holistic Community Development (VBHCD) and Financial Inclusion approaches in the project
  • Project activities are delivered on time and within budget and scope
  • Submit quarterly status reports on the number project status.
  • All FOs are adequately trained in digital systems, good agricultural practices, business and financial management, and good governance.
  • FOs increased awareness, access to, and adoption of GAPs and digital products and services
  • Improved FOs capacities in Business set-up.
  • FOs are transformed into formal organizations
  • Mobilized and documented CaLF
  • VBHCD, financial inclusion, and gender equality approaches integrated into all project interventions

B.Project Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (40%)

  • Collaborate with the team to ensure integrated results-based project management
  • Ensure that learnings are documented, and adjustments are made in the process of project implementation
  • Monitor the execution of monthly work plans and report on progress
  • Assist MELs team in collecting project information for the project report, project database, case study development
  • Visit and monitor FOs to ensure their effective implementation of activities, providing backstopping of partners as required
  • Ensure systematic documentation of successes and lessons learned for internal programmatic use and external sharing
  • Assess project implementation risk in the field and inform the Project Manager to design mitigation measures
  • Promote quarterly Participatory Self Review and Planning sessions in the FOs and exchange visits in collaboration with CFs.
  • Good quality monthly, quarterly, semester and annual reports developed and submitted.
  • Project implementation effectiveness and efficiency achieved, and sustainability assured.
  • Quarterly project status visits were conducted among FOs.
  • Risks and issues are timely identified and reported for corrective action.

C.Representation and Stakeholder’s management (15)

  • Representation of the project in the district
  • Identify partners in the field and nurture relationships with local authorities
  • Organize periodic meetings with district-level stakeholders on project status
  • Participate in all routine planned partner and stakeholder meetings and events.
  • Relationships with project partners at the district level are regularly nurtured.

Minimum Requirements:

  1. Diploma or Degree in Agronomy, Agribusiness, Agricultural Extension, Agricultural  Economics, or any related field.
  2. The candidate should also have at least one to three years of work experience. Other job-related education and/or experience may be substituted for all or part of these basic requirements.

Most Critical Proficiencies:

  1. Strong project cycle management skills and financial management skills including planning, management of project budgets and reporting.
  2. Basic knowledge of digital technologies
  3. Good understanding of the groundnuts value chain
  4. Basic knowledge of issues associated with poverty, hunger, and the environment
  5. Basic knowledge of community development in principles and practices
  6. Experience working with women and men smallholder farmers
  7. Proven interpersonal and communication skills
  8. Proven track record in generating innovative solutions in work situations: utilizing different and novel ways to deal with work problems and address opportunities
  9. Fluency in both spoken and written English and Chichewa
  10. Strong report writing skills

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:

  1. Excellent organization skills including strong attention to detail
  2. Computer proficient in word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, electronic mail and internet (Microsoft preferred)
  3. Ability and willingness to work a flexible schedule
  4. Ability and willingness to travel extensively and use a motorcycle.
  5. Good interpersonal skills with the ability to work cooperatively, tactfully, and diplomatically with a culturally diverse group of people
  6. Demonstrate honesty and integrity, and commitment to a high standard of accountability
  7. Ability to foster and maintain a spirit of unity, teamwork, and cooperation
  8. Sensitivity in working with multiple cultures and beliefs, and to gender equity

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