World Food Programme in Zambia
Posted Job
about 1 year ago

Programme Policy Officer-Hydroponics

Through its Zambia Country Strategic Plan 2019-2024, WFP intends to support the government to strengthen its capacity in addressing the root causes of malnutrition, build resilience, and strengthen social protection programmes. WFP Zambia aims to address malnutrition in the country by supporting the Government in pursuing national nutrition priorities by mainstreaming actions that promote good nutrition as well as support smallholder farmers to diversify crop production from maize, by focusing on nutrient-dense, climate-resistant crops, through access to finance, climate-services, post-harvest losses management and market access. Importantly, in the new CSP, WFP will seek to strengthen capacity of government to design and implement sustainable national home-grown school meals (HGSM), which is the largest social safety net in the country, in order to improve access to nutritious food and other basic needs for schoolchildren.

WFP Zambia pursues a variety of innovative approaches to support the country’s food security and nutrition needs. Hydroponics is one such technology, as an agricultural system using nutrient-laden water in lieu of soil. The benefits are multifaceted as a climate-smart, cost-efficient approach – including the possibility to cultivate agricultural produce in limited space, requiring limited resources (water, fertilizer, and labor included), the ability to grow produce regardless of climate, and the ease in finding cost-efficient and economical materials for systems. Hydroponics is expected to have a particular impact for schools, as it allows for diversification of school meals beyond the standard food basket of maize, through the introduction of fresh vegetables grown on site, at low cost, and limited water and space required. The learning-by-doing method leading to the adoption of cost-efficient and sustainable ways of growing vegetables are expected to have a multiplier effect on the communities, as suppliers are expected to explore this model to further increase household income and improve household food security.

Job Purpose

Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Strategic Outcome Manager, the incumbent will play a key role in supporting government particularly Ministry of General Education, and other partners to establish and manage hydroponic units for the production of high value crops and vegetables. The consultant will also support in facilitating trainings for WFP, government and smallholder farmers on the management of the hydroponics units and market access.

Key Accountabilities (Not all-inclusive)

Key roles and responsibilities for this position will include transfer of knowledge and skills to Government officials and Smallholder Farmers to own and manage horticulture initiative that uses hydroponics technology.

Specific roles also include:

  • Assist in developing specific technical guidance and appropriate manuals related to hydroponic farming
  • Provide technical assistance and Training of Trainers (ToT) on hydroponics system set up and management, the ToTs will include WFP staff, smallholder farmers and government officials;
  • Work with target schools and smallholder farmers to set up and manage a hydroponic farm environment
  • Support target schools and smallholder farmers to plan and coordinate the production of vegetables, fruits, horticulture & floriculture plants from seed, and bulbs propagation preparation to harvest in hydroponics environment, including new varieties to rootstocks
  • Ensure the right capacity and skills exist in the target schools and communities in order to maintain crop production by cultivating, de-budding, pruning, and maintaining optimal growing conditions in assigned greenhouses
  • Enhance the capacity and skills of target schools and smallholder farmers on nutrient preparation & management
  • Provide overall guidance and supervision to target schools and communities on the general maintenance of greenhouse structures, irrigation equipment and water supply systems;
  • Work closely with the M&E unit to support target schools and communities to establish and maintain a strong monitoring and evaluation system on the outputs of the hydroponic system including production levels, sales and incomes
  • Liaise with the communications unit to ensure systematic documentation of impact stories and best practices coming from the implementation of the hydroponic interventions in schools and target communities
  • Any other as required.

4Ps Core Organisational Capabilities:

Deliverables at the end of the contract:

  • Technical guidance and user-friendly manuals developed for the setting up and management of the hydroponic system
  • Capacity development- training of WFP, government and smallholder farmers on hydroponic system
  • Hydroponic systems set up in targeted schools and communities
  • Visibility activities supported and best practices documented and shared with relevant stakeholders

Other Specific Job Requirements:

  • Working knowledge and technical experience on hydroponics
  • Experience of working in farming technologies, land and water management for agriculture;
  • Experience of working in projects with communities and community-based interventions.
  • Desired experiences for entry into the role:
  • 3 years of relevant experience.
  • Traceable record of successful implementation of hydroponics
  • The candidates should be able to demonstrate strong competence with progressively responsible roles in one or more of the following agricultural technologies: low-tech and low-cost hydroponic solutions, community-based programming on agriculture, and training facilitation at all levels

How to Apply

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