Assistant Field Agronomist Intern (Kagera) – 4 posts
Natural Extracts Industries Ltd (NEI) is a social enterprise company pioneering the sustainable flavour extract manufacturing industry in Tanzania, focusing on vanilla, cocoa, and coffee. The company works in all areas from cultivation, to post-harvest processing, to value-add manufacturing and to international sales and marketing. The supply chain currently integrates over 8,000 farmers from eight regions in Tanzania and two regions in Uganda, and through this sourcing model NEI aims to deliver long-term socioeconomic impact, increasing smallholder household net income by 50%, on average.
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The company is undertaking an aggressive growth journey, featuring European and US market expansions (including partnerships and potential joint ventures), establishing a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, and expanding supply-side volumes.
Duties & Responsibilities
1. To manage the network of all farmers who are involved in NEI in the relevant area (Kagera), representative farmers (Farmer champion) in the relevant area and strategically determine, register and contract more farmers, the import of vanilla vines, the distribution of vanilla vines, or any input provided to farmers and groups of farmers in the relevant area; to ensure proper training and to distribute methods of vanilla cultivation to those farmers; and ensure that all harvests will be purchased by the company:
o To support the delivery of training in the classroom and in the field on various topics to
Farmers and/or groups of farmers in support of Farmers;
o Giving feedback to the senior extension officer when preparing relevant training topics and other work tools, including best agricultural practices during registration;
o Ensuring constant communication with the farmer champion and farmers by phone and text message (SMS), in order to be able to plan the work procedure and find out where to find registered farmers who are interested in becoming partners of NEI;
o Determining training needs for farmers, by monitoring activities related to vanilla care (planting, pollination, stimulation, harvesting, etc.), for the farmer in the environment of his farm such as disease, growth, structure of soil health, structure of rain/ irrigation, etc.;
o To encourage and provide good information on increasing the area per acre planted with vanilla, the number of vanilla pods per farmer, the yield per vanilla stem, and the number of more vanilla farmers in production, in order to have the perfect number of targets for purchasing and improve best practices;
o Keeping all records in a timely and well-organized electronic system and on paper (e.g., farmers’ statistics on the ICT system), farmers’ reports and contracts;
o To manage the network of all farmers who cooperated with NEI for the designated areas within the Kagera region, farmer representatives (Farmer Champions) and to identify, register and sign the newest farmers and groups in the relevant area;
o Ensuring the delivery of training for farmer representatives (Farmer Champions) and / or existing groups and according to the NEI Vanilla Husbandry guide;
o Giving feedback to the Sr./Field Officer Agronomist (FO)/ Branch Manager of the region, in the preparation of training, as well as the best agricultural system (good agricultural practices- GAPs as identified in the NEI Vanilla Husbandry Guide) for the best crop system of the Company;
o Providing training to farmers with the support of farmer representatives (Farmer Champions) and ensuring the effectiveness of training and costs, as specified in the NEI Vanilla Husbandry guide;
2. Assisting the Sr/field Agronomist/Branch Manager of your region in procurement activities, including:
o Promote, organize and coordinate vanilla collection centers to reduce the cost of purchase;
o Checking the duration and quality of the harvest;
o Establishing plans to combat procurement challenges/risks.
o Ensuring the monthly report in accordance with the agreed objectives of the training, inspection of the farmer’s farm, reports of the farmer’s representatives (Farmer Champions);
o Pursue and fulfill the company’s values of working as a whole, integrity, creativity, passion and sustainability.
o Perform your other duties as directed by your colleagues or management.
Desired Qualifications & Experience
● Diploma or certificate in agriculture or related course.
● Demonstrable experience as a field officer not less than 1.5 years.
● Ability to live in multicultural context and acceptance of local values.
● Willingness to
● work long hours when required, occasionally over weekends frequent field trip away from the station.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
● Ability to use mobile phone and laptop.
● Strong verbal and written Swahili and English.
● Dedicated worker who should be willing to work.
● Organized person who is a good planner and good communicator.
● Confident person who can approach anyone without fear.
● Flexible and willing to work beyond the recommended time.
● Resilient and able to work in tough conditions and he/she should be able to drive motorbike.
● Enjoy working outdoor with hand and tools and Risk taking attitude.
● Keep interest and knowledge of farming.
● Responsible for data collection, monitoring and report.
● Lastly, work with Vanilla smallholder farmers in planning, prioritizing and implementing vanilla projects.
Desired Qualifications & Experience
● Education level of at least Certificate/Diploma, Mechanical, Electrical, Food Science or related field.
● Related experience of at least 3 years in overall safe and proper operation of various machinery and production lines, maintaining all food safety and quality processes, adjusting the machines to optimum settings, obtaining minimal downtime, fewest rejects with efficient output and product switch-overs.
Required Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
● Working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs to include Word and Excel.
● Must have Good written and Oral communication skills in English language.
● Proficient in the use of smartphones/tablets.
● Excellent time management and task prioritization abilities.
● Ability to thrive in a fast‑paced environment.
● Detail oriented and organized.
● Problem solving skills.
● Must be able to work with minimal supervision.
● Must have operational safety skills.
● Ability to communicate proficiently in Swahili or English.
● Ability to work independently.
● Ability to read/assist and interpret documents.
● Ability to recognize potential food / machines hazards and risks.
Expression of Interest & Application
Interested candidates should submit their cover letter and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by 13th May 2023. Applicants must indicate in the subject line the role being applied for, failure to do so may lead to disqualification.
Natural Extracts Industries Ltd is an equal opportunity employer.