Nepal’s agriculture shows weak growth rates with low productivity, coupled with a food trade deficit and high malnutrition. This is associated with low marketed volumes and farmers’ limited access to agriculture technology. Postharvest losses of fresh produces are high because of inappropriate harvest, careless commodity handling and a lack of storage facilities.
Against this backdrop, Value Chain Development of Fruit and Vegetables in Nepal Project (VCDP) focuses on increasing production, reducing postharvest losses, and promoting market linkages. Led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the 5-year project aims to increase incomes of smallholder farmers growing fruit and vegetables. The project is being implemented in three major road corridors (the BP and part of Arniko highway, Prithvi highway extended up to Putalibazar Municipality and Hetauda - Dumkibas section of East-West highway) in Bagmati and Gandaki Provinces. The project aims to reach at least 10,000 farmers and 20 cooperatives of the project command areas.
The Marketing and Value Chain Specialist will work under the guidance and supervision of the National Project Manager. S/he will work in close collaboration with UNDP Nepal office, government partners, the donor and other stakeholders.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the guidance of the National Project Director (NPD) and National Project Manager (NPM), the Marketing and Value Chain Specialist is primarily responsible for activities under project outcome 3 (improved market linkages). Specifically, the incumbent will carry out the following activities:
1. Planning and monitoring of project interventions and knowledge management:
- Support identification of project pocket areas, municipalities, cooperatives, farmers, extension officers and information extension providers;
- Assist the completion of the baseline survey, mid term evaluation and final evaluations;
- Advise on organizing planned activities for marketing and value chain development of selected fruit and vegetables in consultation with stakeholders (i.e. MoALD, NARC Provincial Government, Local Governments, operators of collection centres, cooperatives, farmers, and agrovets);
- Plan and conduct gross-margin analysis and other relevant socio-economic studies;
- Develop data collection tools and techniques for monitoring of project related interventions including marketing volume and value of commodities at collection centres and cooperatives;
- Develop relevant training and extension materials, manuals, articles and guidelines related to agricultural marketing; cooperative/collection centre management and value chain upgrading;
- Develop, in consultation with project team, the value chain grant guideline and support on its operationalization; and
- Document best practices and lessons learnt of the project and support to replicate it.
2. Strengthening capacity of project partners and beneficiaries:
- Conduct the capacity and need assessment of the identified cooperatives and market committees;
- Prepare and implement plan of action on physical and institutional support provisions to cooperatives, collection centres and satellite markets to achieve the project targets;
- Support the provision of postharvest handling and marketing of fruit and vegetables to operators of collection centres and satellite markets;
- Contribute to build the capacity of staffs of local government and cooperatives on themes relevant to the position;
- Support the cooperatives and market centres to prepare business plans, operational plans, and other relevant policy documents, and their smooth implementations;
- Plan and manage the implementation of learning programmes (trainings, workshops, exposure visits) on collection centre management, marketing, and value chain development;
- Research the marketing and market information system at collection centres and satellite markets and identify opportunities to strengthen the system;
- In collaboration with relevant government and private institutions, support provision of necessary ICT services and equipment to cooperative/collection centre members and farmers;
- Identify potential market actors and business development service providers, and connect with producer’s organization for assured market and services; and
- Support the cooperatives and market committees to develop value chain grant and its effective implementation.
3. Stakeholders engagement and partners coordination:
- Support local government to prepare acts, standards, guidelines and procedures for agricultural cooperatives and marketing services;
- In collaboration with relevant government and private institutions, support provision of ICT services and equipment to collection centre members and farmers if necessary;
- Identify opportunities for campaigns, services, and distribution channels that will lead to enhanced market linkage of fruit and vegetables;
- Coordinate and liaise with different Universities/Institutions for collaboration in research and internship placements;
- Coordinate and collaborate with Federal government, Provincial government, Local government and other development partners for better market linkage and value chain development initiatives;
- Attend events and conferences on marketing, value chain development, cooperatives, collection centre management, and postharvest management and provide feedback and information;
- Explore and collaborate with commodity associations, entrepreneurs’ associations, cooperative federations/associations on possible areas of interventions; and
- Represent, with consent from NPM, the project at different meetings and events at different levels, where necessary.
4. Project management support:
- Provide support to establish functional partnership with partner municipalities and cooperatives/market committees;
- Contribute to develop annual work plans of the project, palinkas and cooperatives;
- Provide information and data in time for the development of reports as required by the donor agency and the implementing partner;
- Support local government and cooperatives for collecting data and information and prepare technical report;
- Provide technical support to project team and specialists on areas of cooperatives, markets, value chain and project management related issues;
- Coordination with NARC and other relevant research/development organization and explore available new technologies for extension and marketing support;
- Contribute on periodic progress reports, monitoring reports, fact sheets and case studies to meet the in-house and donor reporting requirements;
- Contribute enhanced visibility of project, implementing partners on different forms and formats at different levels, where applicable; and
- Perform other tasks as required.
5. Gender and social inclusion in project interventions:
- Ensure gender and social inclusion component in any type of project interventions; and
- Manage data disaggregated by sex, age, and caste/ethnicity from the records of project interventions.
Impact of Function:
Successful management of the value chain development of fruit and vegetables project in compliance with the Government of Nepal’s and UNDP’s rules and procedures.
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Serves and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Good inter-personal skills;
- Clear and upfront communication skills;
- Treats all people fairly without favouritism;
- Display cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability;
- Collaborates effectively in a team environment;
- Organized and good with following-up on pending issues; meets deadlines;
- Promote learning and knowledge management/sharing;
- Focused on delivering results by taking calculated-risks and problem-solving approach;
- Fair and transparent decision making; regularly shares information with team members; and
- Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development.
- Promotes sharing of knowledge and experience, and actively works towards continued learning and development on personal level as well as for supervisees;
- Good practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues;
- Ability to go beyond established procedures and models, propose new approaches which expand the range of projects;
- Demonstrates strong numerical and analytical skills;
- Has experience working with Monitoring and Evaluation tools;
- Experience in developing business plans for financial institutions including energy enterprises;
- Experience in coordination, technical assistance and advisory support top government and private institutions;
- Experienced in delivering training and other needed capacity/ institutional building support to a wide range of stakeholders including financial institutions;
- Demonstrates excellent organizational and administrative skills;
- Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UNDP’s mandate;
- Analyzes and selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners and stakeholders;
- Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position;
- Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks;
- Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
- Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to UNDP’s mandate and strategic agenda;
- Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work;
- Monitors specific stages of projects/programme implementation; and
- Researches linkages across programme activities to identify critical points of integration.
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree in Agriculture (agricultural economics or agribusiness) management or equivalent.
- At least 7 years of working experience in the field of agriculture value chain, market linkage, marketing, and collection centre management;
- Sound understanding of agricultural policies and agriculture research, development, and extension systems of Nepal;
- Demonstrated capacity on design and implementation of agricultural value chain development;
- Ability to manage and supervise a team of multidisciplinary professionals; and
- Good understanding of UNDP rules and procedures (an experience of completing UN assignments would be an asset).
- Fluency in spoken and written English and Nepali.
- Good knowledge of computer applications such as word, excel, power point and statistical applications.