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District Coordinator

AKDN - Aga Khan Development Network

Patna, India

The position

Overall responsibilities

The District Coordinator will be responsible for providing technical support to implementing partners to increase and improve the production and productivity of pulses farming in the project districts. This will include assessing challenges faced by farmers in pulses farming and identifying solutions to mitigate these challenges. The creation of viable community institutions to access inputs and more remunerative markets, developing input supply chains, and facilitating access to knowledge and information on improved cropping practices will be key responsibilities. The position will be based at the offices of the Aga Khan Foundation in Patna, Bihar, with extensive travel to the five project districts (West Champaran, East Champaran, Saran, Siwan, and Samastipur). The District Coordinator will be based at Patna, Bihar.

Core Responsibilities

  • Map existing practices related to pulses farming in the five districts, including productivity of different pulses varieties, assess challenges faced by farmers, and in close dialogue with implementing partners, identify how these challenges could be overcome;
  • Establish technical linkages with research institutions, including ICAR institutions, to identify best practices to strengthen pulses farming. Facilitate the dissemination of these best practices to implementing partners;
  • Develop location specific package of practices for pulses promotion in the three cropping seasons of Zaid, Kharif, and Rabi;
  • In close dialogue with implementing partners identify approaches for disseminating best practices related to pulses farming to farmers and farmer groups. Identify innovative communication and extension packages to motivate farmers to adopt pulses farming;
  • Undertake regular field visits to provide hand-holding support to implementing partners and also monitor field implementation;
  • Support the development of input supply chains, particularly related to availability of good quality pulses seed;
  • Identify technical and knowledge partnerships to strengthen implementation of project activities (eg weather forecasting, crop insurance etc.);
  • Support the development of farmers’ institutions, including apex level institutions (eg Farmer Producer Companies) to achieve economies of scale for both input access and linkages with remunerative markets;
  • Identify best practices, challenges, and learning from project implementation for wider dissemination, including on the project e-portal;
  • In dialogue with the Team Leader and the State Programme Manager, identify and operationalize required training and capacity building needs of implementation partners;
  • Support the development of rigorous Monitoring and Evaluation systems, including M&E to be undertaken by external partner agencies.

The requirements

Required qualities, competencies, and qualifications:

  • 5 to 7 years of experience of implementing agricultural programmes, both farm/non-farm based. Established experience of community mobilization, farmer producer companies, agri-marketing, commodity procurement, market led-interventions, and value addition activities;
  • Understanding of farming practices and experience of working on legumes is desirable;
  • Post graduate in agriculture marketing/MBA in agri-business/Rural Marketing/Development Studies;
  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills in both Hindi and English;
  • Willingness to travel, interact with farmers, market entities, and other stakeholders;
  • Experience of working independently, as well as in a team.

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