Land O’Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening local agriculture, helping agribusinesses create jobs and linking farmers to markets. Since 1981, it has implemented over 315 integrated dairy, livestock and crops development programs in nearly 80 countries — creating lasting impact by linking farmers, businesses, and the public and private sector in local and global contexts. Land O’Lakes Venture37’s long-standing affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc. sets it apart. Land O’Lakes, Inc. is one of largest United States farmer-owned cooperatives. It supports Land O’Lakes Venture37 project implementation with nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights and technologies. This gives Land O’Lakes Venture37 development projects a unique global view of agriculture, food and the power of well-functioning market systems. Land O’Lakes, Inc. supports these efforts as part of its enterprise purpose of Feeding Human Progress at home and around the world.
Venture37 seeks qualified candidates for Chief of Party (COP) for the USAID-funded Feed the Future DRC Fall Armyworm (FAW) Activity cooperative agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The project will improve the application of integrated pest management (IPM) and good agricultural practice (GAP) by smallholder maize farmers working through public, private, and NGO channels and collaborators. The project is organized into three activity Components:
- validate safe and cost-effective integrated pest management (IPM) technologies suitable for smallholder maize producers;
- facilitate system adoption of suitable technologies and approaches that will build the resilience of smallholder producers and the supporting market system; and
- strengthen the enabling environment necessary to coordinate systemic approaches to FAW response.
The project will enable female and male smallholder maize producers in the target area to gain equal access to the necessary information, skills and appropriate inputs to safely and effectively manage FAW and to increase maize yield through GAP IPM. This will strengthen food security, increase income generation and improve the livelihoods of maize producers in the DRC.
Venture37 seeks COP candidates to provide overall project leadership of a technical team, spearhead collaboration with government and NGO actors, and to articulate and champion the overall strategic direction of the project. The COP will have a background in supporting smallholder agriculture, collaborating and strengthening public and private-sector extension, fostering agribusiness involvement, and project and team management experience that provides value for money. Venture37 seeks candidates who are forward thinking in managing efficient project operations, using and championing technologies, and implementing project management solutions that offers value for money and achieves the intended targets.
- Provide and articulate a project strategic vision, overall leadership and technical direction to the project.
- Ensure effective and efficient performance for all aspects of service contracts and partner grants.
- Oversee the implementation of an innovation fund to foster private-sector involvement and service provision.
- Ensure successful project implementation and achievement of results on time and within budget.
- Provide overall coordination for the project and ensure operational harmony with relevant stakeholder partners in the public and private sector.
- Serve as the main point of contact with donors and donor representatives.
- Promote strong relationships with all stakeholders with effective networking, linkages to other programs, capacity building of project staff, and institutional strengthening of implementing partners and organizations.
- Guide implementing partners in research and crop protection to best deploy their technical expertise in the project Components.
- Implement a practice of Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptation (CLA) with the technical team and project stakeholders.
- Manage quality control and reporting on progress and results.
- Ensure timely, high-quality, and complete submission of work plans, quarterly and annual reports, financial reports, and any other reports required by donor.
- Oversee budgets and financial accounting and work with headquarters staff on compliance development of budgets and pipeline analyses.
- Ensure that all activities are undertaken in full compliance with Venture37’ standard operating procedures, donor policies and regulations, and national policies and laws.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
- Post-graduate degree in agribusiness, international development, economics, business management, agricultural or rural development, or another relevant field.
- A minimum of 10 years of demonstrated senior management experience in managing agricultural development programs.
- Previous experience serving as Chief of Party or Deputy Chief of Party on a US Government funded project.
- Extensive experience and/or technical knowledge designing, managing and evaluating development projects and activities, including experience in portfolio management and implementation, particularly related to agricultural development.
- Demonstrated experience managing agricultural training and extension programs. Experience in modern extension methods for the commercialization of smallholder farmers for increased profits through value chain development.
- Demonstrated ability to be collaborative across projects, flexible, and creative and successfully lead an intercultural team in development and post-conflict context.
- Ability to communicate effectively, instilling trust and confidence. Excellent interpersonal and written and oral presentation skills.
- Fluency in oral and written English and French.
- Excellent leadership skills including the ability to build and manage cooperative high-level relationships and motivate subordinates.
Preferred Skills and Qualifications
- Experience managing agricultural education, sustainable development, or volunteer programs.
- Experience managing donor funded programs in francophone Africa.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls will be accepted.
Land O’Lakes never requests money or payment from candidates for any position type. Please report any such requests to Land O’Lakes.
Land O’Lakes Venture37 is an equal opportunity employer and an organization striving to help global communities thrive through agriculture. We consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status, among other factors. Our culture values a diversity of voices. So bring us your unique experiences, your workstyle, and your dreams — they’ll only make us stronger.