Agribusiness Cluster Formation Specialist at International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)

Job Description

Agribusiness Cluster Formation Specialist

2SCALE, Anglophone countries


The 2SCALE program 2019-23 builds on achievements and lessons learnt from a first phase (2012-18, It aims to be a flagship program for the Netherlands’ food security policy and one of the leading catalysts of inclusive agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa.

2SCALE is designed to incubate and accelerate inclusive agribusiness development in target countries in Africa (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Nigeria). Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are the core implementation modality to achieve the objectives of the program. 2SCALE’s strategy is three-pronged:

  • Incubating inclusive business: through PPPs, 2SCALE works together with private enterprises to develop agribusiness models that promote inclusiveness, develop (new) competitive edge, and have potential for scaling. PPPs support value chain development and agribusiness cluster formation. Local networks, also called agribusiness clusters (ABCs), are instrumental to the 2SCALE program to ensure better access to services, and to strengthen innovative and bargaining capacities of smallholder farmers. 2SCALE partners with African and multinational agri-food companies as drivers to increase productivity and to improve efficiency and sustainability of supported ABCs and value chains. Specific attention is given to youth and women to integrate value chains (as farmers, laborers, entrepreneurs, service providers), and to low income / “base of the pyramid” (BoP) consumers that represent the largest market for food products in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Replicating inclusive business: through PPPs, 2SCALE supports the replication of most successful business models, in different settings (regions, industries), with the same or different private partners.
  • Facilitating sector transformation and policy alignment: 2SCALE also supports partnering enterprises to drive sector transformation and policy alignment for critical bottlenecks that cannot be solved by the actors within the focus PPPs, and which affects a number of actors in the sector simultaneously.

Position summary

The ABC Formation Specialist for Anglophone countries is responsible for designing and implementing 2SCALE’s strategy to support the emergence and strengthening of ABCs in all PPPs. The ABC Formation Specialist provides support to Partnership Facilitators to assess priority capacity strengthening activities required at the grassroots level by farmers and other local actors to improve their terms of inclusion in the value chain and their competitiveness. She/he will design tailor-made capacity strengthening programs and monitor their implementation through local ABC Coaches, in close collaboration with Partnership Facilitators, and in line with PPP’s theory of change.

Main tasks

  • In support to Partnership Facilitators, organize (gender-sensitive) assessments of farmers’ terms of inclusion in the focus value chain and their competitiveness, identifying gaps to bridge in priority in the target PPP.
  • In support to Partnership Facilitators, design tailor-made capacity strengthening programs addressing priority gaps and nurturing the emergence of ABCs. In most cases priority interventions will consist of a careful combination of activities addressing hard skills (e.g. related to good agricultural practices and farming as a business) and soft skills (e.g. fostering women leadership, building trust, managing bargaining power).
  • In close collaboration with the ABC Formation Specialist for 2SCALE Francophone countries, develop strategies, methodologies and tools to implement tailor-made capacity strengthening programs at the grassroots level, using multiplier effects to be able to involve/”reach” as many grassroots actors as possible and have the greatest impact at scale. A specific attention will be given to approaches responsive to the needs of women and young farmers and other local entrepreneurs. This includes the following tasks:
    • Set criteria to select ABC Coaches and assist business support service (BSS) providers in appointing qualified ABC Coaches. At least 50% of the ABC Coaches must be women.
    • Assess training needs of ABC Coaches and organize training-of-trainers for them and other BSS staff. This includes a training of all ABC Coaches in women economic empowerment, to be organized with support of 2SCALE’s Gender Coaches.
    • Develop a pool of local trainers and experts (individuals and organizations) that can provide technical assistance to ABCs on a consultancy basis, in areas related to priority gaps identified. This pool is expected to include “trainers-mentors” of 2SCALE 2012-18 and of the iCRA[1] alumni network at large.
    • Establish and regularly update a resources data base accessible digitally to ABC Coaches to implement ABC Formation activities. Resources will consist of handbooks, guidelines, handouts, videos and other materials developed by 2SCALE and by external organizations; they will be available in both English and French whenever possible. The resources data base will include (but not be limited to) 2SCALE 2012-18’s thirteen local capacity strengthening modules, that may require some adjustments/updates.
    • Lead the development of new resources for ABC Coaches whenever needed.
    • Develop an approach to monitor the performance of ABC Coaches and related ABCs, in line with objectives set in each PPP and related impact pathways.
  • Lead the setup and activities of a community of practice among ABC Coaches, and stimulate sharing of best practices among ABC Coaches of all target countries.
  • Support 2SCALE thematic specialists (e.g. financial inclusion, gender equality, green innovations, BoP marketing, youth inclusion) to embed their activities in the ABC development process and ensure good alignment of all activities implemented at the grassrootss level.
  • Support Partnership Facilitators to organize and facilitate review & capitalization processes at the end of every intervention cycle (usually annually), and promote sharing of lessons learnt and best practices among country teams and ABC Coaches.
  • Identify and collaborate with organizations of the Agricultural Education and Training sector in the target countries to anchor their training programs and to foster the professionalization of inclusive agribusiness practices.
  • Collaborate with the Communication Specialists to develop outreach materials in a frequent manner, and ensure the visibility of ABC formation activities in PPPs and their importance to nurture improved terms of inclusion and competitiveness.
  • Write and submit timely activity reports, as well as other technical reports, notes and papers.
  • Develop activity budgets whenever needed and in compliance with 2SCALE’s policies and procedures.
  • Monitor expenditures vs. budgets available for ABC Formation activities, and avoid both under-spending and overspending.
  • Prepare monthly fund requests with a strict respect of deadlines, in compliance with 2SCALE’s procedures.
  • Represent the program at relevant national/ local events.

Supervision and team collaboration

The ABC Formation Specialist is supervised by and reports to the IFDC coordinator in the 2SCALE consortium (or her/his designee).

She/he works in close collaboration with all other 2SCALE colleagues, including the team of 2SCALE’s strategic partner, the PrC.

Position and duty station

The ABC Formation Specialist for 2SCALE Anglophone countries is a national position with a duty station at 2SCALE’s office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The position requires intensive travels (up to 50% of the time) in target regions in Ethiopia and other Anglophone countries of the program, i.e. Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria[1]. Trips to other 2SCALE target countries may also be required.

Contract duration

IFDC will propose a first contract ending on December 31, 2021.

Based on the incumbent’s performance and availability of funds, the contract could then be extended or renewed

[1] South Sudan may be added upon request of the donor

[1] Member of the 2SCALE consortium from 2012 to 2017, and in charge of capacity strengthening activities.

Indicative starting date:

  •  January or February 2020

Job Requirements


  • Advanced degree in agricultural economics, communications, extension or rural development.
  • Proven experience in organizing and conducting a variety of training programs – e.g. technical, business, marketing, management, organizational.
  • At least 6 years working experience in agriculture or rural development in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Proven experience in organizing and facilitating grassroots-level capacity building programs (trainings, demonstrations, field visits, etc.), business meetings, adult training and training-of-trainers.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with grassroots stakeholders and to stimulate a genuinely participatory and inter-active learning process.
  • Result-orientation and ability to take initiatives under minimal supervision, and to reach targets.
  • Fluent in English.

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