Chief Director, Agricultural Advisory Services
- Post Date:May 17, 2021
- Views 527
- Career Level OtherQualification Master’s DegreeExperience 1-3 Years
The Public Service Commission is inviting applications to fill the vacant posts of 1 x Chief Director, Agricultural Advisory Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement as detailed below:
POST : CHIEF DIRECTOR, AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY SERVICES
GRADE : F2
REPORTS TO : PERMANENT SECRETARY
DIRECTORATE : AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY SERVICES
STATION : HEAD OFFICE
MINISTRY : LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT
The agricultural sector, which is responsible for feeding the nation and providing livelihoods to the country’s population is also vital for recovery and growth of our agro-based economy as articulated in the national development strategy. Food insecurity, however, has been consistently growing in Zimbabwe. Over the last five years, the proportion of food-insecure rural population ranged between 30 and 59% during the period 2015 to 2020. Urban vulnerability has also been on the rise reaching 30% or 2.2 million people by 2020.
Major factors that are driving food insecurity in the country include among others, natural shocks, low skills and knowledge base of farmers, shortage of inputs, low levels of mechanisation, reliance on rain-fed agriculture, limited access to market information and marketing facilities, limited access to finance and limited security of tenure.
Over the years, average productivity of both food and cash crops across all farm types has been declining. Maize yields declined from an average of 1.2 metric tonnes per Ha (MT/Ha) between the period 1990 to 1995 to an average of 0.749 MT/Ha between the period 2010 to 2016. 219. Consequently, the country’s capacity to produce sufficient cereal to meet national consumption requirements has been constrained. The gap has been consistently met through importing, putting strain on already limited foreign currency. Livestock herd sizes, nationally, declined by about 20% for beef, over 83% for dairy, and 26% and 25% for pigs and small ruminants respectively between 2009 and 2020. Furthermore, the productivity of smallholder cattle herds remains very low, with average calving rates of about 45% against a potential of 60%, and off-take rates of about 6% against a recommended 20%.
NDSI seeks to improve food self-sufficiency and to retain the regional breadbasket status. The main objective is to increase food self-sufficiency from the current level of 45% to 100% and reduce food insecurity from the peak of 59% in 2020 to less than 10% by 2025. The target is also to increase maize production from 907 629 tonnes in 2020 to 3 million tonnes by 2025 and beef production from 49 115 tonnes in 2020 to 110 000 tonnes by 2025.
In order to achieve food self-sufficient status a number of initiatives need to be implemented to ensure attainment of resilience and sustainable agriculture system. The following are some of the proposed initiatives:
- Upscale and expedite irrigation rehabilitation and expansion utilising existing and new water bodies;
- Climate Smart Agriculture through adoption of conservation agriculture techniques and principles such as Pfumvudza;
- Develop stress tolerant, high yielding crop varieties;
- Promote traditional grains in low potential areas which are climate smart;
- Implement a climate proofed Presidential input support scheme that is anchored on the Pfumvudza Concept which adopt conservation agriculture techniques or principles such as minimum soil disturbances and mulching;
- Soil fertility management through soli conditioning management practices including liming and manuring;
- Capacitate extension services delivery;
Livestock production plays an important role in the social, cultural and economic environment of Zimbabwe. The Ministry will prioritise animal health and production through strengthening farmer knowledge, skills in livestock production and health so as to enhance productivity through the following strategies:-
- Upscale hay cutting, development of pastures green belts and creation of forage banks;
- Promote on-farm feeds formulation using cassava and cow peas to produce survival rations;
- Intensify dipping programme and blitz tick grease application to prevent and control entry and outbreaks of animal diseases;
- Strengthen implementation measures against Tsetse Fly and undertake operational research;
- Establish a national bull centre and semen processing laboratory to strengthen conservation of animal genetic resources and research and develop stress tolerant animal breeds and further promote artificial insemination by cascading the programme to AI small holder farmers;
- Climate-proof Livestock Production through commercialization of fish, rabbits, bees and small stock;
Therefore, for all of the above strategies to be successfully implemented the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement will require a Senior strategic management position to head the Directorate. The Chief Director Agricultural Advisory Service position will be responsible for spearheading the coordination, planning, implementation and provision of inclusive and sustainable technical, extension and advisory services in agricultural production so as to ensure the sector contribute to economic growth. The post will be reporting to the Permanent Secretary and will manage the following key functional areas: –
- Crop Production and Management.
- Livestock Production and Management
- Agricultural Technical and Extension Services.
- Training and capacity building of human capital within the extension field.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Oversee the coordination, formulation, implementation and review of sustainable strategies, programmes, policies, guidelines and regulations on crop and livestock production and management in the country and ensure that they are in sync with the Ministry’s Strategic Plan and National Development goals and aspirations.
- Spearhead the designing and implementation of an all-inclusive national stakeholder engagement platform on extension and agricultural advisory services.
- Superintend over the development of strategies to ensure food self-sufficiency, rebuilding of the national herd (beef and dairy) and the implementation of enterprise-oriented policy objectives through the various technical departments and other major players in the agricultural sector.
- Promote and commercialise the production of marginalised crops and livestock in the country and provide the appropriate extension services to farmers.
- Disseminate and promote the adoption of new crop and livestock production technologies through on farm trials and demonstration, holding field days, exchange visits, farmer field schools and technology fairs.
- Ensure the provision of linkages and interface between researches from the Agricultural Institutes and their adoption by farmers.
- Oversee the provision of technical support to rural households and community value chain players through agricultural extension and training on good plant health and post harvest practices.
- Superintend over the development of budgets and funding strategies for the planning, designing and implementation of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services programmes in crop and livestock production in the country and ensure transparency in the utilization of the funds.
- Collaborate with other relevant Government Departments and other stakeholders in the development of early warning surveillance, adaptation and mitigation strategies and policy responses to challenges created by climate change and any other threats to livestock and crop production in the country.
- Coordinate the development of collaborative partnerships on crop and livestock production in liaison with Veterinary Services and Agricultural Research, Innovation and Development Directorates and other relevant stakeholders in line with the Ministry`s thrust on increased crop and livestock production and self sufficiency.
- Coordinate and mainstream implementation of regional and International treaties, protocols, agreements and standards on crop and livestock production into the country’s national laws.
- Provide guidelines on training needs assessment, monitoring and evaluation of skills development programmes and continuous learning for members in the Department.
- Represent the Department in National, Regional and international fora on
Agricultural Technical and Extension Services trends and developments.
- Ensure relevant technical input into the procurement of plants (crops), animals, plant and animal seed, equipment, services and materials for agricultural production programmes and projects.
- Superintend over the collation, packaging, dissemination and management of national agricultural production information as well as frequent updates on the state of national agricultural production.
QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE AND ATTRIBUTES
- A Master’s degree in Agriculture/ Crop Science/ Animal Husbandry/ Agriculture Extension.
- A minimum of two (2) years relevant experience in the Director Grade or equivalent position.
- A thorough understanding of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services strategies and policies.
- Sound understanding of National Economic Development Programmes, Policies and Priorities particularly those on agriculture.
- Ability to communicate and network with stakeholders at various levels
- Willingness to travel within and outside the country.
- Ability to employ information communication technology in the designing and monitoring of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services provision.
- Must be a very good team leader with an analytical mind.
Candidates, [especially women], with relevant long-term experience at senior levels in the private sector or in the non-state enterprises domain within and outside Zimbabwe are encouraged to apply.
Application letters, including detailed CVs and copies of certificates should reach the Public Service Commission by 31 May 2021 and should be addressed to:
Public Service Commission
9th Floor, Social Security Centre
Corner Sam Nujoma Street/Julius Nyerere Way
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