Agricultural Economist East & Southern Africa

About the job

Agricultural Economist East & Southern Africa

IFDC Overview

IFDC is a nonprofit, science-based organization working to alleviate global hunger and poverty by improving sustainable agricultural productivity. IFDC enables smallholder farmers in developing countries to increase agricultural productivity, generate economic growth, and practice environmental stewardship by enhancing their ability to manage mineral and organic fertilizers responsibly and participate profitably in input and output markets.

IFDC was established in 1974 in response to the twin crises of food insecurity and rising energy prices. IFDC is governed by an international board of directors and supported by bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, private enterprises and foundations and Headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, USA.

IFDC manages field activities in over 20 countries in Africa and Asia through three regional offices in Accra, Nairobi and Dhaka covering respectively: West Africa, East and Southern Africa, and Asia.

Position Overview

The East & Southern Africa Agricultural Economist will lead activities related to fertilizer, input and soil health in the areas of markets, economics and policy related issues that contributes to advocacy focusing on improved enabling environment. The Economist will support national and regional projects in East & Southern Africa as well as support IFDC’s strategic priorities including new business through conducting evidence based research and products such as development of policy briefs, research papers, that lead to developing concept notes and new proposals etc. S/he will be based at IFDC’s Regional Office in Nairobi, Kenya with regular travel to support regional projects of IFDC as and when required. S/he will be part of IFDC’s Research Team as well as the East & Southern Africa Regional team.

Specific Activities

The Economist Will Undertake The Following Activities


Provide technical leadership and support to the development and implementation of fertilizer and soil health related programs in the areas of economics, markets, and policy related issues;
Liaise and work closely with Ministries of Agriculture, government agencies, private sector, associations, development partners, stakeholders and projects in the region and serves as a key point of contact in agriculture related policy formulation, analysis, implementation and dissemination;
Maintain an active and dynamic policy dialogue with other Government institutions, donor platforms and organizations and private sector to facilitate technical discussions and engage in effective policy development and change in soil and fertilizer related issues;
Coordinate meetings on key issues related to soil health, agricultural inputs and fertilizer markets, policy related issues;
Be responsible for fertilizer, input and policy sector working group/platform meetings (preparation, reporting and following up recommendations)
Provide support/lead in the development of new business related to policy and enabling environment issues with regard to input policies, with particular focus on soil fertility related. Activities may include the development of policy briefs to support new business, the development of concept notes and technical inputs into proposal development;
Participating in and conducting training and capacity building programs on key economic and policy issues on fertilizers and soil health related issues.
Developing and presenting reports and technical papers at meetings, representation in conferences and workshops
Provide support in other areas of work and undertake any other duties as may be assigned by the BFS-Program coordinator and the Regional Director.


This position requires a broad knowledge and understanding of economic, agriculture, and fertilizer conditions in East & Southern Africa to properly determine the issues affecting the functioning of markets (inputs) and the role of soil fertility issues affecting the farmer use and adoption.
The position further requires specialized experience in input policies – in terms of formulation and advocacy at different levels and the ability to lead and participate in the implementation of projects associated with development projects involving soil fertility related interventions;
Knowledge and experience for conducting qualitative and quantitative surveys towards generating evidence to support or test the fertilizer market and soil fertility related interventions that have potential impact on policies
Knowledge of international development agencies, government ministries and agencies, and donors to prepare successful funding economic and policy recommendations and proposals to donors;
Strong skills to use statistical and econometric analysis for better research outcomes
Excellent written and oral communication skills to properly prepare technical reports and policy documents and to present lectures on research findings at seminars and workshops to a wide range of technical and non-technical audiences;
Proven experience and skills in project management, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E);
Superior level of resourcefulness and the ability to work independently, manage and complete multiple tasks simultaneously, and to meet deadlines under pressure;
Proven ability to work cooperatively with a multi-disciplinary team, development partners, local communities and government agencies in East & Southern Africa;
Willingness and ability to travel as needed;
Minimum of Ph.D. and 5 to 7 years of relevant research experience or Master’s degree and 10 to 15 years of relevant research experience in an applied field of Economics or Agriculture


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About International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)

We provide solutions to alleviate global hunger and poverty through the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency.