Regional Cereals & Legumes Market Systems Specialist

Activity Overview and Role

Palladium seeks a Regional Cereals & Legumes Market Systems Specialist to work with the Feed the Future East Africa Agriculture and Market Systems Activity, a 5-year, $23 million task order under USAID’s Regional Integration and Stronger Economics (RISE) IDIQ mechanism. The Activity is designed to promote increased agricultural production, trade, improved policies, finance and investment, and resilience to shocks and stresses in the East Africa region by addressing agricultural issues that can only be solved on a regional basis. The Activity will collaborate closely with USAID/Kenya and East Africa’s regional intergovernmental partners, including the East African Community (EAC), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region.

The Feed the Future East Africa Agriculture and Market Systems Activity is organized under four objectives: 1) Strengthening cross-border agricultural market systems, 2) Accessing and scaling technologies, 3) Strengthening regional resilience, and 4) Strengthening the regional agriculture policy and regulatory environment. The Activity geographic area of focus includes the East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zambia. The Activity focus value chains are Livestock, Horticulture, Cereals and Legumes.

The Regional Cereals & Legumes Market Systems Specialist, working in collaboration with the Marketing and Partnerships and the Access to Finance Specialists, will support the Director, Cross-Border Trade and Market Systems to build more effective cross-border market systems in the cereals & Legumes value chains that take full advantage of new and existing regional and international market opportunities. S(He) will help to identify end-market growth opportunities in the value chain to expand trade opportunities across EA. The position will report directly to the Director, Cross-Border Trade and Market Systems.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Coordinate and support the implementation of the team’s regional cereals & legumes market systems strengthening action plans ensuring inclusion, resilience, and gender, under the supervision of the Director for cross border trade. As part of this, ensure Activity logic for interventions is aligned with overall intended results for transformation of the value chains that cut across all the four activity objectives,
  • Review interventions and proposals developed by Activity partners, including their contribution to project results and value-for-money aspects
  • Working closely with the Activity Access to Finance Specialist and sub-contract partner(s), support finance and investment pipeline development to increase access to financial services in the value chain,
  • Oversee capacity building interventions for Activity Cereals and Legumes value chain partner organizations,
  • Support the development of cross-border market facilitation tools that are critical to ensuring increased and sustained regional trade,
  • Develop sustainable relationships in the targeted 9 project countries that can deepen the collaborative aspects for strengthening cross-border trade in cereal and legume products.
  • Provide technical oversight for all Activity subgrants to VC stakeholders to ensure optimal use to achieve project objectives and targets,
  • Provide regular written updates on the regional market system and trade highlighting any changes taking place in the value chains or within specific market systems in the value chain as a result of, but not limited to, Activity interventions.
  • Coordinate the project’s collaboration with other relevant initiatives that would help in the delivery of project results under the regional Cereals & Legumes market system strengthening,
  • Using the Market Systems Development approach, undertake periodic analyses of the regional value chains, its supporting functions, and enabling environmental aspects to inform the progress and adaptation of interventions, partnerships activities, and development of business cases for engaging value chain players. End-markets analyses of growth opportunities that will drive trade opportunities in the regional value chain will be a key activity.
    Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, economics, international trade, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience engaged in relevant regional trade transactions and/or facilitating Cereals & Legumes market systems interventions at senior management level in the region and/or internationally.
  • Demonstrated success in managing commercial agricultural value chain transactions and/or facilitating trade in agricultural value chains.
  • Commercial agricultural supply chain management experience desired.
  • Hands-on experience in the specified value chain in the region a pre-requisite.
  • Knowledge and understanding of barriers to regional cross-border trade, and ability to think creatively about solutions to overcome barriers when possible.
  • Must be well-networked in the specified value chain across the project countries of focus.
  • Prior USAID or donor experience preferred.
  • Qualified Kenyan and East African citizens are encouraged to apply


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