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OSC General Manager

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Vacancy for ambitious and knowledgeable professionalswith a passion for rural development
 

Project: Out-grower Service Company model for maize and soybean in Rwanda

We are Agriterra, a Dutch agri-agency that provides business development services to ambitious cooperatives and farmer organizations in developing and emerging economies. We assist them with advice and training by locally based business advisors and by deploying practitioners from the Dutch and international farmer organizations and (cooperative) companies. the so-called Agripool experts. We apply a three-track approach: we make cooperatives bankable and create real farmer-led companies, we improve extension services to farmer members, and we enhance farmer-government dialogues. Our advisory practice covers the full range of services on Management & Organization, Financial Management, Governance, Business Development and Lobby & Advocacy.

Agriterra works from local offices in a large number of countries. We work with self-steering teams, so our employees are challenged to use every bit of determination, creativity and strategy to achieve our compelling goals. Being a self-steering organization makes Agriterra an inspiring and challenging environment for professional growth and development.

Agriterra has an annual turnover of approximately 15 million euros, is ISO certified and has over 160 employees, both in the Netherlands and abroad. For more information, visit our website www.agriterra.org.

For a new and innovative initiative in the Rwandan maize and soybean value chains, specifically in Ngoma district, Agriterra Rwanda is looking for a general manager.

I.    Introduction of the project 

 The Out-grower Services Company (OSC) model for maize and soybean in Rwanda is a pilot project that seeks to increase the soybean and maize productivity and supplies of raw materials for animal feed production. Several factories have been set-up in Rwanda to process animal feeds, but they all lack sufficient availability of domestically produced, quality maize and soybean, forcing them to import their raw materials. Most maize and soybean producers have organized themselves into cooperatives, but the efficiency of the cooperatives often requires further professionalization and upscaling. Having seen the situation, ENABEL initiated the Out-grower Service Company model to provide solutions to challenges faced by both smallholder farmers and animal feed processors. In November 2020 Agriterra received a grant from Enabel to implement this project for a period of 3 years. The targeted number of direct beneficiaries is 3,000 maize and soybean farmers, located in the eastern province, Ngoma district. Experiences of the pilot in Ngoma will be shared with cooperatives in Gisagara and Kirehe districts in year 2 of the project.

II.    Background of the assignment

 The animal feeds industry is a critical component of the livestock sector in Rwanda. However, over the years the sector faced significant challenges in producing sufficient animal feed to support the development of its livestock sector. These challenges include:

i.  Low productivity of the livestock sector with farmers utilizing grasses, maize and legumes in feeding their animals which in many cases affects their productivity.
ii.  Poor quality (high aflatoxin levels) and limited availability of maize (energy source). 
iii.  Lack of reliable domestic supply of Soya (plant protein) or alternatives. 
iv.  High cost of imported animal feed ingredients which positions the price of feeds above farmers’ purchasing power. 
v.  The limited availability of alternative sources of calcium. 

To this end, Enabel funded the implementation of the Out-grower Service Company Model to be piloted by Agriterra in the maize and soybean sectors to increase the local supply of animal feeds ingredients, increase the production levels of animal feeds and improve the productivity in the livestock sector.

 Position: OSC General Manager

Location: Ngoma district, Eastern province

The General Manager (GM) will assist in the development and establishment of the Out-grower Services Company (OSC). Through the OSC, farmers will access patient finance, agronomic extension, production logistics, and block management services. The goal of the GM will be to ensure the OSC provides these services effectively, such that smallholder yields and quality are maximized while costs to the farmer are minimized through efficiencies and economies of scale.

Once underway, the GM will directly manage and oversee all day-to-day technical, financial, and administrative operations of the OSC. This includes direct oversight of all functional units including agronomic extension, finance and admin, management, and production logistics. In addition to developing and retaining a senior management and operational team, the GM will champion public relations efforts on the ground, and ensure farmers as well as local stakeholders understand the benefits of maize and soybeans, the specific offer of the OSC, their role as a member of the OSC. Rather than “manage from a desk,” it is expected that the GM will have a significant presence in the field, with daily engagement of both farmers and staff.

To ensure that the project objectives are achieved in full, the job holder will be required to establish a great cooperation and communication with OSC leadership and employees, liaise directly with project partners (i.e. Agriterra, Enabel, RAB and local government) and other key maize and soybean value chain partners (i.e. farm inputs suppliers, financial institutions, crop insurance companies, off takers and other services providers).

The GM will report to and collaborate with Agriterra, however will ultimately be held accountable to the OSC Board of Directors regarding performance and achievement of results. The recruited person will work under a consultancy contract while based in Ngoma District.

Duties

  • Carry out day to day management of all operational, financial, and administrative matters of the OSC.
  • Arrange professional input distribution, credit management, liquidity management, extension services, aggregation, post-harvest handling, sales and marketing of maize and soybean.
  • Identify, develop, and build an effective field team, and manage the team according to a common vision for the smallholder development with clear performance KPIs.
  • Engage with key stakeholders on the project including local government, farmers, and the animal feed companies, among others.
  • Assist in the establishment of company policies and procedures and ensure statutory compliance and fiduciary control within all company matters.
  • Participate in the development of annual workplans and budgets and manage against these to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of results.
  • Ensure accurate and timely monthly, quarterly, and annually reports to the board of the OSC explaining them in an understandable manner including Quantity of goods sold. Turnover realized, and Activities done.
  • Engage with Agriterra and the Board of Directors as required.
  • Facilitate the drafting of the reports to Enabel and to the district.
  • Carry out other relevant tasks as assigned by Agriterra Rwanda.

 Your profile

The GM will possess a firm understanding of business management through significant private sector experience in an agriculture-based related industry (preferably maize and soybeans). He/she will be a dynamic and energetic individual that is able to work in a team environment while maintaining a strategic, yet commercial outlook and managing for results.

Minimum qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree required. MBA or advanced degree preferred, particularly in the areas of economics, agribusiness, finance, or a business-related field.
  • Strong demonstrated management experience including personnel and financial management. Ability to lead, work independently, and oversee a portfolio of activities at the executive level with professionalism and integrity to ensure tasks are completed and the needs of the organization are met.
  • At least 5 years senior management experience
  • Proven capabilities in engaging and working with farmer cooperatives.
  • Ability to gain the trust and confidence of all project stakeholders.
  • Ability to think strategically, be open-minded and innovative, but with a strong commercial and practical focus.
  • A very high level of integrity and honesty and a sense of responsibility. Ability to work effectively as part of a team. and
  • A respectful and motivated attitude towards farmers and their organizations
  • Good computer skills
  • Able to work under pressure, live and travel in the countryside and provide outstanding results in limited time.
  • Able to work in an innovative business model, with loyalty to farmers, cooperatives.
  • A robust personality combined with the ability to work independently.
  • Previous work experience in Rwanda, as well as fluency in English and Kinyarwanda is required.
  • Knowledge of the OSC model is an advantage.

 Are you interested?

Are you interested in this position and do you fit the profile? Apply before the 31st of July 2021 with a cover letter, curriculum vitae and academic certificate in one PDF file, by sending an e-mail to rwanda@agriterra.org to the attention of Mr. Jasper Spikker, Agriterra Rwanda Country representative, with reference code ATRW-8706MG. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.