One Acre Fund Agriculture Research Associate/Manager Job Vacancy

Job Description
One Acre Fund runs a robust R&D program, spanning over half a dozen countries and including trials with tens of thousands of farmers every year. As a data-driven organization, our R&D program is the beating heart of many of the strategic decisions; these decisions directly affect the wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers every year. The Agriculture Research Manager will be responsible for ensuring that One Acre Fund’s R&D programs develop highly impactful trainings, and successfully account for the complexity of smallholder farming systems in order to better target and tailor products and trainings, resulting in higher adoption and greater impact for farmers. Specifically, this includes the following inter-related categories of work:

  • Farmer trainings R&D - One Acre Fund’s core programs impact could be increased by at least $20 million per year through improved client uptake of crop management recommendations, such as optimal planting configurations, or fertilizer application rates. The Agriculture Research Associate/Manager will develop and coordinate the implementation of (i) research tools to enable R&D teams to explore the underlying drivers for relatively low uptake of recommendations, and (ii) processes to develop, test and improve marketing and training content in order to increase farmer uptake of crop management recommendations.
  • Technology adoption research - Increased farmer adoption of products already offered to farmers by One Acre Fund could increase the program’s impact by over $30 million per year. The Agriculture Research Associate/Manager will be responsible for developing research tools and protocols to ensure each stage of the research pipeline maximises opportunities to understand likely immediate and longer-term rates of farmer adoption of products. They will also develop approaches to integrate models of technology diffusion and adoption with product impact models to inform strategic decision-making and prioritisation around product development, scale-up and marketing based on data-driven estimates of long-term adoption trends.
  • Farming systems research - One Acre Fund’s ability to identify new products and trainings that have high impact potential depends on an intimate understanding of farmers’ key needs and constraints.  The Agriculture Research Associate/Manager will refine and scale tools One Acre Fund has developed to enable R&D teams to effectively characterise and understand farmers’ livelihoods and farming systems, in order to generate insights on key opportunities for new high-impact products and obstacles to farmer adoption of existing products and recommendations. This work could include surveys or participatory research methods e.g.  to understand typical labour and organic matter availability within farming households, and where those resources are typically directed at different points in the season in order to identify opportunities to help farmers optimise their resource allocations to increase soil health, yields and overall farm productivity.
  • Internal consulting on agriculture and research - The Agriculture Research Manager will work within the Agriculture Research Team, which regularly provides support to various teams within One Acre Fund in dealing with technical agricultural questions or challenges. This work includes providing rapid responses to urgent technical questions, desk-based research to inform strategy development, production of decision-support tools to enable teams to operate more independently, and ensuring that knowledge is effectively shared between research teams. Past examples of this category of work include creating guidance on monitoring and IPM for Fall Armyworm, and developing maize fertilizer and planting configuration recommendations for a project pilot in a new region through desk research.

Career Growth and Development
One Acre Fund invests in building management and leadership skills. Your manager will invest significant time in your career development. We provide constant, actionable feedback delivered through mentorship and through regular management consulting-style career reviews. We also have regular one-on-one meetings, where we listen to and discuss career goals, and work collaboratively to craft roles that each person can be passionate about.  Because of our rapid growth, we constantly have new high-level roles opening up and opportunities in many functions. This results in fast career growth for our staff.

We are seeking an exceptional professional with 3-5+ years of agriculture or rural development research extension experience, preferably in sub-Saharan Africa. Candidates who fit the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:
  • Strong experience with qualitative and quantitative research on smallholder agriculture, ideally with a farming systems emphasis and preferably including some work around agroforestry or livestock. We are looking for candidates with a proven track record of tackling complex agriculture research challenges in a systematic and efficient way.
  • Prior experience with research and extension project design and management, ideally including participatory methods, on-farm trials, surveys and focus groups.  
  • Proven ability to simultaneously manage several projects at a time, effectively prioritising to meet short- and long-term deadlines.
  • Postgraduate degree in agriculture, rural development or a related field strongly preferred.
  • Applicants are expected to have at least basic proficiency in statistical analysis (preferably in R), and comfort with Excel and other professional programs.
  • Ability to easily explain complex technical concepts in plain language
  • Passion for collaborating with and training others, with strong experience in contributing to capacity building and professional development of colleagues.
  • Humility. We have a fantastic and likeable team. We are looking for passionate professionals who combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble approach to service. We place a lot of value on the ability to proactively respond to open and frank feedback in order to grow as individuals and a team.
  • A willingness to commit to living in East Africa for at least two years. This is a long–term, career–track role.
  • Willingness to travel - the role may require up to ~30% travel for at least the first year (the travel requirement is likely to reduce over time).
  • Language: English required; French and or Kiswahili highly desirable

Preferred Start Date
As soon as possible

Commensurate with experience. 

Health insurance, immunizations, flight, room, and board.

Sponsor International Candidates 

East Africans highly encouraged to apply. 

How to Apply
Interested candidates are required to click here to apply