Ethiopia: Agronomist Job Vacancy in Ethiopia

Organization: Wetlands International
Country: Ethiopia
Closing date: 14 Dec 2018


Wetlands International is dedicated to safeguarding and restoring wetlands for people and nature. We are driven by the knowledge that safeguarding and restoring wetlands is urgent and vital for water security, biodiversity, climate regulation, sustainable development and human health. Our global not-for-profit network of 20 independent offices is governed by a Supervisory Council and a Board of the Association of 35 national government and non-governmental organization members. We bring knowledge into policy and practice, connect local actions in 100 countries to make a global difference, we catalyse actions that support those that use or depend on wetlands, and we are passionate about the positive change we make for people and nature. See our website ( for more information on the values, strategies and policies that guide our work. As its East African program grows Wetlands International is expanding into new East African countries including in Ethiopia, Uganda and South Sudan.

Wetlands International has been active in Ethiopia since 2010. To strengthen it interventions in Ethiopia, the organisation will implement the Ziway-Shalla: Basin in Balance programme in the Central Rift Valley. The project will focus on sustaining water resources in water scarce Ziway-Shalla basin by improving irrigation efficiency, developing a water allocation plan, improving capacities of the basin authority, and restoring catchments by improving agricultural practice together with vulnerable communities. By the end of the programme, results will be achieved in terms of decreased water abstraction and sedimentation, with improved income for smallholder farmers and improved nature conservation status.

In this programme we collaborate with a range of stakeholders, such as the Rift Valley Lakes Basin Authority (RVLBA), Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), Meki-Batu Small Holder Cooperatives Union, Joytech Fresh, Acacia Water, World Waternet, Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS), HoAREC and the relevant Kebele, Woreda and Regional government bodies.

For the smooth implementation of the aforementioned project and others, we are therefore seeking an Agronomist to join our growing portfolio. The Agronomist will have expertise in agronomy and will focus on developing business cases and improved agricultural practice small scale irrigation farms and rainfed agricultural systems (both crop and livestock) from upland catchments throughout the basin to Lake Abijatta Shalla National Park downstream . The successful candidate will join as a Young Expert and take part in the Dutch Young Expert Programme (, which includes an extensive training programme in the Netherlands as well as the opportunity to develop a national and international network.

Coordinates with:

INSIDE Wetlands International: East Africa Team

OUTSIDE Wetlands International: Governmental representatives, partner organisations (under the guidance of the Programme Officer)


The Agronomist will support the field level implementation of projects in the Central Rift Valley in collaboration with the programme partners. He/she will be expected to undertake activities that support the business case for improved farming practices that reduce water use, agrochemical input, and erosion, and improve agricultural income, water quality and biodiversity. He/she will work closely with the Meki-Batu Cooperative Union, EWCA, EWNHS, HoAREC, District and Village Government Units and village level site support groups to undertake activities that include: development of solid business cases for sustainable agriculture (incl. access to finance), establishment of demonstration units with farmers, development of training materials for farmers and delivery of trainings for the farmers.

Specific duties and responsibilities

Under the immediate supervision of the Central Rift Valley Project Manager, the Agronomist will:

· Participate in value chain analysis and development strategy for the programme, both for small holder farmers as well as rainfed agricultural/pastoralist agroforestry systems

· Identify and scale up best practices/technologies that increase agricultural productivity while maintaining the natural resource base

· Develop solid economical business cases for sustainable agricultural systems (incl. improved market access and access to finance), as well as including the societal paradigm shifts that are needed to make sustainable changes.

· Come to agreement with target agricultural communities and guide them with practical steps to change their production systems (this may include alternative livelihoods).

· Provide overall agronomy expertise and information to the team in Ethiopia (incl. at the national level, and other project areas including the area around Jijiga).

· Provide support in managing relationships with key partners and provide technical backstopping to partner organizations.

· Capacity building of small holders and local government units

· Contribute to project M&E activities, including designing of monitoring tools, regular fieldwork to collect monitoring data, and preparation of monitoring reports;

· Assist in annual reviews, midterm assessments and final evaluations.

· Ensure that sufficient (at least 30%) women participate and benefit from the programme.

· Engage in other projects currently in the pipeline as per the direction given by the Country Program Manager.

· Support project proposal development and fund raising activities

· Raise the profile of Wetlands International as an International NGO working on sustainable management of wetlands for people and nature



· A minimum of a Master’s degree in agronomy, agricultural sciences, crop production, agroecology or related areas.



· 2 to 4 years experience implementing agriculture, livelihood or value chain development projects in Ethiopia both in rainfed and irrigated agriculture

· 2 to 4 years experience working directly with small holder production systems in Ethiopia

· Practical experience in planning and delivering trainings

· A good understanding of the environmental challenges of the Ethiopian Central Rift Valley;

· Ability to focus on creating collective impact and demonstrating the added value of Wetlands International work in Ethiopia

· Willingness to travel to field sites in the Central Rift Valley in Ethiopia with occasional travel to other sites in Ethiopia for learning visits and sharing of experience


· Experience with agroforestry and/or catchment restoration including soil and water conservation

· Experience with International NGOs or local NGOs in a similar position

· Experience in project management including work planning


· Excellent written and oral presentation skills and ability to communicate to a variety of audiences;

· Good command of Amharic, Oromiffa and English languages in all aspects;

· Good networking skills with various stakeholders including government and international agencies;

· Ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and handle multiple tasks simultaneously;

· Ability to work independently and with minimum supervision;

· Experience and ability to work in multicultural settings;

· Able to address gender issues and improve the situation of women and other marginalized groups through our work

· Comprehensive and specialized computer usage skills as well as GIS and other software;


Remuneration is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

How to apply:


Applications should consist of a curriculum vitae and covering letter and be emailed to and copied to jmulonga@wetlands-africa.organd clearly marked – Application for Agronomist – Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia

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