Name of Project: Project Coordination Unit (PCU) of the Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)

Project ID: P153427                         Loan Number: 56760 – SL

Reference    Number:  SL  – MAFS  – 133841  – CS   – INDV – CONSULTING SERVICE

Title of position: Value Chain Development Specialist (VCDS)

Date of issuance: Wednesday, October, 2019


The project Coordination Unit of the Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP), hereby announces the vacant position of Value Chain Development Specialist (VCDS).


The Government of Sierra Leone, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has received funding towards the implementation of a Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP), with an estimated US$ 40 million financing from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group. The Government intends to use part of the project financing to recruit a value Chain Development Specialist (VCDS).

The Project Development Objective is “To promote smallholder commercialization by fostering productive business linkages between smallholder farmers and selected agribusiness firms and other commodity off-takers in Sierra Leone,” and has four components.

Component 1: Support to agribusiness-farmer linkages and SME along agricultural value chains.

This component aims at strengthening the linkages between producers and agribusinesses by promoting out-grower scheme and making finance available to both producers and agribusinesses involved in any agricultural value chain, as long as the actors along the chain can prepare economically viable business proposals. It will also provide support to input dealers with the aim of strengthening the rudimentary input market and make improved and high quality inputs available to producers and agribusinesses. 

Component 2: Market Access Improvement

The objective of this component is to support the implementation of productive agribusiness-farm linkages by addressing market access and coordination issues that constraint smallholder productivity and market efficiency. This will include the rehabilitation and maintenance of feeder roads and the support to agricultural rural infrastructure and ICT to facilitate market coordination.

Component 3: Capacity Building support for state and non-state institutions and producer organizations

The objective of this component is to strengthen the capacity of state and non-state institutions responsible for the provision of services relevant for smallholder commercialization and agribusiness development. Such support will be provided to the following institutions: MAFFS, MTI, SLARI, MLG&RD, Local Councils, MWHI, SLRA, SLeCAD, NaFFSL and SLIEPA.

Component 4: Project Management, Monitoring Evaluation and Policy Regulations.

This component will establish and effective coordination, management and M&E system.

Main objective of the assignment

The main objective of this position is to lead the value chain development area of SCADeP, particularly those that relate to strengthen production, market and business linkages between farmer producer organizations, other value chain actors, and service providers.

Key responsibilities of the VCDS include, providing technical leadership for implementation of the Project’s Value Chain Development activities (primarily to support farmer producer organization that are developing business relationships with off-takers/buyers): hiring service providers; and providing oversight to teams and service providers/consultants that are leading the implementation of specific project activities related to component IB (which specifically focuses on smallholder farmers who are organized to produce for the market, but do not have any structured relationship with buyers). The person holding this position is expected to be the focal point and advisor for communicating with the Project Coordinator and PCU team on value chain development and related issues to ensure that the project strategy and deliverable are achieved.

Specific Tasks

While working in close cooperation with the Grants Manager of the project and under the direct supervision of the Project Coordinator, the Value Chain Development Specialist shall perform the following main tasks:

“Develop the capacity of producer organization (PO) and SMEs to strengthen their business orientation.

  • Focusing on help PO and SMEs acquire the necessary business and entrepreneurship skills, apply relevant technologies and information that would help them be successful suppliers to buyers and build their business. Examples of such capacity includes support to PO to develop business plans, implementation of Business Development Service (BDS); integrating ICT/MIS into their operations
  • In this role the VCDS provides leadership to design and implement a work program, identify service providers (from public, private, NGOs) that would actually implement the agreed program of work; monitor and provide oversight to service providers

“Facilitate market linkages between PO and buyers, input suppliers and other service provides (extension; research; technology transfer, finance etc.)

  • Identify business opportunities that would bring together producer organizations, buyers and other actors in specific value chains and provide the necessary support to promote efficient market linkages (including negotiations/or identify appropriate service providers that can help with brokering or negotiating deals);
  • Identify and coordinate different actors and other players in agriculture and agribusiness that provide specific agricultural commodities or cross-cutting sector services, such as business development and financial services;
  • Facilitate links to other value chain networks, services, finance; soft and hard infrastructure (e.g. hard infrastructure, such as farm-market roads, electricity; soft infrastructure such as market information systems) necessary for efficient production and marketing operations
  • Draw lessons from project experience (working closely with M&E) to develop data and evidence base that would help improve the agricultural policy and business environment. For example, identify and assess policies and regulations that would help or limit stronger farmer-agribusiness linkages/efficiencies in agricultural value chains
  • Such lessons should inform policy advocacy groups such as SLeCAD;
  • Identify what works/does not work in promoting business linkages between PO and buyers
  • Provide insights on supporting SMEs in agribusiness

“Directly supervise field-based promotion officers, including the following

  • Supervise the identification  of farmers dealing in the specific commodities and mobilize them to participate in the project activities
  • Supervise the determination of production requirements in line with the profitable markets
  • Supervise the creation of market linkages between the private sectors and farmers for supply of input and other requirements and for the sale of the farmers produce and services
  • Liaise with the private sector partner and MAFFS to support the cooperative in the areas of extension services, input provision business development and marketing of the targeted commodities
  • Carryout monitoring, evaluation and reporting responsibilities to Government and development partners.
  • Carry out any other duties as many from time to time be assigned by the Project Coordinator.

Qualifications and Experience  

“Applicants must hold at least a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, Business Administration, or related discipline from a recognized university. At least 5 years of significant and appropriate professional experience in agribusiness development and value chain development services, value-chain financing, provision of technical assistance. Candidates with a PhD will have an added advantage;

“Strong experience in working with agribusinesses and farmer-based organizations in out-grower model;

“Practical experience working with FBOs or SMEs in an aggregation model;

“A good knowledge and experience in capacity needs assessment and development of appropriate training packages;

“Excellent capacity to do analysis and synthesis data; and

“Excellent drafting, presentation and communication ability

Duration of Assignment    

Employment will be on full-time basis and contact will be initially be engaged for one-year subject to annual review, with a possibility of renewal.

The performance criteria that will be used to assess the performance of the Value Chain Development Specialist at regular intervals and based upon which the Contact may be continued or terminated are the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of delivering on the Scope of Services, Duties and Responsibilities and Deliverables of the assignment

Reporting obligation and Requirements

The Consultant shall report to the Project Coordinator and submit the following reports:

  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Bi-annually
  • Annually

Duty station: PCU Office in Freetown with regular filed visits to project operational areas

Language of the assignment:

The official language of the assignment in English language.

Services and facilities to be provided by the client

The project will provide the following:

“Relevant project documents

“Furnished office space with electricity with internet facilities

“Vehicle for official duties

Other Relevant Competences

“Information Technology: Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook (essential) and Power Point Presentation.

“Ability to work independently, confidently and as a team player who demonstrates leadership and ability to support and mentor staff and able to work with rural communities in sensitive and participatory manner;

‘Works with trust worthiness and integrity with a clear commitment to poverty reduction of rural communities

“Ability to operate effectively under challenging circumstances including stress and frequent travel demands;

“Well organized within a fluid working environment with capacity for initiative and decision making with competent analytical and problem solving skills;

“Competence to demonstrate by timeliness and sound reasoning of decisions. A balance of consultation with action. Communicate, follow through and accountable for outcome.

“Demonstrate by ability and inclination to work co-operatively with others. Recognize the value for sharing ideas, knowledge and information with others and takes personal responsibility for doing so.

“Competence demonstration by the level of timeliness and accuracy displayed in carrying out my role, by my personal energy and enthusiasm and by my willingness to learn exceed expectations in my role.

“Ability to plan and organize effectively and build alternative actions into plans deploying resources effectively and reviewing priorities.

“Information Technology: Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook (essential) and Power Point Presentation.

General Information

The position is advertised on an equal opportunity basis and qualified males and females are encouraged to apply.

Employment will be on full-time basis and Contact will be for one year subject to annual review, with a possibility of renewal

The performance criteria that will be used to assess the performance of the respective positions at regular intervals and based upon which the contact may be continued or terminated are the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of delivery on the Scope of Services, Duties and Responsibilities and Deliverables of assignment.

Salary: Salary is subject to negotiations

Close Date: the Closing Date and Time for receipt of application is Tuesday, October29, 2019 at 4:30pm GMT. (Sierra Leone time)

Model of Application

All applications in writing should be accompanied by up-to-date Curriculum Vitae and supporting documents (Note: do not send originals) with the names and addresses of three referees, one of which should be the last or current employer and should be submitted to the address below:

The Project Coordinator

Project Coordinator Unit

Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development

Project (SCADeP)

IF Scan Drive, Off Spur Road, Wilberforce

Freetown, Sierra Leone


By E-mail application as attachment (including all supporting documents) to: (

Please indicate clearly on the envelope (in the case of hard copy application) or in the email subject heading and attachment (in the case of electronic applications), the post for which application is made.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


Project Coordinator, SCADeP   

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