TRADE Programme


Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship Programme (TRADE) Programme is a Government of Malawi 6-year initiative funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) whose overall goal is to contribute to improved sustainable livelihoods of rural people in Malawi through Value Chain commercialisation and resilience of rural poor and smallholder’s producers”. TRADE Programme specifically seeks to: (i) increase production and productivity by smallholder farmers; (ii) functionally upgrade smallholder farmers and the rural poor to undertake new functions such as processing, storage, packaging to capture more value; (iii) improve horizontal linkages by strengthening the capacities of cooperatives to provide market access functions to smallholder farmers; and, (iv) improve vertical linkages between stakeholders at different functional levels of the commodity chain, including private sector.

TRADE intends to support rural entrepreneurs, focusing on youths and women to develop and sustain their agribusiness enterprise opportunities and ensuring that commodities are nutrition sensitive. This objective will be achieved through targeted support to smallholder farmers and non-farm actors to benefit from commodity markets, improved access to rural financial services, market and business development services and partnerships with the private sector. The programme directly contributes to Pillar 1 and 3 of MW 2063. and Strategic objective 2 of the Malawi Country Strategic Opportunity (COSOP 2016-2021). Under the Ministry of Local Government as lead agency, TRADE is being implemented under 3 interlinked components namely: sustainable producer-private partnerships; enabling environment for smallholder commercialization and component; and, institutional support and programme management. With a total target of 300,000 households, TRADE covers 11 districts (Mchinji, Ntchisi, Dedza, Blantyre, Kasungu, Nkata Bay, Rumphi, Karonga, Lilongwe Rural, Thyolo and Chitipa) focusing on 7 commodities (groundnuts, soybean, sunflower, Irish potato, dairy, beef and honey).

It is in view of this background that TRADE is looking for highly motivated and experienced candidates to fill the position of Procurement and Contracts Specialist tenable in Lilongwe.

Job Purpose
Reporting to the National Programme Coordinator, the Procurement and Contracts Specialist (PCS) shall be responsible for managing procurement processes and contract administration aspects. As head of the procurement unit, the incumbent will be tasked to ensure compliance with Government of Malawi (GOM) Procurement regulations and ensure due diligence to comply with IFAD Procurement Guidelines and IFAD Procurement Handbook.

Key Responsibilities and Duties

  • Installation of appropriate procurement systems and procedures for effective planning and monitoring of procurements under the project;
  • As part of the PMU management team, and in collaboration with the PMU National Programme Coordinator and the technical and finance staff, participate in the formulation AWPBs and provide inputs on procurement.
  • Oversee the preparation and consolidation of inputs to the Annual Procurement Plan and submission to IFAD for review and no objection, and to the IPDC for approval;
  • Finalize, within three months after start of duty, a draft manual on procurement by partners (under component 2) and grant recipients (under component 2), which sets the minimum standards of compliance for the procurement of goods and services under TRADE financing;
  • Continuously train (on the job) implementers in the preparation of terms of reference, specifications and proactive follow-up of these inputs in the bidding processes ensuring that appropriate procurement procedures are followed in compliance with the GoM and IFAD project procurement guidelines, the Project Implementation Manual;
  • Undertake the procurement of goods and services in accordance with the loan agreement and the GOM procurement regulations and ensure that bidding documents are prepared based on acceptable bidding standards;
  • Ensure all prior review requirements such as obtaining of the No Objections from IFAD are complied with in a timely manner;
  • Ensure that all the due tendering processes are adhered to: sufficient publications, strict adherence to deadlines, transparency in communications with bidders, constitution of evaluation committees with relevant expertise, publication of bid results, etc;
  • Organize meetings for Bids opening and tender evaluations, and maintain record of minutes of the proceedings, decisions and agreed actions;
  • Maintain and keep all records of project procurement and contract documents at the PMU in appropriate files and in a form appropriate for regular auditing and spot checks by supervision missions;
  • Communicate to all implementing entities and service providers their responsibilities and requirements with respect to procurement in keeping with prevailing Government practices, and IFAD Procurement Guidelines and the Procurement Arrangements Letter;
  • Draft contract documents, follow up on the contracts signing process and supervise the process and procedures of contract management of the goods, works and services procured by the Project;
  • Update the contract monitoring tool (CMT) on monthly basis and prepare quarterly reports of progress with implementation of the Procurement Plan and ongoing contracts, and regularly inform the National Programme Coordinator of problems and make proposals to overcome bottlenecks;
  • Work closely with E&S Safeguards Specialist to ensure that social and environmental aspects are incorporated into the project procurement and contract documents;
  • Work with the Financial Controller to ensure that tax exemptions for the procurement of goods for the project are secured at the appropriate time;
  • Follow up on any issues related to Procurement identified in the Supervision Mission Report and Audit Report;
  • Carry out any other activities that are assigned by the National Programme Coordinator.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience

  • At least university degree in public procurement, supply chain management, logistics, business administration or a related field.
  • Should be a qualified and certified member of either the Malawi Institute of Purchasing and Supply or the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
  • At least 7 years’ experience in procurement and contracts management of Programmes or Organizations with similar funding mechanisms.
  • Knowledge and demonstrated experience of procurement rules and procedures of multilateral donor institutions (IFAD, AfDB, World Bank, European Union, USAID, DFID/DFCO, UN, etc).
  • Computer proficiency in Windows, MS Office, Excel, and Power Point and internet.
  • Good analytical, negotiation, communication and report writing skills.
  • Ability to work in a team.

Application Modality
Interested and qualified candidates should send their applications together with copies of certificates, CVs and names of three traceable referees clearly indicating the position being applied for on the email heading (for emails) and on envelopes (for hard-copies) not later than 25th November 2023 to:

The National Programme Coordinator
Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship (TRADE)
P.O. Box 2135
Or Email:
Area 9 Plot Number 328

Those who applied for the September 2022 advert on the same may re-apply. TRADE is an equal opportunity employer. Women candidates are encouraged to apply.