Value Chain Development Officer

United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

Organizational context

The country’s development blueprint, the Malawi 2063, and its 10-year implementation plan (MIP-1), outlines aspirations to transition the economy into an upper middle-income country by 2063 by focusing on three main pillars: agricultural productivity and commercialization, industrialization and urbanization. Key to the development of the agricultural sector in Malawi is the focus of the first pillar of the Mw2063, agricultural productivity and commercialization, which is the underlying theme of this project. The project will directly support the implementation of key sectoral policies including the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) as well as the National Export Strategy (NESII). The NAP 2016 identifies empowerment of youth, women and vulnerable groups in agriculture as one of the priority areas in addition to developing agricultural markets, geoprocessing and value addition. Specifically, the policy highlights the need to promote participation of women and youth in geoprocessing, value addition and agricultural exports; this is in tandem with the objectives of this project. The project aims to increase the share of women and youth contribution to production and marketing of key and emerging high value crops in order to support poverty alleviation, increase incomes and strengthen market participation and linkages.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office Received funding from the Flanders Government to be implemented jointly by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The funds are intended to support the proposed project on, “Empowering Women and Youth in Agriculture in Malawi” which shall leverage investments already made under the CRIM/MCB projects implemented by UNDP and FAO respectively to enhance agricultural production and promote access to markets through the following broad objectives:

  • Enhance agricultural productivity of key-value chains by promoting utilization of advanced and low-cost technologies, access to and leveraging capital finance and advancing high-quality extension and advisory services.
  • Facilitate an enabling environment for market access and linkages through processing and value addition, aggregation, de-risking instruments for private sector engagement and formation of primary and secondary cooperatives.

In Collaboration with the District Project Coordinator (Under the direct supervision of the Joint Projects Coordinator), the Value Chain Development Officer shall be the Focal Person for promoting the competitive advantage for the Women and Youth Project in Mzimba in line with the ProDoc and annual work plans. The Value Chain Development Officer shall undertake a range of project activities in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, undertake project-related administrative procedures, lead in coordinating meetings and events, and conducting other duties as delegated by the Project PMU, UNDP and the District Coordinator. The Value Chain Development Officer shall work closely with the UNDP Project Implementation Unit and the District Agriculture Office and other key implementing sectors at all levels.

Scope of Work:

1. Support planning, implementation, and management of Women and Youth in Agriculture project activities:

  • Provide leadership in the design, development and implementation of activities related to value chains development for Women and Youth Project;
  • Provide technical guidance in the design and facilitation of market and micro-finance linkages for farmer groups under Women and Youth Project, in collaboration with various stakeholders, including Government and private sector;
  • Analyze technical and policy issues, strategies and programmes to support the development competitive value chain development;
  • Participate in developing and reviewing training materials, information materials, technical papers and guidelines related to agribusiness, value chain;
  • Contribute to the design of programmes and projects related to agribusiness, value chains and rural development;
  • Support collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant data and information related to agribusiness, value chains; such as   market needs, trends and developments, approaches, impacts, lessons and good practices;
  • Support capacity building activities regarding business development skills, including identification of capacity development needs of farmer groups, agriculture cooperatives and private sector;
  • Provide guidance to project teams to support farmer groups who are oriented towards farming as a business; providing practical tools to ensure the recognition of and support for women and youth farmers as a key and under-served target group in agribusiness;
  • Backstop value chains related interventions in full coordination with project sections and field teams, in constant coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Develop and review work plans, budgets and procurement plans, working hand in hand with coordination officers and District teams;
  • Represent the project in relevant technical working groups, forums and meetings;
  • Provide technical advice and guidance on technical specifications, evaluation and clearance to facilitate procurement of services, when required;
  • Facilitate the documentation and sharing of lessons learned and good practices contributing to enhanced value chains;
  • Gather, synthesize and disseminate key information relating to quality assurance of the value chains;
  • Perform any other duties as may e required.

2. Provide day to day support for the project team:

  • Provide relevant support to district staff including budgeting assistance and basic translation of the project objectives into activities for implementation;
  • Liaise with project support team at local and district level and provide technical support;
  • Support to ensure high quality project implementation and liaise with project coordinator, PMU and technical experts to support the resolution of any on-site issues;
  • In liaison with district project implementing team, ensure that quarterly, annual reports and other reports are prepared and submitted on time.

3. Support stakeholder engagement:

  • Contribute to the capacity development/training for the targeted entities to enhance the impacts and quality of the project;
  • Liaise with district coordinator to monitor and manage project progress;
  • Develop strategic partnerships with other stakeholders in identifying and promoting localized value chains;
  • Linkages of farmers to private sector.

4. Support monitoring and evaluation activities:

  • Assists to coordinate the project activities, based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities;
  • Support in carrying out assessments, monitoring and evaluation of project activities for reporting progress;
  • Monitor of risk issue logs ensuring that they are regularly filled in and are adhered to;
  • Assist in timely preparation of analytical report and submission to Project Managers;
  • Support quality monitoring of delivery of inputs provided by the District Councils, beneficiaries and contracted companies and communicate findings to supervisors.

5. Participate on Knowledge Management:

  • Support in organizing field visits, missions, and conferences; and participate in gathering information for dissemination;
  • Assist in preparation of all related background materials for discussions, correspondence, and meetings with project stakeholders;
  • Maintain records of District stakeholders and other partners and provide regular updates of activities progress to them to enhance partnership;
  • Contribute to capacity building and training activities to ensure that project deliverables are well received by the targeted community and observe and report back to the District Coordinator.

Institutional Arrangements

The Value Chain Development Officer shall report directly to the District Coordinator (Joint Projects Coordinator) and work closely with the District Agri-business officer, Project Management Unit and other operation teams in the CO in an integrated manner to ensure coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of UNDP support and delivery. The Value Chain Development Officer shall also be responsible for market development of the selected value chains and ensure quality delivery of the project in line with the project document, workplans and objectives. Further at the district level, the officer will work closely with the Director of Planning and Development, Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources, District Trade Officer and in collaboration with all key sectors in agriculture in the implementation and coordination of the project.


Minimum education requirements:

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent)  in Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness, Agriculture Engineering, or related field is required or;
  • A first level university degree  (Bachelor’s degree) in the above mentioned fields with additional 2 years of experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree

Minimum years of relevant work experience:

  • Up to 2 years (with Master’s degree) or minimum 2 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of experience working on programmes supporting agriculture and agribusiness among smallholder farmers and farmer groups in Malawi.

Required Skills:

  • Experience in the usage the of computers and office software packages is required;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills/experience;
  • Proven ability to work in diverse team of different partners and stakeholders;
  • Proven ability to work with rural farmers, club, associations, and cooperatives.

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section:

  • Knowledge/experience in use of UNDP Quantum system is an asset;
  • Experience in project management and capacity development within the Agriculture Sector.  Experience working in both public and private sector would be an asset;
  • Proven ability to work under pressure and quickly respond to any project matters in tight schedule.


  • Fluency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of local language (Chichewa or Tumbuka etc.) is required.

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Job Identification
Lilongwe, Malawi
Posting Date
10/05/2024, 17:58
Apply Before
18/05/2024, 05:59