Soil Laboratories Specialist

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    1 month ago
  • Category:
    Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Deadline:


Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

The main aim of the FAO country offices, which are headed by an FAO Representative, is to assist governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to achieve food security and to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to help develop the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner.
The position is located in the FAO Representation in Lusaka, Zambia.

FAO in collaboration with the research department of the Ministry of Agriculture [ZARI] and the University of Zambia is implementing a 4-year project, titled, “Soil mapping for resilient agrifood systems in Central America and sub-Saharan Africa” (SoilFER). The project is funded by the government of the United States of America, and has 5 beneficiary countries [ie. Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, Honduras and Guatemala]. Therefore, the successful candidate will ensure high-quality soil analysis and harmonization, adhering to international standards and best practices, over the 4-year period, on an annually renewed and performance-based contract.


Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the FAO Country Representative, and the guidance of the Assistant FAOR – Programmes, in coordination with the project LTO and project Lead Technical Unit (NSL), the Soil Laboratories Specialist will ensure high-quality soil analysis and harmonization, adhering to international standards and best practices, and working closely with other consultants to ensure that results are integrated into the project’s relevant databases, on the Soil mapping for resilient agrifood systems in Central America and sub-Saharan Africa (SoilFER) project in Zambia. The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the AFAOR-P, the National Project Coordinator and the SoilFER Overall Project Manager at FAO-HQ.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Specifically, the Soil Laboratories Specialist will undertake the following tasks on the assigned project;

•    Oversee the processing of soil samples for wet and dry chemistry analysis in Zambia.
•    Collaborate with project partners and laboratories to ensure accurate and timely soil analysis results.
•    Support quality assurance and quality control measures for soil analysis processes, including the establishment of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
•    Participate in capacity-building activities, such as workshops and trainings, to enhance national capacities in soil analysis and data management.
•    Support the implementation of laboratory equipment procurement activities of the project.
•    Track progress and assess the quality of soil analysis and harmonization activities.
•    Facilitate the establishment of national soil laboratory network in Zambia.
•    Provide input to project monitoring and reporting frameworks to ensure the effective implementation of soil analysis and harmonization efforts.
•    Communicate project outcomes and lessons learned related to soil analysis and harmonization to relevant audiences.
•    Establish and maintain relationships with project stakeholders, particularly national soil laboratories.
•    Perform any other duties as assigned in the Representation



Minimum Requirements

•    University Degree in Agricultural/Soil Science, Crop Science, or any related field.
•    At least 5 years of experience in soil analysis [ie. wet and/or dry chemistry].
•    Working knowledge of English and the official language of the country
•    A Zambian national


FAO Core Competencies

•    Results Focus
•    Teamwork
•    Communication
•    Building Effective Relationships
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement


Technical/Functional Skills

•    Experience in managing or overseeing soil laboratory operations
•    Experienced in soil sample analysis
•    Experience in developing learning materials and/or standard operating procedures for soil labs
•    Experience in training of soil lab personnel.


Selection Criteria

•    Prior experience working with FAO or any UN agency will be considered an advantage




  • FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing)
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at 
  • For additional employment opportunities visit the FAO employment website:
  •  Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.
This job has expired.