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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. We believe that everyone can play a part in ending hunger.
FAO’s Country Office for Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname (FAOTT/FAOSUR) and its Food Systems and Food Safety Division (ESF) at FAO HQ (Rome), under the Agri-food Systems Transformation Accelerator (ASTA) program co-led with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and funded by the UNSDG fund, is implementing a project for the sustainable development of the pineapple value chain (VC) in Suriname.
ESF supports a coordinated approach to the development of food systems, including inter alia, (i) the development of sustainable food value chains (SFVC) and sustainable investments across value chains (VC); (ii) the strengthening of food safety and quality at national, regional and international levels, (iii) the reductions in food loss and waste, (iv) the implementation of the urban food agenda and (v) the engagement in global level dialogues, platforms and initiatives
The ASTA project in Suriname aims to facilitate the country’s transformation from a marginal pineapple producer characterized by traditional growing practices, little value-addition and no exports, to an established producer and exporter of high quality organic fresh and processed pineapples. Applying an inclusive, sustainable VC approach, the programme will enable pineapple VC actors, notably indigenous producers, to increase their productivity, competitiveness, and access to markets.
To do so, three separate yet interconnected entities, will be introduced by the project: a Collateral Support Facility, a Pineapple Cooperative Development (PCD) company and a pineapple innovation Hub (the ‘Hub’), which will be set up as a one-stop-shop for all producer needs in terms of access to inputs, services, finance and technical assistance.
The purpose of this call is to provide FAOTT/FAOSUR and ESF with a list of qualified National Business Coordinators (Pineapples) to support the Hub and PCD activities. Selected candidates could be contracted for short term technical assignments (2-6 weeks) or for longer contracts (up to 12-month with the possibility of extension).
The National Business Coordinator (Pineapples) will be part of the ASTA team, with support from a range of UN experts. Her/his primary role will be to support the day-to-day management activities under the supervision of the international business manager of the project. This covers everything from ensuring the Hub’s overall direction, vision, and culture are in line with the project objectives and guidelines, manging organizational, finance, operational, sales and marketing aspects, managing the project and its reporting, engaging with all stakeholders and using a digital platform for production and marketing planning.
The National Business Coordinator (Pineapples) will work under the overall supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative (Programme), Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname Country Office and the direct supervision of the ASTA project manager or ESF Economist Officers.
The role of the National Business Coordinator (Pineapples) will be directly linked to the Hub and PCD. She/he will provide managerial support and advice, and ensure the smooth operationalization of the ASTA pineapple value chain project, in collaboration with country stakeholders and cooperating partners, to generate positive sustainability outcomes, notably in terms of value-added generation, smallholder farmer incomes, job creation, government revenue generation, and impacts on natural resources (notably forests).
Tasks and responsibilities
The successful candidate will support the above areas of work, and in particular will assist with one or more of the following tasks:
• Get familiar with the ASTA methodology, project goals, structure and activities, and with the upgraded business model for organic pineapple production.
• Under the guidance of an international finance and management expert, acquire knowledge and skills about modern organic pineapple business management, and build project management capacities with the aim to fully and independently manage the Hub’s management and finance activities by the end of the project (March 2026).
• Under guidance of an international finance and management expert, an international pineapple production expert, and the core ASTA team, support the implementation of the Pineapple Innovation Hub workplan, including the following activities:
– establishing, managing and continuously improving a digital database of farmers, their production, crop registration, registration of costs and revenues, loans through the Collateral Support Facility, etc.
– supporting initial field trials for selected Surinamese pineapple varieties, including organizing training for the selected farmers, capturing financial data to be fed into the digital platform, the purchase and timely supply of inputs to the trial farmers, and the organization of trainings for the other farmers (using the trials as demonstration plots)
– engaging with farmers, introducing the upgraded business model, collecting data, discussing and learning about farmers´ challenges, concerns, needs and ideas
– carrying out capacity building activities (including training sessions) to strengthen farmers’ financial and business management skills and their understanding of the financial mechanisms and the upgraded business model
– facilitating the organic certification of participating farmers (including through trainings of farmers, taking into consideration the specific needs of women and youth).
– supporting, where needed, work on intellectual property rights related to the pineapple varieties.
– supporting the Credit Committee in assessing farmer loan risks and ensure that audited reports are made regularly available to the Hub’s board.
– supervising out-grower production plans with farmers and monitoring plan implementation
– managing post-harvest handling and supporting packhouse operations
– establishing linkages with buyers
– setting up a network of input and services suppliers with associated arrangements to provide these to contract farmers, developing and implementing a plan to ensure the steady supply of quality planting material suitable for organic pineapple production, and assist farmers specializing in the production of such planting materials
• Organize information event and share information leaflets with potential members of the Company.
• Initiate the membership application process for the Company.
• Facilitate the election of the Company’s board, and support the organization of regular board meetings.
OVERALL PROJECT COORDINATION
• Facilitate the design and operationalization of a conflict resolution mechanism for VC actors.
• Participate in meetings, focus group discussions and workshops, including regular meetings with the core ASTA team, credit committee, the PCD board, official and indigenous authorities, and other relevant VC actors and stakeholders.
• Support the preparation of project progress reports and contribute to project communication and visibility activities, including providing content and pictures for the development of “stories from the field”.
• Support preparation and delivery of presentations on the project experience to a variety of audiences (including potential buyers, donor partners, investors, ministries, farmer cooperatives, the PUNOs, and others).
• Assist in the identification and hiring of national and international consultants and institutional partners to support the implementation of project activities.
• Prepare and support missions by the international team
• Support Hub team in maintaining links with the Ministry of foreign affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV), the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation, and the Ministry of Regional Development and all other relevant ministries
• Support Hub team in maintaining links with the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS) and the Organization of Cooperating Indigenous Villages in Para and Wanica (OSIP) and work closely with indigenous communities to ensure proper and smooth implementation of project activities, with a special attention to gender and youth challenges
• Perform other related duties, as required.
CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING
• Bachelor’s degree in business administration, agricultural economics, economics, development studies or other relevant disciplines.
• At least 1 year of relevant experience in private sector and SME development, ideally related to pineapple or tropical fruits.
• Working knowledge of English.
• National of Suriname
FAO Core Competencies
• Results Focus
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
• Geographic relevance of experience (Suriname, Caribbean)
• Commodity relevance of experience (pineapple, tropical fruits)
• Extent and relevance of experience in participating in multidisciplinary teams for managing development project or project activities.
• Extent and relevance of experience in capacity development in development projects
• Demonstrated experience in working with value chain actors, support providers, government officials, and other country level stakeholders
• Knowledge of Dutch is strongly recommended
• Working knowledge of Sranan Tongo would be considered an asset.
FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.
HOW TO APPLY
• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.
If you need help, or have queries, please contact: Careers@fao.org
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