National Professional Officer (Sub-Tropical Fruits Breeder)

FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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Application deadline in 10 days: Thursday 8 Dec 2022 at 22:59 UTC

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Organizational Setting

The Programme Management Unit (PMU) of the FAO-Saudi Technical Cooperation Programme (2019-2025) facilitates, coordinates and manages all technical and advisory services to be provided by FAO to the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MoEWA). The project 'UTF/SAU/051/SAU Strengthening MoEWA's Capacity to Implement the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Programme' is the first project that has been approved within the framework of FAO-Saudi Technical Cooperation Programme (2019-2025). The project will provide technical and advisory assistance to the MoEWA in implementing its flagship sustainable rural agricultural development programme that has recently been approved within the context of the National Transformation Programme of the Saudi Vision 2030. The project expected results will be achieved through implementation of nine project components: 1) Development of coffee Arabica production, processing and marketing; 2) Development of beekeeping and honey production; 3) Development of rose production and trade; 4) Development of subtropical fruits production, processing and marketing; 5) Strengthening capacity of small-scale fishermen and fish farmers; 6) Strengthening capacity of small-scale livestock herders; 7) Development of rain-fed cereals production; 8) Enhancing value addition from smallholdings and rural activities; and 9) Strengthening MoEWA's capacity in sustainable management of rangelands, forests and natural resources to support rural livelihoods.

The incumbent will be part of the Programme Management Unit of the FAO-Saudi Technical Cooperation Programme in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Reporting Lines

The National Professional Officer reports directly to the FAO Programme Coordinator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in consultation with the Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) of the project and in collaboration with the Chief Technical Adviser of the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Programme.

Technical Focus

Programme development and management, coordination and operational support based on the knowledge of the local conditions, culture, language, and institutions of Saudi Arabia.

Key Results

Effective and efficient management and coordination of the technical and operational support of the programme and project.

Key Functions

• Participates in policy dialogue and advises government authorities, local, national and international institutions in the areas of FAO's activities and liaises with other UN agencies. Represents FAO at inter-agency meetings;

• Promotes the image of FAO through advocacy of the Organization's mandate, programmes, national priorities and activities including the coordination of development and maintenance of communication tools such as website, press releases and publications, and supports the implementation of FAO's regulatory frameworks (Codex Alimentarius, Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, Safe Use of Pesticides, etc.) in the country;

• Coordinates and manages the maintenance of country data on food, crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries, including information on external aid in FAO's corporate systems and monitors and communicates changes in national policies affecting the agricultural sector;

• Takes the lead in producing technical, economic and policy studies as well as developing country level development frameworks such as the Country Programming Framework (CPF) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF);

• Identifies, formulates and coordinates the preparation of programme and project proposals, monitors FAO field programme implementation, ensuring that all operational activities are carried out in line with the work plan and the project document, and makes recommendations on how to improve results and increase efficiency;

• Briefs, trains and supervises lower grade level programme staff regarding all aspects of the job. Ensures adherence to procedures and work requirements and accuracy and diligence of the work provided.

Specific Functions

• Advises and coordinates with the FAO Programme Coordinator , liaises with the PMU and the MoEWA to ensure the flow of cooperation and coordination in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of progress of the project component in accordance with the project document;

• Works in close collaboration with and ensures timely and full coordination with the 'Project Focal Points' to facilitate the implementation of the Project, prepare periodical reports, for organization of the Regional Steering Committee meetings, and acts as reporter in during the meetings, and ensures timely preparation of the Committee minutes and their distribution;

• Co-leads comprehensive review of subtropical fruits value chain; production, processing and marketing and the organization of diagnostic studies to give direction to the sustainable development of the sector;

• Contributes to the identification, pilot testing and promotion of sustainable good agricultural practices including efficient fertilization, pruning and harvesting practices among subtropical fruits growers and assessment of crop water requirements for crops grown under the various farming systems;

• Contributes to the development of a catalogue of major subtropical fruits diseases, pests and weeds in the target regions, and to the development and implementation of an IPM programme for prevention and control of subtropical fruit pests and diseases to ensure access of their growers to pests and diseases control services;

• Ensures the provision of technical support and pilot testing of sound irrigation systems and small rain water harvesting structures and technologies in selected areas and facilitates the development and adoption of improved post-harvest interventions covering all aspects of the subtropical fruits production value chain;

• Assists the establishment and operation of modern subtropical fruits nursery and tissue culture units; identifies, produces, distributes and promotes healthy, drought and pest resistance high yielding fruits varieties seedlings;

• Co-leads and/or supervises preparation and dissemination of various written project component outputs, e.g. background papers, sector reviews, technical reports, sections of reports and studies, manuals, guidelines and checklists and knowledge products;

• Co-leads development of demand driven and responsive partnerships to benefit Saudi Arabia from proven innovation and good practices in the south and north for subtropical fruit production, processing and marketing.

• Co-leads the development of post-harvest technologies and infrastructure, marketing strategies and value chain analysis for subtropical fruits agrifood incubation programme;

• Contributes in situation analysis of existing small subtropical fruit farmers agricultural cooperatives and associations in the target regions and develop pilot business model for them;

• Assists in the development of an appropriate contract farming models and other direct marketing strategies for small-scale subtropical fruit growers;

• Assesses and develops a needs-based training and capacity development programme to strengthen skills of small subtropical fruit producers and food chain actors;

• Contributes to the identification and promotes adoption of appropriate farm mechanization and technologies as well as irrigation scheduling for subtropical fruits production;

• Coordinates with SRAD National Director and national stakeholders to ensure close working relations with MoEWA branches and other organisations, institutions and local authorities, to ensure timely conducting of country activities, including contractual arrangements, and inform the CTA of problems and obstacles that need attention and specific assistance.

• Provides support in the design and organization of social, qualitative and quantitative studies including but not limited to gender mainstreaming, productive family issues, entrepreneurship, internal migration and with respect to rural people and youth participation and opinion considerations;

• Ensures that SRADP investment and supported components including the provision of equipment, construction water harvesting, nurseries, extension centers and others include marketing facilities are timely completed.



Minimum Requirements

• National of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;

• Advanced University degree in horticulture, plant breeding or any other related field;

• Seven years of relevant experience in development of subtropical fruits production, processing and marketing and/or project management in the field of sustainable rural agricultural development in Saudi Arabia;

• Working knowledge (proficient - Level C) of Arabic and limited knowledge (intermediate - Level B) of English.


• Results Focus

• Teamwork

• Communication

• Building Effective Relationships

• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable;

• Extent and relevance of experience in development of subtropical fruits production, processing and marketing;

• Demonstrated understanding of the purpose and functions of the technical programme, operational guidelines and project/programme management procedures, preferably those adopted by the United Nations or FAO;

• Extent and relevance of experience in the field of policy analysis relating to food and nutrition security, agriculture and rural development;

• Extent and relevance of experience in the collection of country data on food, crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries;

• Extent and relevance of experience in the identification, formulation and preparation of programme and project proposals as well as programme/project implementation, monitoring and reviewed;

• Extent and relevance of experience in Saudi Arabia is considered a strong asset.

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