Project Solaris Recruitment

An innovative agricultural venture supported by aviation sector has started around Marble Hall. If you have either excellent administrative/coordination/networking skills or are an experienced agronomist you invited to apply for 2 positions available with this project. Local language skills and knowledge of smallholder farming are advantageous. Submit CV and motivation letter indicating position you applying for by 30 January 2015 to solarisprojectrecruitment@gmail.com

Project Solaris Recruitment

An innovative agricultural venture supported by aviation sector has started around Marble Hall. If you have either excellent administrative/coordination/networking skills or are an experienced agronomist you invited to apply for 2 positions available with this project. Local language skills and knowledge of smallholder farming are advantageous. Submit CV and motivation letter indicating position you applying for by 30 January 2015 to solarisprojectrecruitment@gmail.com

Project Solaris is a joint initiative of Sunchem SA (JV between Sunchem Holding and an international group of investors) and SkyNRG, the world’s market leader for bio jet fuel which aims to roll out Solaris in Southern Africa at large scale to help power local sustainable jet fuel production. Solaris, also referred to as “energy tobacco”, was developed by the Italian research & development company, Sunchem Holding, that holds the processing IP and plant variety rights. The Solaris crop is a traditionally cross-bred variety of tobacco that contains no nicotine, has excessive seed and limited leaf production compared to traditional tobacco.

The project focuses on two main activities. The first is Agro operations, which deals with seeding production, planting, fertilizing, harvesting, processing and transport for both commercial and community farming. The second is the development of The Competence and Training Centre(C&T Centre) which will initially focus on capacity building and organizational development of the farmers in the Marble Hall area (an area with 55-65% unemployment). The C&T Centre provides information and support to farmers on farming practices, by hosting regular meetings, site visits and information and training workshops. The centre will be established by a multi expert team comprised of Sunchem, SkyNRG and EcoSasa, a locally based consultancy with expertise in smallholder development and training.

The Competence &Training Centre Coordinator

The C&T Centre Coordinator will be responsible for managing and coordinating the centre and all of its training programs, information sessions and outreach processes to achieve all of the objectives outlined above. The role is crucial in ensuring the smooth day- to-day running of a busy vibrant C&T centre, providing services for a very diverse farming community.

Based in Marble Hall, Limpopo, South Africa and reporting to the Project Solaris Project Manager, the C&T Centre Coordinator will work with a Field Officer and other team members and training specialists and be responsible for the following:

Manage the resources and services of the C&T Centre in order to best meet the needs of the local farming community and stakeholders
Delivery of effective administrative systems within the C&T Centre and the day-to-day interface with centre users, service providers and the general public.
Direct management of the field staff and training programs.
Reach out to famers (both commercial and smallholders) as well as various stakeholders including government and research institutions on a regular basis to ensure that they are an integral part of the project developments.
Represent Project Solaris within the community and various meetings of stakeholders, potential partners, and the farming community

Knowledge required: Agriculture production practices; Project management and communication strategies; and Community development and outreach

Essential Skills required: Strategic Programme Development and Management; People Management; Management of stakeholder relationships; Be Approachable ; Have effective communication skills both verbal and written in English and the local languages; Excellent organising skills and prioritising work; Be able to work in a busy demanding environment; Be able to work as part of a team; Good computer skills – use of Excel, Word, PowerPoint etc.

Person Specification: Practical experience and knowledge of the community and stakeholder engagement gained either through work or volunteering.

Desirable Requirements: Be educated to degree level or equivalent • Have effective client and staff management skills • Have experience of working with ethnically diverse communities • Be able to work with different stakeholder organisations.

Field Officer

The Field Officer will acts as a bridge between Project Solaris and farming community and helps in promoting and popularising the project and its farmer training and developmental programmes. Based in Marble Hall, Limpopo, South Africa and reporting to the C&T Centre Manager and other training specialists, the Field Officer is expected to live in that area and not expected to be a farmer.

The Field Officer shall serve as a representative of Project Solaris and this includes that the right information from the Project Solaris is communicated to the farmers, and that important information from the farmers is fed back.

Key Responsibilities: Visit farmers on a regular basis to provide training and track implementation of the project. Respond to farmer queries and disseminate information to other farmers who might wish to join the Project Solaris; Help famers implement farming standards and train farmers on use of the standards; Work with the Project Solaris team to collect project data, and provide qualitative input into the project; Provide monthly and quarterly status reports; and Provide regular input on the project based on field experiences

Desired Qualifications: University degree in Agriculture, Agribusiness, development studies or related fields; Over 3 years experience executing agricultural programs

Desired competencies: Ability to evaluate challenges at the farm level and work to coordinate implementation of the project; Ability to achieve excellent results in the training program and grasp practical and theoretical knowledge of management, planning and implementation and evaluation of solaris farming operations; Ability to travel to farm and rural sites on a daily basis; Have good understanding of smallholder farmers dynamic from food security and house hold incomes point of view; Excellent communication skills, both writing and verbal, strong analytical and quantitative skills, methodological rigor and demonstrated problem-solving ability ; Excellent attention to detail with good organizational, analytical and problem solving skills. Flexible to adjust to work schedules and priorities to meet deadlines, juggle multiple assignments and work in a dynamic environment; Hardworking and result oriented and social skills for initiating and managing relationships with project partners and stakeholder; Valid Driving License (Motorcycle/Motor vehicle)

Desirable Requirements: Have effective client and staff management skills • Have experience of working with ethnically diverse communities • Be able to work with different stakeholder organisations.

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