Department: Mobile for Development
Contract type: Contract, 1 year renewable
About the Team
Globally, 500 million households depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Smallholder farmers produce and sell nearly 70 per cent of the food consumed worldwide but remain financially excluded and increasingly vulnerable to changing climate patterns affecting their yields. Digitisation of procurement from smallholders presents a significant opportunity to enable the transition from cash to digital payments and from paper to digital records - to enhance transparency in the agricultural value chain. Combining digital records and digital payments with information services on best agricultural practices, weather forecasts and climate smart advice will result in a radical shift in productivity and incomes for smallholders.
Funded by UK FCDO (Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office), the GSMA AgriTech programme targets the development of equitable and sustainable food chains that empower farmers and strengthen local communities. To fulfil this vision, the programme brings together and supports the mobile industry, agriculture sector stakeholders, innovators and investors in AgriTech space to launch, improve and scale impactful and commercially viable digital solutions for smallholder farmers in the developing world.
The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains
In June 2019, the AgriTech programme launched the GSMA Innovation Fund (“Fund”) for Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains, which aims to scale digital solutions for the agricultural last mile and improve smallholders’ financial inclusion, livelihoods and climate resilience. The Fund prioritizes enterprise services targeted at organisations (e.g. agribusiness, cooperatives, etc.) procuring from smallholders with the focus on those living on less than USD 2 per day. Seven matching grants of £220,000 each have been awarded to support projects over a 24 month implementation period. In addition, the GSMA is providing in-kind support and consultancy to assist the development of business plans, and service implementation through market research, user-centric design, business intelligence, user-testing with agribusiness staff and smallholders.
Grants have been awarded in two categories:
MOBILE MONEY DRIVEN CATEGORY - Open to mobile money providers in partnership with AgriTech vendors who are developing, implementing, launching and/or scaling enterprise services (B2B2C) which digitise the agricultural last mile procurement and communication with smallholders.
DATA DRIVEN CATEGORY - Open to AgriTech organisations who have already scaled a last mile agriculture digitisation service and established a model for generating digital farmer records and explored linking farmer records with financial service providers.
Further information on the Innovation Fund can be found here.
What the hiring manager says
“This is an exciting opportunity to work at the center of the exploding AgriTech world and fundamentally transform rural regions by enabling financial inclusion of farmers through digital tools. The successful candidate must come equipped with a clear set of relevant tools and also be able to quickly develop substantially new skill sets, experiences and expertise to compliment those of an overachieving team and deliver on ambitious impact targets.”
About the Role
The GSMA AgriTech Programme seeks an accomplished Market Engagement Manager (MEM) knowledgeable in the application of digital tools to support rural smallholder farmers and wider agricultural value chains. Experience with either scaling mobile money services in rural areas and/or working with Financial Service Providers (FSPs) to extend services (credit, savings, insurance, etc.) via mobile channels will also be valuable for this role.
The MEM will work closely with two contracted Innovation Fund grantees in Nigeria and Ghana on the design, development, launch and scale of cutting-edge AgriTech solutions ranging from last mile agribusiness enterprise services (B2B2C) to financial services (B2C). This particular MEM will also need to focus on supporting all seven Innovation Fund grantees across the portfolio with financial inclusion expertise. In the Mobile Money Driven category, the MEM will need to focus on supporting the innovation fund partner with scaling mobile money networks to enable the digital payments use case. In the Data Driven category, the focus will be on striking product development partnerships with FSPs and finding appropriate credit scoring models to develop associated financial services.
You will work across a complex and continuously changing environment across many cultures. A successful candidate must possess a unique blend of business acumen with an understanding of the markets that they will be working in, a big-picture vision, and the drive to make that vision a reality. They should enjoy spending time in the market to understand unique consumer and business needs and work proactively to find innovative solutions and own drive their implementation.
The role will encompass:
Project Consultancy Support (70%) – Work directly with two contracted Innovation Fund grantees in Ghana and Nigeria and support them as their chief consultant to help diagnose and strengthen their service to achieve key milestones and contracted KPIs. Your role as their consultant is to advise them on development and implementation of their service strategy, robust business and operational plans, share lessons learned in other markets, and troubleshoot key challenges. Ensure each project is designed and implemented to provide a high-quality of service and impact to farmers and agribusiness clients in a scalable and commercially sustainable way. Develop and manage key stakeholders’ relationships critical for the programme’s success, including mobile network operators, potential agribusiness clients, FSPs/Fin-techs, value added service providers, agriculture organisations and donor agencies. Key to this role is providing actionable recommendations based on deep analysis of consumer insights and continuous service evolution and improvements. The MEM will also need to draft and maintain clear project plans, milestones and success measures; prepare timely and comprehensive analysis of progress against milestones, as well as financial reports, as required. You will coordinate a third party monitoring and evaluation service provider and liaise with a third-party grant management organisation to ensure contractual obligations are met.
Providing support to other Innovation Fund partners (15%) - Provide consultancy and advisory support to up to 5 other Innovation Fund partners in the following two areas:
Best practice and knowledge sharing (15%) – Extract key learnings and analytics from each AgriTech project deployment and raise advocacy for mobile agricultural services more broadly within the industry, by ensuring that key industry developments, learnings and best practices are appropriately packaged and shared. This could be in the form of writing case studies and online reports and conducting knowledge sharing sessions via working groups, webinars and workshops (in collaboration with the other AgriTech team members) or representing the GSMA AgriTech programme at regional or global events.
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