Principal Agronomist at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB)


About " African Development Bank Group (AfDB) "

African Development Bank Group (AfDB) – Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 80 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries). The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title:

Principal Agronomist

Job Location:


Job Type:

Full time Jobs

Job Description

The Complex

  • The Vice-Presidency for ‘Agriculture, Human, and Social Development’ is a Sector Complex focusing on two of the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy High 5s priority of “Feed Africa” and “Improve Quality of Life for the People of Africa”. The Complex comprises five departments: (i) Agriculture and Agro-Industry Development; (ii) Agriculture Finance and Rural Development; (iii) Gender, Women and Civil Society; (iv) Water Development and Sanitation; and (v) Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development.

The Hiring Department

  • The Department of Agriculture and Agroindustry (AHAI) of AFDB has the responsibility of the 2nd priority of Bank’s TYS High 5s, which is called “Feed Africa”, the Strategy for agricultural transformation, aiming at allowing the continent to become a net food exporting region while using industrialization to add value to process foods and exports commodities; to help to end extreme poverty, and eliminate malnutrition.
  • The Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) is a special fund established by the African Union member states during the 2006 African Green Revolution Summit in Abuja. The AFFM is and managed by the African Development Bank, housed within AHAI Department.
  • The overall objective of the AFFM is to improve agricultural productivity by providing the financing required to boost fertilizer use in Africa to achieve the target of 50 kg of nutrients per hectare, as mandated by the Abuja Declaration.
  • The AFFM developed its 2022-2028 Strategic Plan, designed around three strategic pillars (i) Strengthening the fertilizer sector through access to finance; (ii) Supporting the development of viable policy reforms to improve production, trade and utilization of fertilizer; and (iii) Facilitating smallholder farmers’ access to inputs and technical assistance.

The Position

  • The Agronomist will support the AFFM in achieving projects’ objectives of sustainable and profitable increases in agricultural productivity and product quality, while ensuring soil health, environment and social safeguards.
  • As part of AFFM secretariat, the staff will be supported by the Bank’s relevant Divisions at the headquarters and at the country level.

Key Functions
The specific responsibilities include, but not limited to:

  • Oversee agricultural aspects of the AFFM funded projects, Communicating – giving / exchanging ideas, advising, explaining – within the Bank, different donors and partners.
  • Lead the implementation of agriculture productivity and soil health initiatives by supervising and supporting AFFM’s projects executing agents and partners, to ensure that projects result in economically, environmentally and socially sustainable impact.
  • Ensure that projects adopt the 4R approach (right source, right rate, right time, and right place) best management practices (BMPs) adapted to local conditions that will maximize agronomic use efficiency of nutrients and improve crop productivity.
  • Provide recommendations for agriculture technologies, fertilizer application; prioritize/promote the use of specialized/specific fertilizer including organic matter on selected crops.
  • Support capacity strengthening of AFFM projects beneficiaries, including among others, actors in the fertilizer distribution, smallholder farmers (via Farmer’s cooperatives/ village-based grouping), field extensionists etc.
  • Participate actively as task manager and/or member of project team in all the activities of projects cycle (identification, preparation and appraisal, supervision, and evaluation); collect relevant information and data, as a member of project team, with a view to carrying out the technical analysis.
  • Assist in establishing a results-based monitoring and evaluation system that tracks, in a timely manner, improvements in food productivity and soil health against AFFM’s annual and medium-term plans and ensure consistency for the services provided to countries and companies.
  • Collaborate with AFFM/AfDB or any entity commissioned by the Bank during the process to collect project baseline data, on key project performance indicators including among others status on crops grown, yields realized, inputs used and level of input application etc.
  • Serve as AFFM focal point for all agronomic aspects relating to AFFM projects; assist countries and AFFM partners in productivity and soil health studies, feasibility studies, soil and fertility analysis, in collecting, analyzing data and disseminating relevant information.
  • Participate in drafting terms of reference for studies proposed for AFFM financing and participate in the evaluation and processing, and supervision of related projects and activities.
  • Conduct field missions to identify, prepare, evaluate and / or oversee the implementation and monitoring of AFFM projects, programs to support the implementation of the AFFM strategic plan and the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy.
  • Maintain good relationship with executing agencies, research institutions, scientists, specialized institutions and/or technical service providers that are involved in the AFFM programs/projects/activities.
  • Monitor project implementation by recipients, provide required technical assistance and follow up project periodic reporting.
  • Contribute to implementation of other activities in the AFFM annual work program; contribute to AFFM periodic reports and annual report.
  • Review studies and progress reports on projects and make proposals for actions to be taken by the AFFM and the executing agencies.
  • Undertake any other assignment relevant to the successful implementation and performance of the AFFM.

Job Requirement

  • A minimum of a Master’s Degree in Agriculture, Agricultural Economics or any other related discipline.
  • Have a minimum of six (6) years of relevant experience with particular expertise in fertilizer industry, crop productivity, soil sciences (fertility and health) in Africa.
  • Must have proven experience with agricultural productivity, quality improvement and sustainable land use.
  • Ability to apply systems perspectives to plant analysis, soil fertility management and soil health issues.
  • Capable of providing methodological backstopping for agricultural innovation pilots and tests.
  • Has experience with innovative agricultural community-based, participatory, field-oriented research and extension approaches (farmer field schools, farmer research and extension groups, participatory variety selection, multi-locational trials, etc.).
  • Can deliver training sessions on agronomy to AFFM projects beneficiaries, develop and elaborate user-oriented field notes and leaflets (for extensionists, farmers, cooperatives, Etc.).
  •  Ability to build partnerships, possess experience working with Government organization, private Sector, national/international development agencies, research institutions, with a good understanding of key players in the fertilizer sector in Africa.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in multi-cultural environments and in interdisciplinary team to be creative and innovative, with a demonstrated Integrity and ability to work in team.
  • Ability to produce well researched documents and communicate in one of the Bank’s two official languages of English or French. Capacity to use both will constitute an added advantage.
  • Proficiency in the use of standard Microsoft software, especially MS Office environment.
  • A track record in successful development and implementation of donor funded projects.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • This advertisement is posted by the african development bank (afdb) on behalf of affm, which is the employer for this position. engagement as staff of affm does not offer any expectation for future employment as staff in the african development bank. this is a project staff position and comes with a fixed-term contract.
  • Should you encounter technical difficulties in submitting your application, please send an email with a precise description of the issue and/or a screenshot showing the problem to: HR Direct HRDirect@AFDB.ORG


August 18, 2023
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