Senior Programme Officer - Agro-Ecological Farming and Markets

Last date of application
 08-Jun-23 23:59 HR
Job Description

Senior Programme Officer - Agro-Ecological Farming and Markets

SWISSAID India, Pune, Maharashtra


1. POSITION VACANT: Senior Programme Officer - Agro-Ecological Farming and Markets, SWISSAID India, Pune, Maharashtra.



SWISSAID, one of Switzerland’s leading development organizations, is an international non-profit, working in nine countries across the world. The organization has no religious or political affiliations.

SWISSAID has been active in India for more than five decades. Currently, the focus is on two themes Climate Resilient Livelihoods and Gender Equality. SWISSAID collaborates with local civil society organisations to co-create projects which address the challenges faced by the marginalised groups.

SWISSAID together with Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland) and Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa is implementing a multi-country project financed by Swiss Development Cooperation titled Consumption of Resilient Orphan Crops & Products for Healthier Diets (CROPS4HD).  The overall goal of the project is to improve food security and nutrition of smallholder farmers, especially women, through sustainable use and conservation of farmers’ varieties, focusing on neglected and underutilized species (NUS), and respecting agroecological approaches. This is to be achieved through (1) engaging with urban and rural consumers to generate demand for peasant cultivars, neglected species and healthy diets (2) encouraging smallholder farmers especially women to grow the neglected species and farmer’s cultivars as a viable business and improve their livelihoods, and (3) leveraging government support.

For more information about SWISSAID, please visit:



Reporting to the Country Representative, the Senior Programme Officer – Agro Ecological Farming and Markets (SPO-AEFM) shall be responsible for the overall delivery of the CROPS4HD project which is being implemented in Odisha, West Bengal, and Karnataka. S/he shall also be responsible for supporting the development and monitoring of the Country Programme, Knowledge Management and Fundraising. The SPO shall supervise and guide two Programme Officers. The role shall interface with the technical units of FiBL, Revitalizing Rural Areas Network, Global CROPS4HD team and experts in the fields of markets, agroecology, climate change adaptation and monitoring and evaluation.

Key Job Responsibilities:

(A) Develop and manage the CROPS4HD to achieve its goals and outcomes:
(1) Finalise the annual project implementation plan, project budget, annual report and partner contracts;
(2) Steer the project implementation based on field visits, M&E Data, participating in key project activities/events, stakeholder workshops and discussions with partner staff and consortium members;
(3) Organise/Participate in Project Monitoring and Review Meetings in India and at the Global level;
(4) Develop strategies to operationalize key components of the project such as the promotion of agroecological approaches using farmer cultivars, local market development and marketing of agroecological produce, farmer institutions development and women’s empowerment;
(5) Monitor and support the policy engagement work to ensure it achieves the agreed outcomes;
(6) Ensure the programme builds and maintains effective relationships with NGO partners, technical training agencies and consortium partners;
(7) Facilitate linkages with Government, UN organisations, INGOs and private sector to enhance project impact;
(8) Inform/consult with the Country Representative in the event of significant modifications in project content and budget or serious problems in a project;


(B) Development and Monitoring of SWISSAID’s India Country Programme:

(1) Participate in the Management Committee;
(2) Play a central role in the elaboration of the five-year Strategic Planning and Annual report;
(3) Monitor and review the Country Programme against the Strategic Objectives (in collaboration with the Country Representative);
(4) Promote the partner organizations’ awareness of gender and of social inequalities and facilitate actions and instruments to address them within the programme;
(5) Develop and manage Monitoring and Evaluation systems and the performance indicators/success criteria;
(6) Maintain partner organizations informed of the key SWISSAID issues, policies, and procedures and guidelines and ensure compliance with the same;
(7) Foster and participate in networks on thematic priorities of the SWISSAID country programme (in consultation with Country Representative);


(C) Knowledge Management and Exchange:

(1) Follow developments (external knowledge) in respective A-topic; synthesize, share knowledge and practices with colleagues in the country programme and other SWISSAID focal points;
(2) Organising regular sharing and exchange between CROPS4HD and other livelihood projects of SWISSAID;
(3) Contribute to and oversee the production of knowledge products (e.g., best practice document; lessons learnt document, etc.) for dissemination;
(4) Foster and participate in networks on thematic priorities of the SWISSAID country program;


(D) Communication and Fundraising:

(1) Propose innovative ideas for development of livelihood proposals;
(2) Develop funding applications with NGO partners and/or SWISSAID Switzerland;
(3) Support the colleagues in Switzerland for the development of fundraising and communication materials;
(4) Prepare donor narrative and financial reports;

(E) Manage the performance of staff, ensuring that they are well supported, led and evaluated against agreed objectives.



Qualification and Experience

(1) Applicants must be graduates with a postgraduate degree in Social Sciences, or Economics, or Agriculture, or equivalent, from a reputed university;
(2) Minimum 10 years’ experience of working in the development sector, in the field of Agriculture, Forestry or Sustainable Livelihoods, of which at least three years must be with a grassroots development organization;
(3) Proven track record of strengthening small farmers livelihoods through addressing production side challenges, marketing issues, gender mainstreaming and farmer institution building;
(4) Extensive experience of either promoting ecological farming, farmers varieties and neglected crops OR participatory value chain approach and marketing of safe food/ NTFPs through FPOs.

Skills and Competencies

(1) Strong project management skills and ability to negotiate and convince partners;
(2) Strong leadership, decision making and problem-solving skills;
(3) Ability to manage and develop staff;
(4) Good Thematic understanding of small farmers livelihoods and experience record of supporting grassroots development projects;
(5) Strong commitment towards addressing gender discrimination and the rights of marginalized persons;
(6) Ability to develop strong, positive relationships internally with team members and externally with Stakeholders, Funders, Social Networks and other organizations;
(7) Well-developed analytical, conceptual and writing skills;
(8)Fluency in written and spoken English and Hindi;
(9) Willingness to travel extensively in India;
(10) Proficient in Word, excel, and PowerPoint.


The gross remuneration budgeted for the position is attractive and shall be commensurate with the qualifications, experience, and salary history, of the selected candidate.


5. DURATION OF CONTRACT: This is a full-time position, and the incumbent shall be offered the initial contract for a period of three years.

6. LOCATION: Pune, Maharashtra 




Strategic Alliance Management Services P Ltd.
1/1B, Choudhary Hetram House, Bharat Nagar
New Friends Colony, New Delhi 110 025
Phone Nos.: 011- 4081 9900; 4165 3612



Eligible candidates interested in the position are requested to apply using the link  at the earliest.


SWISSAID is an equal-opportunity employer. Women applicants are encouraged to apply.