Africa's agriculture and value addition magazine

Meals Trader - Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Posted in Agro Jobs Africa

Job Title – Meals trader

Location – Nairobi, Kenya

Company – Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Function – Trading

Contract type – Permanent

Experience – 5-7 years

Closing date for application – September 28, 2015

Job description

The position is responsible for the Meals Volumes Target for East Africa.
This position is also responsible for achieving a margin on Meals products on the basis of market information obtained by regular and constant maintenance of business relationships in the industry.

Main Responsibilities

  • Trading in, Purchasing and Selling Meals Commodities
    Identify trends and market developments, ensure the exchange of information and the production of market and other reports
  • Convert market vision into opportunities resulting in trading transactions and trading positions
    Negotiate and enter into agreements with customers and suppliers about quality, price, quantities, delivery dates and payment terms
  • Market Strategy and Relationship Management
  • Conduct market studies for business development and help to build the Platform’s annual commercial plan (S&D)
  • Develop new trading and sales opportunities by actively building and maintaining intensive contact with new and existing clients on both the sales and sourcing sides
  • Exchange market and other relevant information with customers and suppliers
  • Conclude agreements for long-term sustainable relationships (e.g. supply agreements)
  • Keep up-to-date with developments in the market, ensuring exchange of information and producing related reports to the Platform
  • Actively participate in internal market discussions
  • Convert vision into positions and exploiting opportunities
  • Arrange for the gathering of information on export, competition, import, Local regulations, local supply and demand, climatic conditions, etc.
  • Administration and Recording
  • Monitor debtor risk and the logistical processing of contracts
  • Manage the Meals Position and PnL for Kenya and Tanzania


  • Minimum 5 years Sales/ trading experience within Kenya.
    Experience in the Feed Meal Industry in the region will be an added advantage.
  • Skills
  • Demonstrated strong negotiating skills and commercial understanding combined with the right commercial attitude and results orientation
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to select relevant information from a flow of information (distinction between main and side issues)
  • Ability to travel (domestically and internationally)
  • Demonstrated ability to Develop and manage a large client base.
  • Understanding of the developments in the Feeds Industry in the Region
  • Proficiency with MS Word / Excel / PowerPoint
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Languages - English (Fluent)


Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, Marketing, Agricultural Economics or other business related field.


IPS (Agri) - Senior Agronomist

Posted in Agro Jobs Africa

Position: Senior Agronomist


Responsible for the development and implementation of strategies that strengthen crop production / management and deliver commercially viable and sustainable results in respect of costs and yield.

The exciting roles provides a vital link between the field and the production/ processing division of the business ensuring that this part of the overall supply chain is seamless.

Considerable technical knowledge as well as sound communication, commercial and planning skills are a requirement of this role.

Key Qualifications and Competencies.

Minimum holder of diploma /B.Sc. in Horticulture or any tropical agriculture related course.

Over five years production experience in any of the following crops. Legumes, tomatoes, potatoes and fruits, either in a plantation environment or with small scale holder scheme.

Willing to travel and work within East Africa with minimum supervision.

Should be people oriented and have demonstrated leadership skills, proven integrity, self-driven and motivated.

Critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.

Business development skills and commercial/business acumen.

Application Details:

Suitable qualified candidates should submit their application together with an updated curriculum vitae to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 23rd January, 2015

Source: Daily Nation – January 9, 2014

CEO, Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA)


Interview of Ms Jacqueline Mkindi, CEO Tanzania Horticultural Association, TAHA


INTRO: In this interview conduscted in May 2015, the CEO of TAHA, the trade association that represents those involved in the horticulture industry in Tanzania, enumerates the milestone the association has gone through as it celebrated 10 years. She also explains why investing in Tanzania's orticulture is such a worthy investment.


Q: We note that TAHA is celebrating 10 years of existence. How does this feel for you as the CEO of this organization?

It is a very special feeling especially when I look and recall where we were in 2004 when TAHA started. 10 years back when we started, the organization and the horticultural industry as whole were nowhere in the map! Horticulture during those days was a topic of no interest to most of the people in this country. The industry was very small, and general awareness of its potential and opportunities was very limited to Tanzanians and the world.

From staff size of 2 in 2004, today we are more than 60. In addition, with just 15 members in 2004, today the Association has over 15,000 members across the country. Again, TAHA started its operations only in Arusha, but it now has physical presence in over 15 regions in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar

Q: How was the industry then? How has the industry changed since TAHA came into being?

Before TAHA, horticulture was nowhere in the development map of Tanzania. At that time, when one mentioned horticulture the first image in people’s minds was flowers/floriculture featuring the large foreign investors hence it was not given any importance as far as the national development agenda was concerned.

Today, 10 years later, horticulture is at the centre of attention in the national development agenda. Horticulture is the accelerator of the country’s agricultural growth, recording an average growth rate of 11 per cent per annum for the past five years, compared with general agricultural growth rate of 4% per annum.

In summary, the achievements realized during ten years of TAHA existence include:

  • The industry has been growing at an average annual growth of 11% for the past five years.
  • The industry has witnessed increased partnerships among stakeholders in support to horticulture industry in the past decade.
  • Improved business enabling environment through collaboration efforts between TAHA and the Government
  • Significant increase in production of fruits, vegetables, flowers, spices and seed, which have increased by more than 75% since 2006.
  • Increased horticultural yields as a result of development interventions on the ground and development partners’ efforts.
  • Increased values of export from US$ 64 million in 2004 to US$ 450 million in 2014. In 2014, horticulture sub-sector contributed about 38% of overall agricultural exports in the country.
  • Increase involvement of small-scale farmers in horticultural value chain activities. Outgrowers, who are contracted by exporters, contribute up to 90% of the total horticultural export volumes.
  • Increased market access to Tanzanian products in domestic, regional and international levels.
  • Improved institutional strength of TAHA and its business wings i.e. TAHAFRESH Handling limited, and industry logistic company.

Q: With growth rates of over 10 per cent recorded by the industry in the last six years, how has TAHA contributed to this aggressive growth?

Along with promoting the sector we have been working very closely with value chain actors. Below are the key points as to why TAHA has contributed massively in triggering horticultural growth:

  • TAHA has carried out promotional activities to attract new markets and partners to support horticulture
  • TAHA has a strong technical team to service farmers and build their technical/production capacities in production and processing of horticultural products
  • TAHA has coordinated horticultural standards development and also worked with farmers to meet international standards such as Global GAP adherence.
  • TAHA has mobilized and built institutional capacity of farmers to produce and supply produce to various markets. It has has therefore managed to transform masses of farmers from local conversional farming to improved technologies which as a result increase production and later contribute to the growth of the industry.
  • TAHA has engaged with the government to ensure productive and constructive Public and Private Dialogue for improved business enabling environment through policy reforms and infrastructure development in rural areas.
  • TAHA has developed effective marketing and information services to guide farmers on how to access local, regional and international markets.
  • TAHA has provided logistics support services to the sector through TAHA’s logistic company; TAHAFRESH Handling limited.

Q: Which organisations have you partnered with in your work to grow the industry?

TAHA has been able to mobilize strong commitment and support from Development partners (USAID, Finnish Government, the Dutch Government, International Trade Centre, BEST-Dialogue, etc.) and private sector partners who have made significant investment in addressing farmers challenges including technical know and support infrastructures (such as irrigation and market infrastructures).

Q: Which variety of horticultural produce has especially done well? And which ones do you foresee doing well as we go into the next decade?

In the past, numerous crops performed well. They were fully accessible to all farmers and the yields were also good. We have also witnessed introduction of improved/hybrid varieties which have very high yields. The hybrids are resilient to many climatic challenges such as low rains/water as well as pests and diseases. They also provide more yield in many cases.

Crops which perfomed better include tomato, avocado, french beans, various types of flowers including roses, green pepper, irish potato, onions, carrots, water melon etc. Crops which we foresee to do well in the next decade include pineapple (MD2 variety), red and yellow capsicums, berries (raspberry and strawberries), snow peas, mangoes, apples, and table grapes.

Q: What sets Tanzania apart in the field of horticulture in the region? What is the country’s key differentiator in the region?

Land    availability,     wide    range  of        climatic           conditions (from temperate to tropical) supporting production of a variety of horticultural crops, access to markets through preferential and other regional/multilateral schemes and peace and stability of the country are among the factors that make Tanzania apart in the field of horticulture in the region

Varying altitudes – from sea level to over 2,000m of above, low humidity and average rainfall greater than 700mm make production of crops such        as       flowers,          cuttings, vegetable/ flower     seeds, avocados,       strawberries, raspberries and spices (cardamom) possible especially in the Southern Highlands the SAGCOT area and the northern zone.

Strategic positioning of the     country - Good links to ports and airports: Dar and Tanga ports, Julius Nyerere International Airport in DSM, Songwe International Airport in Mbeya, KIA and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport provides guarantee for sea freighting and airlifting of horticultural products destined for international markets.

Political stability and government will - This is very instrumental in attracting and nurturing investments in the country.

Q: Challenges abound in Africa’s farming. What do you think are the key challenges that face Tanzania’s horticulture industry?

Despite the commitment of the Government in creating enabling business environment to the sector, the sector is still faced with a number of challenges:

  • Overregulation associated with multiplicity of taxes, fees, charges and levies’. As a result, the agricultural businesses incur higher compliance costs (in terms of time and financial resources) as s/he has to deal with different Authorities.
  • Significant post-harvest losses by up to 60% of the total crop
  • Lack of inadequate support infrastructures such as cold storage facilities
  • Most of farmers lack knowledge on horticultural technologies and good agricultural practices making them unable to achieve the optimal yields.
  • Poor marketing system characterized by market inefficiencies and information asymmetry

Q: How do you think some of these challenges can be sorted out? Are there some policy issues you think Government can rectify?

Streamlining the operationalization of taxes, fees and levies - More support from the government is needed particularly in harmonizing policies, taxes, levies and facilitating trade.

To unify payment systems and make them available online for agricultural businesses to access and manage their statutory payments

Q: Why should an investor consider Tanzania as a horticulture industry investment destination?

Peace and political stability - Tanzania is one of the most peaceful and politically stable countries in Africa. Since its independence in 1961, the country has never experienced a civil war or any major internal strife.

Strategic Location - The country is connected directly to the Indian Ocean giving it trade links to Asia and Europe and sits in between the ocean and 6 landlocked countries (Uganda, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and Malawi) that rely on Tanzania for passage of goods.

The country has 3 deep water ports (Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara) that are servicing the neighboring countries. Furthermore, its membership to the SADC Free Trade Area and EAC Common Market, with developed road networks, makes Tanzania a natural transportation gateway for East and Central Africa.

Government commitment to transform horticultureThe Government has made changes to a number of policies to favor and attract horticultural investment into the country. The government has also established specialized incentive schemes namely Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as well as Tanzania Investment Centre. The government also has invested in infrastructure development such as market facilities and irrigation schemes.

Plenty of natural resources to support horticultural production and trade - There are a number of natural factors which support operation of horticultural businesses in Tanzania. They include rivers and water springs, which offer resources for irrigated horticulture and help farmers to meet the high water requirements for horticulture; varying climatic conditions to support a variety of crops and sea (with ports) to facilitate sea freighting.

TAHA existence and role to coordinate the sector - TAHA, as a private-sector business oriented member-based organization working to promote horticultural industry in Tanzania presents interests of the private sector players and the industry as whole and works with the government to improve business enabling environment in the country.

TAHA also facilitates smooth operation of the businesses, by, through its logistics arm, TAHAFresh Handling Ltd. by providing logistics services including perishable handling and transportation.

Bayer CropScience - Sales Representative (Seeds)

Posted in Agro Jobs Africa

Job Title: Sales Representative - Vegetables Seeds



Plan, review, adapt and execute an annual sales plan.

Establish a customer base, and educate customers on key products and the advantages of partnering with Bayer.

Spearhead contract negotiations to meet short and long term sales objectives, and to build partnerships with key customers.

Ensure timely payments by clients and follow debt collection policies when required.


Proactively contribute to the development of the overall crop science marketing and sales plans by producing critical data on the market, pricing, and product information for vegetable seeds.

Keep management informed at all times on sales developments and any highlight any impacts and opportunities initiatives may have for other departments.

Product Development

Proactively contribute to the VS trials programme and submit recommendations to the team.

Initiate the introduction of new varieties, propose pricing strategies and launch plans.


The successful candidate will have strong expertise in sales of technical products with a minimum of three (3) years solid business experience.

He/she must hold a Bachelor degree in Agriculture from a recognized university.

Core competencies

Ability to focus on customers’ needs and building strong relationships.

Ability to drive results, be self- starter and enjoy new challenges.

Ability to communicate, influence and collaborate with all stake holders.

Manage the complexity of working in a matrix organization.

Application Details

Interested applicants should send their curriculum vitae and a covering letter outlining their suitability for the role no later than 18th January 2015 to:

The Head of Human Resources

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source: Daily Nation

Director General, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa


Interview with Dr. Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, Director General, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa


INTRO: In this interview, conducted in April 2014, Dr Akinbamijo implores the continent of Africa to invest more resources to agricultural research, and to agriculture in general, to improve agricultural production in line with the Malabo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security.


What is the role of FARA in food security?

FARA is the apex body in the continent charged with the coordination of agricultural research in the continent of Africa. FARA occupies a unique niche with the role to make the African farmer a competitive player in the agricultural sector.

What is the role of FARA?

FARA has the mandate and the authority to convene global and continental positions that affect Africa. This includes issues that affect Africa in terms of food policy, research orientation and implementation. We set the agenda, tone and direction of agricultural research in the continent.

How does FARA achieve its goals?

Let me give an example. FARA in collaboration with the African Union and NEPAD co-ordinating agency in South Africa have come up with, for the first time, an African led, African driven science agenda for agriculture in Africa. This means that we have a framework that will systematically drive us in the direction of food secure nations.

How do you overcome the challenges that still abound in the continent?

We have challenges in the agricultural sector, the chief of which is the lack of institutional capacities and know how. We know what the challenges are, but what are trying to do is to take advantage of the economies of scale. In other words, if we something good happening in Kenya, how can we make good use of it in Central Africa? If we identify a common challenge on the continent, how can we draw on the strength of partnerships, how can we draw on the strength of the political leaders to have them on our side and to put the political clout behind our science?

How do we make use of these connections to excel in the continent?

A bird does not fly with one wing. That is a Nigerian proverb for you. Science without policy amounts to zero, and policy without science also amounts to zero. Let me explain. I have over 30 years’ experience in this field, 20 years of which I did full time research scientist job and the other 10 years I have been on the policy environment, so I understand the connection between policy and development.

Are we seeing progress from this collaboration?

The whole idea of getting science into the politics and the politics into the science is alive and well in Africa now. Today we have a pipeline in Africa’s agricultural agenda. We have had CAADP 10th Partnership platform meeting in Durban in March this year, in April we had the Ministerial conference and after that we went to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU)

This is what I mean by science and policy emerging. The partnerships are starting to work and that is very encouraging.

Are these partnerships starting to show that long-term success in Africa is possible?

Well, it has worked in countries that have succeeded in their war against food insecurity, and Africa will be no exception. Why are we getting hand-outs from Europe? Why are we receiving aid? Why is it that when we are short of food America has to send us soybeans, maize, milk etc. Why? Don’t we have enough maize? How much of that maize is contaminated by aflatoxins? How much of that maize did not make it to the market, while on the other side of the world half of the food on the table ends up in the dust bin? You see the oxymoron we are in?

We have challenges but they are not insurmountable. But we do not have the right mix of the science and the politics. The countries that have got the right political and scientific mix well have put the problem of food security behind them.

The degree of investment in agriculture is directly proportional to what we will see in terms being independent of donor and international aid.

Let us now look at the research funding component

The amount of funding in agricultural research in Africa is appalling. We are still asking Governments to invest 10 per cent of public revenues in agriculture and they are not doing it. We have been asking them to do so, but we are not there yet. Until this is achieved without cajoling countries, and maybe we see some of the countries putting in 13 per cent or more, then we shall be sure we can achieve our goals of feeding the continent. At that point we shall know that the governments are putting their money where their mouths are.

If we continue to ask for G8 or America to pay for our research bill, it is like hoping to raise your family from your neighbour’s kitchen. As we say in the science agenda, agricultural research on the continent is way too important to outsource to development partners. It is time to put our money where our mouths are. Let us increase investment in agriculture, in capacity building, and in infrastructure so that we can have a prosperous Africa.

Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is the apex organization charged with the strategic role of coordinating agricultural research and development in Africa. FARA weaves together key networks and stakeholders on the continent and globally to reinforce the capacity of Africa to improve its agricultural science and innovation for food security and poverty reduction. FARA was established as an independent organization in 2002. It is based in Accra, Ghana. (