|Project Title:||Introducing sustainable land and water management practices to reduce land degradation risks and strengthen economic status of small scale vulnerable farmers|
|Implementing Agency:||Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus)|
|Position Title:||Expert Agronomist|
|Contract type:||Special Service Agreement|
|Duration:||01.08.2018 – 30.05.2019|
|Duty Station:||Home based and Tsalka Municipality, Georgia|
The project is implemented within the Eco-Awards program, which is initiated and funded by BP, on behalf of its Co-ventures in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and the South Caucasus gas Pipeline projects, and is administered by Centre for Training and Consultancy, CTC.
The information below does not represent the views of BP, its partners, and CTC.
A. SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT
According to the UN forecast, a drastic increase in the world population is expected. It will total to 8,5 billion by 2030 instead of the present 7,55 billion. Simultaneously, political developments in the world, as well as global climate changes, will create additional challenges for small and medium scale agriculture and the provision of enough good quality foods to the global population.
It is apparent that Georgia cannot be left untouched by the current developments. Despite some transformational dynamics of the economy, the issue of the poverty and provision of food to the population is still very severe. Therefore, one of the key objectives for the upcoming years is to create a developmental model for the country’s agricultural sector that will ensure sustainable management of local natural resources and provision of affordable and quality food to the Georgian population.
From the farming industry standpoint, the diversity is accompanied with difficulties like temperature changes, active erosion and excessive precipitation in some regions. The existing situation takes specific measures to be addressed. Within past decades, Georgian agriculture and food production has been lagging well behind other sectors of the economy. Due to certain developments after the declaration of independence, the sown and planted areas of annual and perennial crops have reduced, as well as livestock numbers. In the 90’s the majority of agricultural enterprises ceased their operation. Their machinery was sold for scrap prices, buildings and structures collapsed, and qualified workers and specialists quit working. The wrong agricultural policy destroyed agricultural science, higher educational and vocational institutions deteriorated, and experimental farms and laboratories were destroyed as well.
Soil fertility has depleted over the time due to lack of technology, and the lack of basic skills and practices. Irrigation and drainage systems require significant rehabilitation. For this reason, only a small number of farmers and rural community organizations are successful in managing land and water resources, providing inputs (services), marketing outputs or exploiting any kind of agricultural or rural support services.
Buying and selling land, accessing appropriate technology, inputting (machinery/fertilizers/chemicals/ seed/planting material/irrigation/artificial insemination/feed) and servicing is still an issue.
Agriculture still accounts for about 52% of the country’s labor force, while 98% of farmworkers are considered self-employed. Therefore, the key objective for the upcoming years is economic diversification by means of creating off-farm jobs, promoting family farming, as well as agricultural tourism.
The current situation in agricultural sector significantly affects poverty indicators. According to GeoStat, the average annual salary of a farmworker amounted to only 64% of national average in 2013. At the same time, the income gap between urban and rural residents widened substantially. It is noteworthy that rural population does not have many alternative employment opportunities. The income derived from hired farm- work is increasing has increased in the past years but its volume is still small. Income derived from the selling of agricultural produce constituted only 11.6% of the total income for the year of 2013, which indicates that agriculture production is largely oriented towards self-consumption.
It should be mentioned that the percentage share of elderly population in rural areas is increasing which complicates the demographic situation. For this purpose, retaining and further increasing the current production level and its competitiveness will be difficult without a long-term sustainable agricultural development policy (that implies promotion of employment of youth as well).
Recently, the cost of agricultural products imported in the country exceeded one billion USD. A negative trend of local production minimization is being observed along with the growth of imports. Food self-sufficiency ratio of almost all types of products has decreased creating significant implications for food security. According to the UN and the World Bank forecast, an acute global food crisis is expected in 2040-2050.
Tsalka municipality is well known in Georgia by its fertile soil, available water resources and potential for development of agriculture. For decades, local farmers were producing different types of vegetables (focusing on potatoes) to sell it around the country. However, Soil fertility has depleted over the time due to lack of technology, and the lack of basic skills and practices. Irrigation and drainage systems require significant rehabilitation. For this reason, only a small number of farmers and rural community organizations are successful in managing land and water resources, providing inputs (services), marketing outputs or exploiting any kind of agricultural or rural support services.
One of the key objectives for the upcoming years is to create a developmental model for the country’s agricultural sector that will ensure sustainable management of local natural resources and provision of affordable and quality food to the Georgian population.
Proposed action responds to global environmental and local challenges and targets United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15 “Live on Land” and Goal 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production” . The aims of SDGs are to conserve and restore the use of terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, drylands and mountains by 2020 and reduce ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources. SDG goals are in line with UNCCD actions and contribute to Land Degradation Neutrality topic area.
The project targets poverty, as it will be linked to local economic development to generate a more sustainable income, to contribute towards food security and promotion of good agriculture practices.
The overall objective of the project:
– Local farmers have adequate knowledge in soil and water conservation
– Local farmers have practical experience in application of new knowledge, the gained knowledge is distributed with other interested farmers
B. SCOPE OF THE ASSIGNMENT
Under the overall coordination of the Project Manager Agronomist Provide:
1. Capacity and needs assessment of selected farmers and development of respected report.
2. Development of educational materials.
3. Development of training materials
4. Organization of on-job trainings for selected farmers on demonstration land plot:
– Soil testing
– Soil cultivation technics
– Selection of irrigation system
– Seed selection and seeding activities
– Application of fertilizers
– Disease control and use of chemicals
The main deliverables of the assignment will be as outlined below:
1. Report of Capacity and needs assessment of selected farmers
2. Developed final educational materials.
3. Developed final training materials
4. Conducted thematic trainings with local selected farmers (5 trainings, 2 day long)
C. QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
The expert should have successfully completed advanced university degree in Agriculture and other relevant natural sciences.
Minimum 5 years of relevant experience in practicing and advising crop, seed production and processing, technology transfer, cropping and rotation systems in varying ecosystems of the country; Work experience in irrigated agriculture, crop water requirement is necessary
Experience and skills
– Assignments related to the above issues;
– Good analytical and reporting skills.
– Proven ability to work in a complex environment with different national and international experts
– Excellent technical writing skills in Georgian/English
-Demonstrated ability to liaise and co-operate with various stakeholders
Other important details: Interested applicants should submit a current CV to the following e-mail address: email@example.com with copy to Project manager: firstname.lastname@example.org or submit hard copy application package to the following address: 13, Badri Shoshitaishvli Street, David Arakishvili 1st Dead-end, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia.
Deadline for application is August 2, 2018. Only shortlisted candidates will be interviewed.