National Specialist on Crop Diversification and Climate Smart Good Agriculture Practices

Food and Agriculture Organization

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Experience: 3 to 5 Years

Skill Required: Media and Communication

The Crop Diversification and Climate Smart Good Agriculture Practices (CSGAP) specialist will provide support in developing field programs and project-related services to support the delivery of programs, projects, products, and services implemented in the framework of the FAO Sri Lanka.  The project will focus on demonstrating interventions and capacity building to increase the paddy-based ecosystem's overall productivity and system efficiency on a pilot basis. Four districts from the Dry and Intermediate zones were identified through stakeholder consultations. In each selected district, 25 tracts (Yaya) will be identified to cover around 10,000 farmers (5,000 ha in 25 tracts X 50 ha in each tract X 4 districts) for project interventions.
Tasks and responsibilities:
  • Provide technical input for identifying the 100 tracts for crop diversification.
  • Provide technical guidance for the surveying and mapping of the land suitability classes in the selected tracts, which will be conducted by a service provider and approve the final report.
  • Identify project field sites and farmer partners (with details) to be supported by the project in consultation with government officials and project staff.
  • Prepare seasonal cropping calendars in consultation with relevant partners for each tract.
  • Provide technical assistance in identifying and establishing diversification demonstration sites at 4 government locations.
  • Provide technical assistance in testing novel crop production technologies, protection, and post-harvest operation/machinery in 4 demonstration sites.
  • Provide technical input in developing the curriculum, training materials, related knowledge products, and the Training of trainers (TOTs) training design) on climate-smart OFC and paddy farming with advanced technologies and provide the final approval of the materials.
  • Prepare the list, quantity, and technical description of required agricultural inputs and equipment for diversified crops production package, including specifications and quantity (e.g., fertilizer, seeds, solar pump, sprinkler system, etc.) for the 2024 Yala and 2024/25 Maha for the 100 tracts.
  • Provide technical assistance to the farmers in applying location-specific technology packages, including soil test-based nutrient management, improved on-farm water management, and integrated pest management to increase paddy's productivity and nutrient use efficiency.
  • Conduct periodic field visits to ensure smooth implementation of identified agronomic interventions. Submit reports on crop performance in all 100 tracts and take corrective measures if needed.    
  • Liaise with relevant government technical staff and conduct all periodic crop clinics and field days.
  • Prepare the technical specifications of the machinery, equipment tools, and quantities required to establish farm machinery / implement hiring and input supply centers. 
  • Prepare the technical specifications for equipment and inputs, such as quantities of seed paddy and seedling trays, to establish seed and seedling production entrepreneurs at the village level.
  • Prepare the criteria for selecting the field extension officers for advanced training on rice production at a suitable location outside Sri Lanka.  
  • Prepare the criteria for best-performing farmers, recognizing them as well for overseas exposure visits in India
  • Coordinate with all technical consultants and review their reports before final submission. 
  • Support the National Project Manager to liaise with the government and other related sectors for smooth operation.
  • Provide technical support to any other activity required as and when necessary for the implementation of the project.
Candidates Will Be Assessed Against The Following:
Minimum Requirements:    
  • Advanced university degree in Agriculture or related fields.
  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in working with paddy and other field crops.
  • Working knowledge of English and Sinhala/Tamil.
  • A national of Sri Lanka.
Technical/Functional Skills:
  •  Strong knowledge of crop diversification and climate smart good agriculture practices in rice-based agri-food systems
  • Excellent skills in field experiments in rice-based farming systems, data analysis, and relevant software tools. 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills 
  • Ability to work effectively in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  • Project management skills and the ability to work independently with minimal supervision