RECRUITEMENT OF FIELD PROGRAM & OPERATIONS MANAGER

ABOUT US:

Abalimi Bezekhaya (meaning farmers of the home in isiXhosa) is a non-profit micro-farming organisation that aims to provide basic human necessities for indigent persons, by assisting impoverished groups and communities within the Cape Flats to establish and maintain their own vegetable gardens, so as to enable those groups and communities to supplement their supply of food and create livelihoods.

We provide training, access to affordable and accessible resources (e.g. seedling, seeds, tools, fertilisers, etc) and infrastructure support to enable them to grow their vegetables organically for own consumption or production for resale.

WHAT WE NEED:

Abalimi Bezehaya seeks to appoint a Field Program and Operations Manager with horticultural and / agricultural experience, practical abilities (eg installation of irrigation systems and shade houses) and a keen interest in organic farming methods. The person needs to have a passion for community development and service, while knowledge of the NPO sector is advantageous. 

The successful candidate will need to be based in Cape Town and have his/her own transport.  The person will be managing the field team and two garden centres and will be reporting to the Managing Director and Board.  We need a person who is enthusiastic and competent, committed to helping the community in promoting urban food gardening in a positive and practical way.

ROLE OF FIELD PROGRAM & OPERATIONS MANAGER:

The Field Program and Operations Manager will be responsible for managing the field team and implementing the four core pillars of Abalimi with the following main responsibilities:

  1. Management of field team:
  • Two garden centre operators, based in Nyanga and Khayelitsha respectively;
  • Two trainers who implement the core of Abalimi’s training program;
  • Three field team workers who run the farmer production support, food security and market access programs;
  • Two graduate interns who support the field team with various activities; and
  • The casual driver and / or support needed for project implementation.

This includes coordination of daily activities of the field team, bi-weekly field team meetings and annual field team performance reviews.  Two office based admin staff are available to assist with the operational activities under the guidance of the Field Program Manager, including reimbursements of staff, record keeping and training administration.

2. Training and extension services:

  • Management and coordination of the Abalimi training program, implemented by the field team to provide skills around food security and organic vegetable production.
  • Conduct specialized and advanced training workshops and courses, if and when needed.
  • Coordinate external training requests and the implementation thereof.
  • Facilitate on-site community development through coordinating the field team to do the following: follow up visits, training, advice, mentoring, resource supply, assessments and networking.
  • Compile an annual plan and budget for training (review mid-year).

3. Manage access to affordable and accessible resources for farmers:

  • Management of the two garden centres (mini nurseries or agri-hubs) to ensure that they function optimally.
  • Coordinate biannual stock and production planning (seeds, seedlings, fertilizer, etc).
  • Collection of cash and sales records from sale of resources and petty cash.
  • Ensure the maintenance of garden centres, including buildings and gardens, for use by Abalimi for training and skills development, including demonstration as active micro-farms providing vegetables for sale to the local community.
  • Development and promotion of garden centres as agri-hubs for the local community.
  • Facilitate resource supply as per intervention strategies.
  • Compile an annual plan and budget for the garden centres (review mid-year).

4. Manage infrastructure support for farmers:

  • Provide technical input and coordinate the infrastructure support for farmers.
  • Provide practical guidance around infrastructure requirements and installation such as erection of windbreaks, shade structures and irrigation maintenance.
  • Facilitate the planning and development of new community and market gardens in collaboration with Abalimi Field team and the target community.
  • Coordinate the annual assessment of gardens using the Sustainability Index (SI) questionnaire and the framework of the Farmer Development Chain.
  • Management and implementation of special projects.
  • Engage with suppliers and service providers around appropriate goods and services.
  • Compile an annual plan and budget for infrastructure support (review mid-year).

5. Manage market access support for farmers:

  • Provide guidance and support to farmers around market access to encourage farmers to sell their produce.
  • Coordinate suitable training for production gardens around production planning, agricultural skills, pricing, quality control and marketing.

6. General management, monitoring and reporting:

  • Produce reports to reflect the above information for development and data base requirements.
  • Management of petty cash and budgets. Compilation of cost estimates and proposals for project implementation.
  • Ensure suitable monitoring and reporting systems are in place.
  • Facilitate resilience through sustainable business approaches and annual program reviews.

APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS:

  • Trained and worked in agriculture programs for a minimum of five years, preferably in organic production.
  • Interest in and passion for community development.
  • Passionate about organic agriculture and small scale farming.
  • Experience in the management of program development and implementation.
  • Administrative skills including computer literacy in MicroSoft (Word and Excel) and Google Suite (Gdrive, Google Sheets, Google Docs)
  • Driver’s license (code A) and own vehicle.
  • Ability to speak isiXhosa would be an advantage.
  • Leadership and good communication skills.
  • Practical hands-on and solutions driven approach to problem solving.
  • Energetic, creative and self-driven to get work done.

WHAT WE OFFER:

We provide an opportunity for you to work with a dynamic team that has been doing urban food gardening for the last 38-years. The salary offered will be based on experience and qualifications, considering the NGO sector financial constraints.  The successful applicant will be required to start work as soon as possible with a minimum of three months’ probation.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IF YOU WANT TO APPLY:

Interested candidates are invited to submit the following documentation:

  1. Cover letter of maximum two pages motivating why you would like to be part of the Abalimi team.  Please indicate what your expected salary and anticipated starting date would be.
  2. A curriculum vitae (CV) of maximum three pages, including employment history, education, professional qualifications, language skills, driver’s license, family situation and contact details of at least three contactable references.
  3. A copy of your identity document, driver’s license and relevant qualifications.
  4. These should be addressed to jobs@abalimi.org.za and submitted on or before Monday, 14 June 2021.

Kindly note: Applicants who have not been contacted by 25 June should regard their applications as unsuccessful.

Many thanks
The Abalimi Team