UNOPS Recruitment 2020 – Jobs in Ghana
GMCO is responsible for managing strategic and operational risks associated with a subset of the regional portfolio of engagements, developing and delivering cost-effective services contributing to partners’ sustainable results and achievements of UNOPS management results.
Job Title: Lead Agricultural Engineer (Mechanization Expert)
The core functions of the Operational Hub are to:
- Liaise and develop engagements, and deliver services responding to partner needs.
- Leverage advice and integrate delivery modalities of the three Delivery Practices and the Global Partner Service Office.
- Maintain appropriate arrangements and capacity for direct transactional support for delivery of the sub-regional portfolio.
Background Information – Job Specific
Ghana’s yearly demand for rice is estimated to be 1,000,000 MT in 2017 with a per capita consumption also estimated at 38 kg per annum and is expected to rise to 63 kg per annum by 2018 (Dogbe et al 2016)1). However, much of the rice consumed in Ghana is imported from Thailand and Vietnam. Currently Ghana imports around 675, 000 MTs directly and another 150,000 MTs is said to be smuggled through the Cote D’Ivoire border.
Small-holder farmers dominate the Ghanaian rice production system. In fact, it is estimated that small scale rice production account for nearly 72% of the total volume produced in the country. Given this situation, the strategy of the Government of Ghana is to reduce rice importation by 30% within the next three years and boost domestic rice production. In line with its objectives of reducing the importation of rice, Ghana needs to increase domestic production of milled rice from 442,000 MT to 600,000 MT between 2018 and 2020 to meet its target of 30% import substitution.
Despite its efforts and objectives, the Government is far from achieving its national rice self-sufficiency agenda due to several key constraints, including:
- Farming systems are heavily reliant on rain-fed agriculture. Only 16% of the area planted with rice is irrigated.
- Low use of productivity-enhancing inputs. The adoption of improved seeds is estimated to be 16%, fertilizer use at 18 kg/ha versus the target of 50 kg/ha. This problem is exacerbated by limited supply of suitable and locally adapted fertilizer blends and weak extension services caused by inefficiencies and inadequate number of extension workers. This low adoption of improved inputs and good agronomic practices have resulted in high yield gaps: maize: 2 MT/ha (36%); rainfed rice: 2.2 MT/ha (30%); Cassava: 14 MT /ha (22%); and soybean: 1.2-1.7 MT/ha (21%)
- Low use of mechanization and poor water management leading to low performance particularly in the rice sub-sector;
- Lack of adequate storage capacities that contribute to additional high post-harvest losses
- Limited access to finance in the agricultural sector (8% of total lending) due to high cost of borrowing and few agriculture-focused financial products, as well as unfavourable risk assessments;
- The access to markets of the locally produced rice, remains uncertain and is challenged by the importation of Asian rice, highly subsidized both at production and export.
Moreover, poor linkages between farmers, seed producers, fertilizer dealers, millers and providers of financial and mechanization services negatively affect the adoption of improved technologies and practices among rice value chain actors. This project will strengthen upstream and downstream linkage.
On the basis of the justification above, KOICA and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture have embarked on a joint project to implement a rice value chain development systems in the central region.
The Project to Improve Rice Value Chain in the Central Region of Ghana (PIRVC) was signed in August 2019 and will focus on four (4) intervention pillars:
- Increased productivity and quality of paddy rice based on the development of sustainable and competitive rice production systems;
- Increased efficiency of local rice sourcing, processing and marketing through structured value chain linkages, improved technology and process management
- Improved access to finance (incl. financial services) along the value chain
- Enabling environment at national and district level including policy framework and strengthening of rice sector initiatives.
As part of the overall project, UNOPS has been engaged by KOICA to provide implementation support for:
- The development of agricultural infrastructure
- Procurement of non-agricultural equipment and
- Procurement of agricultural equipment