Land O’Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening local agriculture, helping agribusinesses create jobs and linking farmers to markets.
Since 1981, it has implemented over 315 integrated dairy, livestock and crops development programs in nearly 80 countries — creating lasting impact by linking farmers, businesses, and the public and private sector in local and global contexts. Land O’Lakes Venture37’s long-standing affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc. sets it apart.
Land O’Lakes, Inc. is one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives. It supports Land O’Lakes Venture37 project implementation with nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights and technologies.
This gives Land O’Lakes Venture37 development projects a unique global view of agriculture, food and the power of well-functioning market systems. Land O’Lakes, Inc. supports these efforts as part of its enterprise purpose of Feeding Human Progress at home and around the world.
Land O’Lakes Venture37 (Venture37), the University of Minnesota (UMN), Stellenbosch University (SU), and Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) have forged an innovative partnership to establish the Center for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) as the central hub to catalyze Malawi’s agricultural growth. By leveraging our core partners’ scientific, technological and agribusiness expertise and deep regional connections, the CAT will forge integrated research-to-impact pathways that reduce productivity gaps between men and women and foster diversified, resilient and healthy smallholder households, particularly those transitioning from tobacco farming to alternative livelihoods. CAT is funded by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW), known in Malawi as the Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI).
The CAT will be a world class hub for creating, piloting, and scaling appropriate science, technology, and business models that will transform smallholder tobacco farmers’ lives and Malawi’s agriculture sector in general. This center of excellence aims to uniquely combine research, smallholder farming, and large-scale commercialization in a manner that facilitates transformational agricultural development in Malawi. We envision the CAT as an anchor institution in the global ag-tech innovation ecosystem, where reimagination, experimentation, and refinement of new ideas take place through the intermingling of cutting-edge research and development (R&D), market research, evidence-based decision making, new business models and product pilots, and entrepreneurs.
The Procurement and Administrative Specialist will be primarily responsible for managing the CAT procurement process and the purchase of all goods and services on the project.
Importantly, this includes facilitating the procurement of all technical equipment and services associated with irrigation, laboratories, office set-up, demonstration plots, and business services necessary to establish the CAT Campus on-time and in-budget.
The Procurement and Administrative Specialist will also be responsible for other administrative duties including human resource management, IT support, supervising administrative staff and drivers, and ensuring the CAT Campus and organizational vehicles are well-maintained.
Preparation and maintenance of a comprehensive procurement plan and tracker that will achieve the objectives of the project.
Preparation and maintenance of all required procurement documentation, including documentation required to obtain any necessary procurement approvals from the donor.
In collaboration with the Centre Director and the technical team, prepare advertisements, collection of quotes based on technical specifications, communicate needs and specifications to bidders, and lead negotiation with potential vendors in accordance with established procurement process.
Convene and facilitate Procurement Committee Meetings to evaluate bids
Help in the preparation of contracts for the chosen vendors.
Monitoring performance of vendors against the contract terms.
Assist in preparation of vouchers and payments.
Track and facilitate international and local procurement-related shipping.
Inspect delivered goods and services to ensure quality and quantity are in compliance with contracted specifications.
Support CAT staff in Venture37 IT systems and processes.
Utilize established SharePoint system (DevLink) to store key documents and share key project and country related information with other staff.
Maintain a complete set of documentation for recruitment, employment, onboarding, and human resource management using the WorkDay system and hard files. Collaborate and communicate with the hiring manager, Venture37 HR management, and Executive Director to ensure onboarding of new employees is completed according to Venture37 processes and timelines.
Provide managers and employees Talent and Performance process support as defined by Venture37 HR guidelines. Attend and participate in HQ HR trainings and meetings.
Supervise the project logistics team and ensure organizational vehicles are properly maintained, insured, and legally registered to travel on the roads of Malawi.
Coordinate driver and vehicle work schedules.
Manage fuel cards, refueling of vehicles, as well as reconciliation of fuel usage and fuel consumption of the vehicle fleet.
Manage maintenance and incident reports as is related to vehicles and motorbikes.
Monitor performance of security guards and provide timely feedback to the security company when problems arise.
Ensure all office keys are kept in a safe place, the security lights are functioning, and security tools (such as locks and burglar bars) are functioning properly.
Other duties as assigned.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
A minimum of 3 years of experience in technical procurement and/or an administrative field is required.
Post-Secondary Diploma or certificate in business administration, agriculture, economics, or related field.
Ability to interpret and apply Venture37 Procurement and HR policies.
Advanced computer skills and literacy, excellent oral and written communication skills.
Demonstrated business acumen and negotiation skills.
Self-motivated, detail oriented and skilled at planning, prioritizing, and adapting.
Honesty and integrity in managing organization’s resources.
Good time management and willingness to work occasional long hours.
Ability to work in a team.
Advanced knowledge in Microsoft Office 365, particularly SharePoint, Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
Fluent in spoken and written English and Chichewa.
Preferred Skills and Qualifications:
Secretarial Certificate or equivalent and customer service experience or at least three years of related work experience.
Understanding of donor project procurement guidelines will be an added advantage.
Previous experience hiring and supervising drivers or other logistics staff.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls will be accepted.
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