Dairy Specialist at Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD)

Our mission is to support smallholder farmers in developing countries by providing customized information and services that increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability. Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) is working on a new model for agricultural extension: reaching farmers with personalized agricultural advice through their mobile phones. We implement this model in collaboration with partner organizations and gather evidence on its impact. We aim to improve the lives of 100 million farmers in developing countries with our services.

PAD is a small, but fast-growing global non-profit that uses tech, data science and behavioral economics to provide targeted information to farmers in developing countries. Providing the right information to the right people, in the right way and at the right time, increases incomes, protects the environment and improves well-being. We are evidence-based: we test our interventions with randomised control trials to prove our impact and cost effectiveness, to simultaneously learn from and improve our service, and also to demonstrate our value to funders and partners. There are few programs in international development that are as demonstrably cost-effective as ours. We currently work in eight countries in Africa and Asia, and we are expanding as more governments and organizations look for innovative ways to use new technologies to get information to people across the developing world.

PAD is exploring partnerships with established dairy cooperatives in Kenya to design and test a digital advisory platform on topics including nutrition, feed and fodder, disease management, hygiene, and artificial insemination. Milk productivity among smallholder farmers is significantly below the world average, and the dairy sector in developing countries is generally underserved by digital and traditional extension systems, and ‘best practices’ in dairy farming vary along a range of dimensions including climate, breed, etc. In designing the platform, PAD would build on the success of MoA-INFO, a two-way SMS service developed in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, which currently serves approximately 370,000 crop farmers across Kenya. Like MoA-INFO, the dairy advisory platform would reach farmers through a combination of push messages, menu-based content, and decision support tools. PAD will measure the impact of this service using a combination of platform engagement data, phone surveys, and administrative data from partner dairies.

Responsibilities

The Kenya Dairy Specialist will be responsible for the following main tasks:

  • Provide overall expertise and information to the PAD team in Kenya on all aspects of dairy farming, including (but not limited to) feeding & nutrition, artificial insemination & breeding, hygiene & cleanliness, and disease prevention & management;
  • Develop, refine, and revise dairy-related content for mobile information campaigns implemented by PAD or by PAD’s partners (including Governments, NGOs, etc.);
  • Gather and compile scientific evidence on dairy farming to better inform the design of mobile interventions in Kenya;
  • Manage relationships with dairies in partnership with other PAD team members;
  • Design survey instruments to collect relevant information about farmer behavior change;

Qualifications and experience

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or Master’s degree in Animal Sciences, Livestock Production System, or a closely-related field
  • Excellent organizational skills, detail-oriented, and ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Fluency in English and demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills
  • Strong experience in agricultural extension work and farmer-facing trainings
  • 3-4 years’ experience working with smallholder production systems in the tropics/subtropics
  • Strong interest in and commitment to PAD’s mission to leverage technology to improve the lives of the poor at scale
  • Ability to work under time pressure, solve problems creatively and work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Willingness to travel to project sites and conduct field work.
  • Experience working on agricultural programs and developing content.
  • Previous work experience in developing countries

Position details

  • Full time
  • Start date: As soon as possible
  • Three-month contract term, with possibility for extension
  • Location: Nairobi or Nyahururu, Kenya (may temporarily work-from-home due to the current COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Compensation: Commensurate with experience

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