Malawi (Chikwawa / Blantyre)
Shire Valley Transformation Program – Phase 2. Technical Assistance for Investment Coordination

Agricultural Investment Manager (AIM)

The AIM will be the team leader of the team.

The AIM will work closely and collaboratively with SDSPs and with SOCFE Cooperative Managers and Cooperative Leaders.

 Specific Tasks/Roles:

 Scrutinize the SOCFE Business Plans to ensure these reflect the technical, financial and social requirements for investment. Advise SDSPs and SOCFEs accordingly.

Provide expert advice on the overall investment package proposed for each SOCFE. Verify that proposed investments are soundly based technically and financially, and in complete compliance with the accepted SOCFE business plan.

With the input of the Irrigation Engineer, provide information on available irrigation system options for installation on SOCFEs, and ensure that all such options are carefully considered and evaluated by SDSPs/SOCFEs.

With the input of the Civil Engineer, provide information of appropriate designs and construction methods for farm buildings and other fixed assets (especially farm roads), and ensure purchases are cost effective and compliant with agreed business plans.

Scrutinize proposals for purchase of Moveable assets for each farm, as presented in the business plan. Ensure all options for such requirements are fully identified and analyzed, including options for leasing/rental/hiring of farm equipment. Provide advice on services from reputable suppliers.

Inspect all agronomic and production related proposals in business plans, ensuring that they are based on sound agronomic principles and realistic production levels. Once production commences, provide advice and direction as required, especially to new SOCFE Cooperative Managers. When necessary, identify specialist service providers (Soil analysis, crop research) to assist with resolution of emerging problems.

 Provide support to the SOCFEs for the conclusion of the required Water Purchase Agreement with the private Operator of the main irrigation infrastructure once the operator is appointed.

Inspect proposals for the engagement and relationship between SOCFEs and private commercial produce Off-takers, ensuring that such arrangements are based on mutual trust and communication. In particular, ensure that pricing arrangements for produce are fairly and transparently derived. He/she will provide advice on alternative production and off-taker arrangements that may become available.

Financing for the matching portion of the investment is a major requirement. It is expected that the AIM, in conjunction with the AEFM, would assist SOCFEs in gaining access to the necessary finance, wherever possible from concessional “patient capital” sources.

SOCFE Staffing would be a matter for advice and communication between the AIM and SOCFE Cooperative Managers and Board Members. The AIM would provide advice as required on the skills, functions and communication requirements for all SOCFE senior staff.

Effective SOCFE Governance and Communication Processes are vital to ensure that there is trust between cooperative managers, board members and cooperative members. The AIM would provide advice to strengthen such functions.


The AIM would have tertiary qualifications in agriculture, agricultural economics, agribusiness or related discipline. While a higher degree would be preferred, excellent and relevant experience and work record of the AIM would be the most important qualification.

At least ten years’ experience in managing large-scale commercial irrigated agricultural enterprises, with a substantial component of investment in irrigation facilities and related fixed and moveable assets.

Substantive knowledge of and experience with irrigated agricultural production systems.

Substantive knowledge of and experience with commercial produce off-takers and suppliers or farm services and inputs.

Experience in regional and international trading of agricultural products, combined with knowledge of required standards and certification for successful trade.

Advanced understanding of commercial agricultural management techniques, including reporting.

Demonstrable excellent verbal and written communication skills.