Soil Information Specialist needed to work in Lusaka, Zambia

jobsnearmeafric Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations

Soil Information Specialist, Lusaka, Zambia
Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Closing date: Friday, 23 February 2024


Soil Information Specialist

Job Posting: 09/Feb/2024

Closure Date: 23/Feb/2024, 10:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit : FRZAM

Job Type: Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition : NPP (National Project Personnel)

Grade Level : N/A

Primary Location: Zambia-Lusaka

Duration : 12 months [with possibility of ext.]

Post Number : N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

 FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
 Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply

 Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values

 FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination
 All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
 All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind. The main aim of the FAO country offices, which are headed by an FAO Representative, is to assist governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to achieve food security and to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to help develop the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner. The position is located in the FAO Representation in Lusaka, Zambia.

FAO in collaboration with the research department of the Ministry of Agriculture [ZARI] and the University of Zambia is implementing a 4-year project, titled, “Soil mapping for resilient agrifood systems in Central America and sub-Saharan Africa” (SoilFER). The project is funded by the government of the United States of America, and has 5 beneficiary countries [ie. Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, Honduras and Guatemala]. Therefore, the successful candidate will need to develop spatiotemporal national soil information and high-resolution nutrient maps, over the 4-year period, on an annually renewed and performance-based contract.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the FAO Country Representative, and the guidance of the Assistant FAOR – Programmes, in coordination with the project LTO and project Lead Technical Unit (NSL), the National Soil Information and Data Consultant will support the development of spatiotemporal national soil information, including high-resolution nutrient and nutrient budget maps, using advanced geospatial tools and software, on the Soil mapping for resilient agrifood systems in Central America and sub-Saharan Africa (SoilFER) project in Zambia. Furthermore, the consultant will be responsible for supporting the development of digital soil maps, based on soil survey data, and integrating soil data into decision support tools and applications for farmers and local institutions. The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the AFAOR-P, the National Project Coordinator and the SoilFER Overall Project Manager at FAO-HQ.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Specifically, the Soil Information Specialist will undertake the following tasks on the assigned project;

 Supervise data collection, systematization and harmonization of soil maps and legacy data (in coordination with existing institutions and initiatives in Zambia).
 Support the design and supervision of soil surveys and sampling at the national level, using advanced soil survey techniques and methodologies, to generate high-quality soil data and associated metadata, through rigorous quality control and quality assurance measures and in collaboration with the soil laboratory experts

 Supporting the development of digital soil maps, based on soil survey data, and integrating soil data into decision support tools and applications for farmers and local institutions
 Support the design and supervision of a soil monitoring system, including the selection of monitoring sites, to be implemented through the establishment of a national soil spectral library and estimation service
 Support capacity development in digital soil mapping and modeling

 Facilitate the organization of workshops on soil data with stakeholders and partners
 Liaise with the project team to ensure timely delivery of survey outputs, including data, maps, scripts, reports and training sessions
 Perform any other duties as assigned in the Representation.


Minimum Requirements

 University Degree in Agricultural/Soil Science, Geographical Information Systems, Computer Science, or any related field.
 At least 3 years of experience in digital mapping and analysis.
 Working knowledge of English and the official language of the country
 National of the country

FAO Core Competencies

 Results Focus
 Building Effective Relationships
 Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

 Familiarity with digital soil mapping or development of digital maps in general
 Familiarity with use of GIS software and high-level programming languages like Python and R.
 Familiarity with remote and proximal sensing technologies.
 Familiarity with spatial and non-spatial data analysis, and data visualization
Selection Criteria

 Prior experience working with FAO or any UN agency.


 FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing)
 Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted
 Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at
 For additional employment opportunities visit the FAO employment website:
 Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.
FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.


 To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
 Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
 Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
 Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
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 Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
 Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
 We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.
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