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Portfolio Manager for Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) Program

at TechnoServe

Job Title:                                                   Investment Portfolio Manager

Reporting Unit/Supervisor:                       Program Director

Location:                                                   Johannesburg, South Africa

Travel:                                                      International 50%, Domestic 0%


I. TechnoServe Background:

TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. We are a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital, and markets. Our work is rooted in the idea that given the opportunity, hardworking men and women in even the poorest places can generate income, jobs, and wealth for their families and communities. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.

II. Program Description:

The Department for International Development (DFID) anticipates a five-year Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) program to drive catalytic change in how investors view and invest in agribusinesses working in smallholder supply chains. Specifically, CASA will increase economic opportunities for smallholder farmers by:

  • Enabling more smallholder farmers to engage with and trade into commercial markets;

  • Demonstrating the commercial viability of agribusinesses with significant smallholder supply chains and attracting more investment into these businesses;

  • Deepening the smallholder impact of investments made by development finance instructions and impact investors.

CASA has three components.

  1. Work in three countries in two target value chains to be determined to support SME agribusinesses to access early stage investment.

  2. Creation of an Emerging Smallholder Facility to support larger agribusinesses that have received development investment funds to further maximize their impact.

  3. Learning and Communication activities to identify evidence gaps in commercial agriculture, and monitor the entire CASA program.


III. Position Description:

TechnoServe seeks a Portfolio Manager for Component B to support the Emerging Smallholder Facility. This facility will manage the process for providing technical assistance to larger agribusinesses that have received investment from investors with development interests to increase their smallholder impact. Portfolio companies may be in any country in which DFID operates.  Technical assistance projects will:

  • Increase the smallholder impact of existing investments made by investors with development interests

  • Raise investor expectations regarding the level of development impact that can be achieved from future investments;

  • Increase the provision of development impact technical assistance by investors with development interests

The following duties and responsibilities are required in this position:

  • Manage the end-to-end process, including business/project scoping, designing, proposing, obtaining approval for, tendering, and supervising a selection of the technical assistance projects for agribusinesses (including those in Francophone countries)

  • Manage TA providers, and provide strategic influencing to ensure regular stakeholder participation and collaboration

  • Support the Program Director in managing the Emerging Smallholder Facility operations (donor relations, communications and visibility, special projects, reporting)

  • Maintain strong relationships with the CASA leadership and CASA portfolio companies

  • Identify institutional gaps in subcontractors and investees, ensuring high level performance through remote managing, coaching, and capacity building

  • Coordinate closely with CASA M&E systems, and manage monitoring processes, procedures and reporting (technical and financial) for portfolio technical assistance projects

  • Maintain the CASA Technical Assistance Provider Database

  • Contribute to TechnoServe and industry knowledge management/development by documenting and sharing widely agriculture learnings from CASA

  • Proactively promote CASA and TechnoServe in the wider development sector, seeking opportunities for collaboration and partnership as well as nurturing potential agriculture business development prospects

  • Provide other support to the TA Provider, Fund Managers and investee companies as required to ensure sustainability of interventions for portfolio projects

IV. Required Skills & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum of 7 years’ experience, or Master’s degree with minimum of 5 years’ experience

  • Agriculture, Agribusiness or Development degree (or similar) and field experience

  • Business management experience

  • A proven track record in impact investing

  • Experience of private sector oriented development program design

  • Expertise in designing technical assistance projects for agribusiness companies that target increased smallholder engagement with the business

  • Strong project management skills including proven track record in managing projects, measurement plans and budgets (ideally sub-awards)

  • Self-starter (proactive, can work with limited direction)

  • Comfortable and experienced with significant travel throughout African continent

  • Strong analytical skills, including quantitative

  • Results oriented, with proven track record of working to achieve project targets

  • Demonstrated capacity to produce high quality reports and proposals

  • Proven ability to create buy-in and build consensus among colleagues and stakeholders

  • Strong skills in business software (Excel, PowerPoint etc.)

To apply:  Send a cover letter and resume to with "TS Portfolio Manager" in the subject line.

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