Access to Finance Officer

Job ID 788

Business Development / Fundraising India   Odisha


Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.


The role of the Access to Finance Officer will be to support and coordinate between the Financial Institutions, Agribusiness, and Farmer Cooperatives of the TRANSFORM Project to improve deployment of bio-secure focused financing products in the project. S/he will coordinate with the financial institutions in developing biosecurity focused financial products for targeted participants of the project and promoting and tracking deployment and repayment of loan products in the project.

The Access to Finance Officer will work with the program to assess the gaps in adoption of biosecurity practices promoted by the project and that can be addressed through access to finance. S/he will communicate these needs and opportunities to the financial intermediaries identified by the project to facilitate development of specific financing products. S/he will work with the financial intermediary in training the farmer cooperatives and agribusinesses in these products and promote deployment of loan products in the project to adopt biosecurity practices. S/he will work with the financial intermediary and programs to ensure and track repayment of loans and monitor specific impact parameters identified by the project.

Essential Character Traits: 

Understanding and experience of financing to small holder farmers, women entrepreneurs, and value chain players in agriculture. The candidate should be empathetic, emotionally intelligent, honest, and display a positive attitude. Strong leadership, communication and team-building skills will be essential. In addition, the ability to impart a shared vision, drive impact-and create an environment that has respect for procedures and norms, while remaining curious, analytical, socially sensitive, values-oriented.


A. Financing Pipeline Development and Technical Assistance (30%)
  • Financing Pipeline Development: Assess and identify financing opportunities for small holder (women) farmers to adopt improved backyard poultry practices (and improved animal management practices) through financing.
  • Financing Technical Assistance: Support farmer cooperatives and agribusinesses to develop bankable business plans (both at start-up and growth stages) and connect with focused financing instruments as needed.
  • Prepare strategies to identify credible financing opportunities to promote adoption of project promoted practices and roll out plans and tract progress periodically
  • Identify and recommend the best suited financing strategies, pricing system for the business ventures,
  • Identify new businesses ventures (medium and large-scale business ventures) in the selected value chains and coach/facilitate entrepreneurs who may access provided financing to scale business.
  • Provide technical assistance through formal/informal training, coaching, exposure, and other interventions,
  • Guide, coach and facilitate the Smallholder Farmer Organizations (SFOs)/other Value Chain (VC) actors in the process of branding the products.
  • Document strategies and procedures for facilitation of branding Heifer farmers’ products
B. Build capacity of the Project staff, partners, and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO) (20%)
  • Assist to align the organizational development and business development and build capacity of the stakeholders in financing.
  • Assist to prepare capacity building plan of project staff, partners in the field on market system development, enterprise, and value chain development.
  • Orient FPO staff on financing, follow-up the job-related functions to achieve the target
  • Build capacity of the partner staff and FPO staff through facilitating training, coaching and other capacity building initiatives on financing of farmers, track repayment of loans, value addition at FPO through financing etc.
  • Ensure stakeholders’ have good orientation on financing needs and biosecurity problems to be solved through financing
  • Facilitate trainings and other capacity building initiatives as per the Implementation Plan.
  • Ensure FPO staff and implementing partners are trained on the biosecurity financing tools customized by the financial intermediary.
  • Assist project partner to support FPOs and value chain players to engage and leverage financing to do so.
C. Monitoring, review and reporting of the program (20%)
  • Ensure that the partner and the financial intermediary meet the identified monitoring and evaluation requirements and the deadlines
  • Reviewing the adoption of financing tools at the project level with partner staff on monthly basis
  • Participation in ongoing training and workshops
  • Documentation and sharing of the best practices in terms of financing and adoption of biosecurity practices in the project.
  • Work in collaboration and consultation with Country Program Office (CPO) team
  • Activity based reports to be submitted to Area Investment Manager as per the schedule
  • All financing in the project to be reviewed and reported to assess implication on adoption of project promoted practices.
  • Forecasting of financing needs at the project level to be done jointly on monthly basis and submitted to Area Investment Manager
  • Participate in all trainings with financial intermediary, FPOs and workshops Guarantee Administrator regularly throughout the project
  • Internal and external financing related field visits are organized following the organizational protocol
  • All activities of the specific initiative are at par in quality with project standards
D. Support in due diligence of the loanees and lenders and portfolio management (25%)
  • Work with borrowers to put together an investment package that will meet the requirements of the lenders.
  • Act as linkage between potential loanees, investees and lenders to ensure regular updates on status of loans requested.
  • Portfolio management to assess the repayment status of the loaned-out amount.
  • Completed investment packages that are in conformity with the biosecurity loans requirements.
  • Status reports on the number and value of investment opportunities submitted.
  • Portfolio report on the loan status and performance.
E. Leadership & General Operations (5%)
  • Manage the biosecurity loan product development process.
  • Develop market development and private/public sector engagement strategy for the project.
  • Ensure systematic documentation of successes and lessons learnt for internal programmatic use and external sharing.
  • Develop project implementation plans for biosecurity loan products with clear timeline and deliverables.
  • Timely delivery of milestones relating to Biosecurity loan products.
  • Produce periodic reports and knowledge documents.

Minimum Requirements:

A Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in Finance, Accounting, Economics, Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, Rural Development, Enterprise Development or other related field and a minimum of five (5) years of experience with an international organization in a similar context is required. Experience in working with FPOs (farmer producer organizations) and associated business is highly recommended.

Preferred Requirements:

Technical experience with commercial sector, agribusiness development in a mix of economic growth/trade, value chain competitiveness, investment promotion, or agriculture development. Prior work experience in a USAID funded project.  

Most Critical Proficiencies:

  • Clear understanding of the dairy and poultry value chains.
  • Innovative, analytical, and solutions oriented.
  • Knowledge of enterprise development and linkages to poverty alleviation.
  • Strong interpersonal/people management skills and excellent oral and written communication skills a must.
  • Excellent organizational and leadership skills.
  • Proficient knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, electronic mail (Microsoft Office preferred) and Internet.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in English and other local languages, both oral and written.
  • Experience working with farmer group programs and agriculture value chain.
  • Experience in the commercial sector with skills to develop and evaluate investment opportunities and promote such opportunities to financial institutions.
  • Strong consumer marketing, financial analysis, and management skills.
  • Excellent command of Report writing, analysis and presentation skills using Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Experience in supporting and monitoring field-based programs in the country.
  • Track record of building strong client and stakeholder relationships
  • Ability to generate innovative solutions in work situations

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:

  • Preparing and presenting documents in a well-designed and attractive format with superior attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated creativity, ability to think systematically, willingness and ability to incorporate innovative solutions.
  • Willingness and ability to travel extensively.
  • May require constant sitting, working at a computer and focusing for extended periods and performing office environment activities while on the road and/or in remote conditions.
  • Working with sensitive information and maintaining confidentiality.
  • Ability to manage and execute multiple tasks with little supervision while meeting sometimes inflexible deadlines.