Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

IDB Washington

IDB Invest – Innovation for Climate Smart Agribusinesses Consultant – Washington DC

Background of this search:

The objective of this consulting service is to support the execution of the Advisory Service (AS) project Innovation for Climate Smart Agribusinesses celebrated between the IDB Group and the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture. This AS has the goal to support LAC agribusinesses, alongside LAC’s agri-tech ecosystem, in responding to the challenges of climate change while opening opportunities for developing low-carbon and resilient business models, internationalization of their products, upskill their workforce and adopt new technologies and practices. The increase in agricultural productivity and profits by adopting climate smart agriculture and regenerative practices as well as developing disruptive business models, can support reduction of climate vulnerability and greenhouse gas emissions, and/or enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The agribusiness and the broader food system are key to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement through both reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and enhancement of the land carbon sink. Failure to meet mitigation goals greatly increases the risk of crop production losses from more frequent and intense extreme weather events such as heatwaves, droughts, and floods.

The agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) sector contributes approximately 50% of the GHG emissions in the LAC region. LAC leads the world with the largest share of emissions from deforestation (47%) and degraded lands represent over 20% of forest and agricultural lands in LAC. Additionally, the LAC region has the highest carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the developing world, with fruits and vegetables constituting more than 40% of the food waste.

While emissions from agriculture cannot be eliminated completely, they must be reduced as much as possible. This is especially important because in order to avoid overshooting the 1.5°C temperature threshold to limit the risk of dangerous climate change, the emissions from Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) must reach net-zero by 2030; before 2050 the sector must turn into a significant net-sink in order to compensate for remaining emissions in other sectors (Roe et al., 2019). This calls for rapid and far-reaching changes in what we eat, how food is produced and gets to consumers, how much food is wasted, and our related management of forests and other carbon sinks.

Agriculture is one of the sectors with the greatest mitigation potential through emission reductions and carbon sequestration. Key mitigation challenges and opportunities for agribusinesses in LAC are the avoidance of deforestation within their supply chains, adoption of regenerative agriculture, and transitioning to low-carbon and resilient business models.

Additionally, agriculture is a major player in LAC economies and projected climate scenarios may negatively impact future production levels of agricultural exports, undermining the economic growth and plummeting much needed jobs in rural areas where women find income for their livelihoods. To adapt to climate change, the agriculture sector can adopt a broad spectrum of measures, including adaptations of their productive systems and business models, resilient or adaptation enabling inputs, improvements to their infrastructure, tools and technology for climate-smart decision making, improved market access, and financial solutions to address climate risk, amongst other initiatives.

Innovation in agriculture can help address mitigation and adaptation goals, whilst increasing productivity, exports and creating new jobs. Regenerative agriculture, sustainable intensification of production systems, improved efficiency in the use of agricultural inputs, including water, seeds and fertilizer, more efficient agriculture value chains, and the adoption of agro-ecological approaches, can all help improve soil health, reduce GHG emissions, sequester carbon in soil, reduce environmental impacts and drive productivity gains.

The AS will address key barriers for climate smart investments by i) increasing awareness, knowledge and capacity on sustainable practices along the value chain of agribusinesses, ii) identifying opportunities, designing and planning investments in climate smart agriculture and forestry in order to foster more efficient and resilient food production systems, iii) testing pilots of technologies to support clients to achieve sustainability production and climate resilience, iv) providing technical assistance for climate smart agriculture and forestry, and v) driving investments in the region through equity funds and microfinance institutions.

The AS will include conducting the design and application of pilot projects that will have the objective of promoting the use of Israeli innovative climate smart technologies by agribusinesses in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Team

The Investment Operations Department (INO) is responsible for generating a portfolio of high quality, creditworthy, and environmentally and socially sound projects that result in significant development impact. The business cycle goes from the identification, selection, origination, structuring and execution of transactions to their monitoring. The Department follows a matrix model, with three segment divisions covering Infrastructure and Energy, Financial Institutions and Corporates, and two transversal divisions covering Financial Products and Services and Portfolio Management.

The Corporates Division is responsible for supporting a broad range of critical business sectors including agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism, telecom, media and technology. You will report to the head of the Agribusiness Team.

What you will do

You will play an integral part in facilitating connections between IDB Lab and the Israeli agriculture innovation ecosystem. You will also play a role in helping IDB Lab and IDB Invest generate and share knowledge of Israeli innovative technologies, practices, approaches and tools that could be implemented in LAC.

You will serve as fund coordinator for the program of up to 10 pilot projects that will connect Israeli climate smart technologies and solutions with private sector needs in LAC.

Your scope of work will include:

  • Support IDB Invest’s Agribusiness Team in business development:
    • Support the identification of business opportunities in the LAC region connected to Agribusiness & Forestry sectors;
    • Contribute to the creation of intellectual leadership in priority areas such as Climate Finance (adaptation and mitigation) and digitalization (ag and Food-tech);
    • Be responsible for the identification, selection and connection of Israeli experiences, technologies and companies that could provide solutions to specific challenges facing IDB Invest clients in the LAC region;
    • Coordinate and be responsible for the implementation of all the components of the Advisory Service Project between the IDB Group and the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture; and
    • Contribute to the identification and execution of potential debt, equity and quasi-equity opportunities in various agribusiness sectors in the region, including ag/food-tech.
  • Serve as fund coordinator for the program of climate smart food and agriculture pilot projects conducted by IDB Lab:
    • Support in the implementation and management of the program which will fund up to 6 pilot projects;
    • Contribute to the needs assessment and mapping to launch the identification of challenges with private sector partners;
    • Support IDB Lab in the dissemination of the program to partners and stakeholders in LAC;
    • Launch the call for solutions in Israel in coordination with the Israeli innovation authority and the Ministry of agriculture;
    • Coordinate all aspects of the identification and selection of the pilot projects;
    • Participate in project design process and approval process ensuring that the pilots follow IDB Lab operational policies and processes;
    • Support IDB Lab country office specialists in the contracting, disbursement, and supervision of the pilots;

    • Prepare donor reports and manage communication with Israeli authorities on the implementation and results of the program;
    • Manage the identification of results and lessons learned from the pilots and the overall program;
    • Identify opportunities for synergies with IDB Labs Investment team or IDB Invest to promote uptake, growth and scaling of the pilot projects.; and
    • Identify opportunities and foster connections between IDB Lab activities and Israeli agri-tech partners.

What you will need

  • Citizenship : You are either a citizen of the United States of America or a resident with legal permit to work in the United States of America. If you are not a citizen of the United States of America, we may offer assistance with relocation and visa applications for you and your eligible dependents.
  • Consanguinity : You have no family members (up to fourth degree of consanguinity and second degree of affinity, including spouse) working at the IDB, IDB Invest, or IDB Lab.
  • Education : You hold a master’s degree (or equivalent) in Finance, Economics, Business Administration or related fields (master’s degree is preferable).
  • Experience : You have between five (5) and eight (8) years of professional relevant experience in private corporate financing (origination, structuring and portfolio management) in an investment, commercial or development bank. Knowledge of ag tech tools and technologies to promote climate smart agriculture and sustainable agribusiness models. Experience in project management and monitoring a portfolio of projects and programs with private sector. Understanding of innovative agri-tech solutions in Israel and connections with Israeli agri-tech ecosystem and ability to generate opportunities for knowledge and technology transfer to LAC. Experience in formulating match making partnerships, collaborations and strategies.
  • Languages : You are proficient in oral and written English, Hebrew and Spanish; knowledge of Portuguese and/or French is a plus.

Opportunity Summary

  • Type of contract: Full time Consultant, CNS.
  • Length of contract: 24 months
  • Location : Washington D.C.
  • Responsible person: Head of Agribusiness, Corporates Division
  • Requirements : You have no family members currently working at the IDB, IDB Invest, or IDB Lab.

Our culture: Working with us you will be surrounded by a diverse group of people who have years of experience in all types of private investment development fields, including infrastructure and energy, corporates, financial institutions, financial and non-financial products and services, gender and diversity, communications and much more.

Because we are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, afro-descendants, and indigenous people to apply.

About us: IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral organization, committed to the development of the private sector of Latin America and the Caribbean by financing loans, equity investments, and guarantees. In addition, IDB Invest partners with clients to provide advisory and training services.

Additional Information

  • External Opening Date: Sep 8, 2022
  • External Closing Date: Oct 20, 2022
  • External Contact Email: [email protected]
  • External Contact Name: HR Service Center
  • Job Field: Technical Support