Horticulture/Protected Cultivation Consultant


Consultants and PSAs represent an important source of expertise for FAO, making their specialist contributions across the globe towards the achievement of the Organization's strategic objectives. For FAO to be able to attract and employ the best possible experts in the wide range of technical areas of its mandate, a competitive selection process has been introduced. This process is intended to create a pool of candidates which can be called upon when their expertise is required, ensuring a transparent and rigorous selection process.

The Organization frequently engages consultants and PSAs to support projects and assignments up to 11 months. The functions of a consultant are results-oriented and normally involve analyzing complex issues, directing seminars or training courses, preparing documents for conferences and meetings, or writing reports on matters within their area of expertise. PSAs are normally assigned specific tasks for a limited period of time, and does not represent the organization.

FAO consultant/PSA fall into three categories: (1) C for the base level; (2) B for the middle level; and (A) for the high level. A Senior

Consultant/PSA (Categories A and B) is expected to deliver without close supervision while a junior consultant assists a senior consultant or an FAO Officer of a higher level.

The purpose of this call is to attract individuals with experience and expertise in the area of protected cultivation systems (including high value horticultural crops grown in greenhouses, net-houses, hydroponics and other soilless systems) to create a pool of candidates which can be called upon when their expertise is required, ensuring a transparent and rigorous selection process.

Organizational Setting

The Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP) promotes the sustainable intensification of crop production. This requires the integration of appropriate crop production practices and policies to manage genetic resources, soil and water, pests and diseases, nutrients, cultural practices and ecosystem interactions to improve rural livelihoods and production system resilience. The post is located in Rural and Urban Crop and Mechanization Systems team (AGPML), one of the six teams in the division. AGPML provides advice, technical support and guidance to countries aimed at sustainably increasing crop production as key contributions to food security, improved livelihoods and diversified diets in both rural, urban and peri-urban contexts.

Reporting Lines

The Consultant/PSA will work under the overall technical supervision of AGPML Team Leader and under the direct supervision of an officer of the team.

Technical Focus

Sustainable intensification and diversification of protected cultivation systems (including high value horticultural crops grown in greenhouses, net-houses, hydroponics and other soilless systems).

Tasks and responsibilities

The consultant/PSA will assist in the delivery of FAO's work with the aim of increasing sustainability and resilience of protected cultivation systems at global, regional, national and local levels. The key functions of the consultant / PSA may include all or parts of the following:

  • conduct data collection, carry out studies, analyze technical information and develop, update and/or finalize the technical documents, reports and policy briefs related to the management of protected cultivation systems;
  • develop protocols for implementation of demonstration plots that are diversified, productive, profitable and affordable indicating the most suitable: designs, crop species and varieties; climate control methods; horticulture lighting; energy efficiency systems; covering materials; production systems at different levels of sophistications including vertical gardening, hydroponics and soil-free/substrates; irrigation/fertigation systems; water management; sanitation and exclusion measures; tutoring systems; seedling production including nursery management and grafting; record keeping; plant nutrition; integrated pest and diseases management and crop cultural practices;
  • prepare lists and the technical specifications of necessary equipment, materials and inputs to be purchased for the implementation and/or optimization of protected cultivation systems for different regions, sub-region and countries;
  • support implementation of projects and workshops on protected cultivation systems through backstopping field missions;
  • carry out capacity building initiatives through development and promotion of appropriate materials and curricula for training of farmers as well as agricultural and extension specialists;
  • develop technical factsheets, bulletins, manuals and presentations related to the sustainable intensification of crops in protected cultivation systems;
  • develop and strengthen the networks relevant to protected cultivation systems;
  • support the development of communication products and other publications to enhance exchange of information within and outside of FAO;
  • review technical specifications and provide clearances to specific project or individual requests as well as technical support for the entire procurement process;
  • formulate concept notes and project documents as per FAO project cycle guidelines and procedures;
  • organize or assist with facilitating and coordinating technical meetings and workshops;
  • other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

Advanced university degree for consultants and university degree for PSAs in Agronomy, Horticulture, Agricultural Sciences, Plant Sciences, Natural Resource Management or related fields
One to ten years of relevant working field experience including field experience in developing countries (depending on level)
Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian (for Consultants)/ Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for PSAs)

FAO Core Competencies

Results Focus
Building Effective Relationships
Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

Practical work experience in developing countries
Extent and relevance of experience in project formulation, implementation and reporting
Familiarity with international organizations, regional entities, national governments and development
Familiar with research for development and evidence based decision making
Extent and relevance of experience in private sector is considered an asset


Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency



FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)

Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list

Only language proficiency certificates from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT) will be accepted as proof of the level of knowledge of languages indicated in the online applications

Candidates should upload language certificate/s when submitting their application.

For more information, visit the FAO employment website


To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only applications received through the recruitment portal will be considered. https://jobs.fao.org/careersection/fao_external/jobdetail.ftl?job=1902007

We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline

If you need help please contact: careers@fao.org


FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization


protected cultivation
soilless systems
Rome (Italy)