KENYA: Managing Director Farmfit Africa

IDH Farmfit Fund, Business Support and Intelligence Center
The 500 M smallholders farmers globally are deprived from essential services to properly develop their farming systems and increase household incomes. In Africa, regional food security for the rapidly growing population crucially depends on the successful integration of smallholder production in regional value chains. This requires companies, civil society and government to innovate together, develop business models and forge new supply chain collaborations. IDH Farmfit Business Support drives this transformation by supporting companies and financial institutions to analyze, innovate, and scale their smallholder business models. Drawing on the lessons from analyzing and supporting 100+ companies, the Farmfit Intelligence Center generates strategic insights into best practices and key success factors in smallholder inclusion. Farmfit Business Support and Intelligence Center are Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DFID. To take these smallholder business models to scale, the Farmfit Fund has been launched. This is a 100 M dollar fund – and a 1 billion dollar guarantee – that invests in companies and banks for smallholder finance, with the objective to lift at least 3 M farmers out of poverty and make farmer finance a mainstream investment class.

To lead Farmfit Business Support in Africa, IDH is recruiting a:

Managing Director Farmfit Africa
This position is based in Nairobi, Kenya

Position overview:
As Managing Director of Farmfit Africa, you will be responsible for delivering on Farmfit’s goal to increase the incomes of 1.8 million African smallholder farmers by 30%. Rather than directly supporting these farmers, Farmfit supports businesses (off-takers, input providers, financial service providers, mobile network operators, etc.) in analyzing, innovating and scaling their business models for serving and sourcing from smallholder farmers – Service Delivery Models (SDMs). By 2023, you will lead Farmfit to provide 90 companies with analysis and advice on improving their SDMs, to pilot innovations in SDMs with 70 companies, and to taking at least 20 SDMs to scale by connecting them to commercial finance. Your vision is to crowd in value chain actors and the financial sector to unlock finance at scale for smallholder farmers. You see increasing the incomes of 1.8 million farmers not as an end-goal, but as a proof of concept to drive the transformation of agricultural market systems – with a focus on regional food markets – that are based on thriving smallholder businesses.

Next to delivering on Farmfit’s goals, you will ensure the growth and continuity of Farmfit by raising funds and further developing a revenue model for Farmfit, including (partial) commercialization of business analysis and advice, knowledge products and match-making with financial institutions. You will drive the integration of the data-driven Farmfit approach across other IDH programs, empowering IDH staff globally to act as strategic business advisors to companies working with smallholders.

You will lead a team of initially 10 highly skilled professionals, comprising of a head of operations, two Directors Business Engagement, SDM managers, SDM analysts, financial analysts and operational support.
You will report to the global CEO of IDH. You will work together closely with the Director of the Farmfit Fund and the Director of the Farmfit Intelligence Center, both based in Utrecht. With these two directors you form the management team of Farmfit, together with the Farmfit Intelligence Center Manager who runs the secretariat. To ensure full alignment between Business Support, Intelligence Center and the Fund, as well as close integration with the IDH programs, you will travel regularly to IDH HQ in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to drive the integration of Farmfit within IDH.

You understand the opportunities and challenges for businesses working with smallholder farmers and know what it takes to sustainably scale and finance SDMs. With a strong network of companies in the food and agri-businesses, you are able to discuss the sourcing strategy of supply chain companies at board room level, ensuring that smallholder inclusion becomes part of their business strategy. You are an experienced leader of highly skilled teams in both consulting and/or agribusinesses. You are an excellent people and relationship manager in both European and Kenyan/African work cultures. Most importantly, you have the drive to build a professional, commercially oriented program with business as a means and impact as a goal.

Key Responsibilities:
1. Driving the overall Farmfit Business support program

  • Strategizing and leading the business engagement strategy
  • Strategizing and developing new food value chains
  • Responsible for the overall quality of analysis, innovation and finance match-making

2. Responsible for key strategic relationships

  • Responsible for key strategic partnerships like AGRA, Mercy Corps, etc

3. Responsible for fund-raising and the business model of Farmfit

  • Responsible for developing the future proof business model of Farmfit
  • Responsible for fund-raising of another USD 20 mln in the coming 5 years for Farmfit Support

4. Building the Farmfit Africa Company

  • Managing the team of professionals in Kenya
  • Oversee the development of administrative and financial management systems that will allow the company to fully operate from Kenya


  • Master’s degree in Business Administration, Economics, Agricultural finance or similar.
  • A minimum of 15+ years of management experience in international trade (and development) and/or strategy consulting.
  • Deep knowledge of supply chains – especially food value chains, international trade and development cooperation, smallholder finance and smallholder farming in Africa.
  • Proven ability to build and lead successful teams and organizations providing strategy advice.
  • Experience in discussing business strategies at CEO/boardroom level.
  • Outstanding stakeholder management skills – in the private, public and NGO sector.
  • Excellent English language skills. Other languages (African and European) are a plus.


IDH offers a challenging position within an enthusiastic and passionate team. As part of the IDH leadership team you can contribute to positive global change. For more information about IDH, please visit

This is a full-time position, initially for one year, with the intention to extend. We offer a consultancy contract with competitive remuneration, depending on seniority and experience.

For questions about this position, please contact Tony Bruggink, Director Fresh & Ingredients, at +31 (0)6 531 657 56.

How to apply
Qualified candidates are invited to send an application (motivation letter and 2-page resume in English) as soon as possible, to Iris van Oort, mentioning “Managing Director Farmfit ” in the subject line. Candidates should have permission to work in Kenya.



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