Latest Jobs at The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Latest Jobs at The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Our award-winning research for development (R4D) addresses the development needs of tropical countries. We work with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. We are a nonprofit organization founded in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported by several countries.

Our mission is to enhance food security and improve livelihoods in Africa through research for development (R4D). We use the R4D model in setting a research course that addresses major development problems in Africa rather than simply contributing to scientific knowledge. It has proven to be an effective mechanism for agricultural research development. We and our partners have delivered about 70% of the international research impact in sun-Saharan Africa in the last three decades.

Head of Farm Management

Job Type                          Full Time

Qualification                   MA/MBA/MSC

Experience                     10 Years

Location                          Oyo

Job Field                        Agriculture

Job Description

  • IITA has successful breeding programs on six very important crops in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): cassava, yam, banana/plantain, maize, soybean and cowpea. In recent years, these have been reviewed based on the Breeding Program Assessment Tool (BPAT) (https://plantbreedingassessment.org/).
  • The programs have also had extensive interaction with the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding (EiB) platform during which crop-specific and cross-cutting (institutional) improvement plans have been developed along with product profiles and market segmentation analyses.
  • IITA plans to improve the quality of its field stations, farm operations, and plant growth facilities as part of the plans for, and in support of, improving crop breeding. To achieve this, an experienced manager with a strong background in research farm management and the ability to work closely with an Institutional Head of Breeding and breeding team leads is needed. This is a senior-level appointment and the appointee will report to the Director for West Africa.

Position Responsibilities

  • The Head of Farm Management will manage the research farms and plant growth facilities of IITA in support of activities of the Institute’s crop breeding programs.
  • S/he will have responsibility for all IITA research farms and plant growth facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, with 70% of his/her time in West Africa (especially at Ibadan, Ikenne and Kano stations in Nigeria) and 30% at IITA stations outside West Africa (e.g. in Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda). With support from station farm managers/superintendents and other staff, his/her activities will include the following:
  • Lead research farm teams in the implementation of field operations of breeding programs in collaboration with breeding team leads.
  • As lead for a Western Africa support network for field operations, develop a plan for running trials (at cost) for other CGIAR centres and national research programs and identify opportunities for sharing services with them.
  • Develop and implement improvement plans for irrigation and soil and pest management.
  • Ensure organization and regular maintenance and repair of farm machinery and equipment.
  • Ensure monitoring and control of farm operations efficiency.
  • Optimize procedures for material handling and workflow for seed processing and packaging.
  • Manage greenhouse equipment, fertigation, pest management, and environmental controls.
  • Define an investment plan for research farms and plant growth facilities in consultation with the head of breeding and breeding team leads.
  • Contribute to resource mobilization for upgrading farm infrastructure and equipment.
  • Manage the human and financial resources of the Research Farms Unit.
  • Develop the capacity of research farm staff and raise the quality of farm management at all sites, including increased mechanization of operations.
  • Establish a culture of continuous improvement of experimental stations and farm practices.
  • Promote a culture of maintaining healthy, safe and environmentally friendly stations.
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Requirements

  • The candidate should have M.Sc in Agronomy or related field in Agriculture.

Core Competencies:

  • At least ten years’ experience in the management of research farms, preferably in support of crop breeding programs.
  • Ability to manage change in complex, multi-country operations.
  • Sound understanding of agronomy and proven experience in the management of soil fertility, irrigation systems, and mechanization.
  • Proficient in the use of software packages for managing projects and agricultural practices on research stations and farms.
  • Experience in the management of plant growth facilities.
  • Excellent work ethics and effective leadership, organizational, and communication skills.
  • Ability to adapt to longer work schedules when seasonally required and to operate under time pressure when needed.
  • Experience in research farm management in Africa will be an advantage.

General Information

  • The initial appointment will be for three years. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.

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Product Manager for Crop Variety Development

Job Type                          Full Time

Qualification                   MA/MSC/MBA, PHD/Fellowship

Experience

Location                          Oyo

Job Field                        Administrative

Job Description

  • IITA has successful breeding programs on six very important crops in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): cassava, yam, banana/plantain, maize, soybean and cowpea. In recent years, these have been reviewed based on the Breeding Program Assessment Tool (BPAT) (https://plantbreedingassessment.org/).
  • The programs have also had extensive interaction with the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding (EiB) platform during which crop specific and cross-cutting (institutional) improvement plans have been developed along with product profiles and market segmentation analyses to guide demand-led breeding.
  • Implementing these plans will require a strong focus on step changes to improve the efficiency of breeding and delivery of increased rates of variety turnover and genetic gain. This has been identified as a high priority by IITA.
  • To achieve this, IITA seeks an experienced product manager with expertise in strategic product decision-making, including market analysis and the development of product concepts that deliver unique value based on customer demands.
  • Through effective communication and dissemination of product and market information between clients and the product design teams, this position will ensure a continuous improvement process with a better focus of breeding product design on the needs of the market. It will also contribute to better targeting of variety development and supply of high-quality planting materials in a timely and effective manner.
  • The appointee will report to the Head of Breeding and work closely with leaders of the crop breeding teams.
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Position Responsibilities

  • The Product Manager will play a cross-functional leadership role, most notably between breeding teams, clients and market stakeholders. S/he will also be part of a network with other product managers inside and outside IITA (coordinated by the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding platform).

The Product Manager will:

  • Provide market intelligence and help with prioritization of breeding objectives to meet market needs.
  • Set the roadmap for product design and delivery, in addition to the overall product strategy.
  • Work with seed system partners (in the public and private sectors) to develop a strong and streamlined route to market for new varieties of cassava, yam, banana/plantain.
  • Serve as a liaison between IITA, national program, or commercial breeding teams, overseeing strategic decision making in the product development and delivery process.
  • Coordinate product design activities between IITA and national programs to confirm clear product concepts.
  • Work to properly position products for greatest impact and uptake after release.
  • Provide feedback to breeders as to how closely products will satisfy market demand.

Requirements

  • The candidate should have MBA or Agri-business related degree with product development and marketing focus or MSc. / Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Sciences.

Core Competencies:

  • This is a senior level appointment requiring knowledge of breeding, seed systems and the market context for crop varieties.

The appointee will have:

  • Experience in product development related to crop varieties.
  • Knowledge of private and/or public sector seed systems.
  • Demonstrated ability in product design, management, marketing, scaling, and dissemination.
  • Ability to manage a cross-functional team as part of the product design and development process.
  • Successful implementation of product management strategies.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, collaboration and organizational skills.
  • Experience in working with breeding programs.

Having the following will be advantageous:

  • Skills and experience of markets and seed systems for clonal crops (e.g. cassava, yam and
  • plantain/banana).
  • Experience working in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Experience working in multi-cultural and multi-country environments.

General Information

  • The initial appointment will be for three years. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.

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Deadline: May 4, 2020

Method of Application

Interested applicant should forward their Applications include Covering Letter which should address how the candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, Curriculum Vitae, names and addresses of three professional referees (which must include either the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work).

Click here for more information (PDF)

Note

  • The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.
  • IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
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