Research Associate Jobs at The Africa Rice Center

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) is seeking highly qualified Research Associate in Agribusiness Development staple crop processing zones (SCPZ) in Nigeria.

The Agribusiness Development Research Associates will be under the supervision of the Rice Commodity Specialist.
He/she will lead and drive the technical aspects of the ATASP-1 project in project implementation SCPZs in Nigeria in close collaboration with other project staff.

He/she is responsible for all field based operations and processes targeted at achieving ATASP-1 project objectives to improve rice productivity and income at farm level.

Each of the successful candidates will be posted at any of the SCPZ with frequent travel to the project communities

Position: Research Associate in Agribusiness Development

Job Responsibilities 
a) Develop and coordinate market development strategy and interventions in the rice sector

  • Support the design of rice sectors market development strategy within the context of ATASP-1 executed in Nigeria.
  • Plan and implement rice market development interventions in rice seed systems development, rice inputs and output market sub-sectors.
  • Organize capacity building for stakeholders (NARIs staff, extension agents, producers’ groups, seed companies, etc.) on rice sector market/ value chain development.

b) Support the establishment and strengthen market linkages in rice value chain

  • Support marketing activities for rice value chain actors in rice sectors development hubs in Nigeria.
  • Support establishment of contracts with potential partners (e.g. market actors), develop concrete offers for partnership and negotiate agreements between key actors.
  • Initiate contract farming arrangement between seed companies and seed out growers and for farmers groups and paddy off-takers based on best practices and trust.
  • Organize and implement market exposure visits for rice farmers and processors for learning and awareness creation purposes.
  • Actively participate in monitoring and evaluation of project implementation

c) Facilitate the adoption and use of GAP in rice farmers’ fields

  • Promote adoption and use of GAP and knowledge to improve rice management and their stepwise integration into farmers’ practices.
  • Coordinate the formation and animation of rice producers’ learning groups that constitutes the nucleus of GAP learning and dissemination at farm level.
  • Promote participatory extension methods and group-based learning tools that encourage knowledge and experience sharing amongst farmers.
  • Demonstrate new technologies and practices to increase crop yields at farm level.
  • Promote the use of audio-visual and other multi-media tools for the dissemination of GAP and technologies that increase rice yields in farmers’ fields.
  • Assist farmer leaders to develop a critical capacity to observe, analyze, and to propose appropriate solutions to crop management problems challenges.

d) Supervision and Reporting

  • Supervise and support field based staff including community based facilitators and farmers implementing field activities in rice sector development hubs.
  • Supervise in conjunction with other project staff as may be required, annual field surveys on the agronomic, socio-economic and livelihoods aspects of rice farming, including data analysis and reporting.
  • Write monthly, quarterly summaries and annual reports to the rice commodity specialist or senior management as maybe required for purposes of program documentation, M&E and reporting to donors.
  • Plan and carry out annual yield sampling and similar key performance indicators (KPI) at farm level.
  • Contribute to project quarterly and annual planning meetings and budgeting process by furnishing timely information on the agronomic aspect of crop cultivation.
  • Provide feedback and manage information to/from stakeholders (farmer organization, private sector value chain actors, etc) as maybe advised by project management from time to time to ensure adequate communications linkages are maintained between the project management team, the communities and other stakeholders

KEY QUALIFICATIONS 

Minimum Academic/ Professional Qualification 
A Master of Science degree in Agronomy/Crop Science or a related science, together with fieldbased experiences in rice sector development projects implementation.

Minimum Experience 
At least 5 years experience in research to development activities in Nigeria rice sector and a good knowledge of rice growing ecologies and rice producing communities in Nigeria with proven farmers capacity building, technology and innovation dissemination qualities.

Key Competencies 

Abilities:

  • Must have previous experience in market development and be willing to spend long periods travelling and staying in rural areas.
  • Must have experience with community-based projects implementation and/or small-holder oriented development initiatives are desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out ToT capacity building and farmers groups trainings.

Skills:

  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills, including presentations
  • Computer literacy with proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications
  • Proficiency in English language with excellent communication skills. Fluent in Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo will be an added advantage.

Team Orientation: 
Shows commitment to teamwork with minimal supervision by working positively and cooperatively with others. Committed to a high standard of performance, a sense of urgency and mutual respect and integrity

Knowledge: 

  • Thorough knowledge of rice Agronomy, rice growing environments and particular experience within Nigeria is important.

Terms and Conditions
o This is a nationally recruited position
o The initial appointment is for two years with the possibility for renewal based on annual performance.

Application procedure 
Interested applicants should forward their applications with detailed curriculum vitae saved with their names in Microsoft word format to IITA website: http://www.iita.org/careers no later than Two Weeks from the date of this publication.

The application must include the names and e-mail addresses of three professional referees which must include either the Head of applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct Supervisor/Superior officer at work and evidence of current remuneration package.

The normal retirement age for nationally recruited staff at AfricaRice/IITA, Ibadan is 60 years

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