Seed Systems Specialist Job Vacancy At IITA

Deadline: 31 August, 2015

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is an international non-profit agricultural research-for-development (R4D) organization established in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Our R4D approach is anchored on the development needs of the tropics. We work with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. We have more than 100 internationally recruited scientists from about 35 countries and 900 nationally recruited staff based in various stations across Africa.

Applications are invited for the internationally recruited position of Seed Systems Specialist

Seed Systems Specialist


  • The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Seed Systems Specialist.
  • IITA is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Its award-winning research-for-development (R4D) approach addresses the development needs of tropical countries.
  • IITA works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. IITA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967 in Nigeria and governed by a Board of Trustees. IITA works on the following crops: cowpea, soybean, banana/plantain, yam, cassava, and maize. It is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Please visit for more information on IITA.
  • The Tropical Legume III (TL III) Project led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and jointly implemented by IITA and funded by the Bill and Melinda
  • Gates Foundation, is seeking applications from dynamic and highly innovative persons for the position of Scientist – Cowpea and Groundnut Seed Systems. The person will work with a multidisciplinary team of professionals on a rapidly expanding portfolio of seed systems work across target BMGF geographies in West Africa, focusing on the development of market-oriented, pluralistic, vibrant and dynamic seed sector.
  • The position will be based at Kano, Nigeria with responsibilities for scaling cowpea and groundnut seeds and technologies while linking the seed value chain to other cowpea and groundnut value chains in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria.
  • TL III is jointly implemented by ICRISAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in close collaboration with partners in the National Agricultural Research Systems of target countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Position Responsibilities
The tasks will include:

  • To establish sustainable cowpea and groundnut seed delivery systems that service the needs of small-holders, especially underserved women farmers in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria.
  • To establish cowpea and groundnut seed delivery platforms, personnel and targets for cowpea and groundnut in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria.
  • Collaborate with other partners such as NARS, NGOs, Farmer Organizations, Farmer
  • Cooperatives and Private Sector to support decentralized producers involved in the production of locally preferred improved cowpea and groundnut varieties.
  • Work with cowpea and groundnut seed producers of all seed grades to respond to seed market demand along the seed systems value chain: seed production, seed quality, marketing efficiency, accountability and profitability.
  • Link business development services to cowpea and groundnut seed producers (individual seed entrepreneurs, farmer organizations, seed companies and public enterprises) and stimulate private (small and large) investment in groundnut seed production and delivery in a business sound manner.
  • Train cowpea and groundnut seed producers/suppliers in specific areas such as seed business management including production, marketing, financial management, and strategy development including the development of training related materials, methodologies and tools.
  • Broker knowledge, linking scientific knowledge with policy and development practice
  • Provide comprehensive and timely reports to the Tropical Legumes III leadership as and when required
  • Produce quality publications including articles in peer-reviewed journals, research reports, and other communications outputs for a range of audiences.

Educational Qualifications

  • The candidate should have a P.hD Degree in a relevant field of sciences such as crop science or social science with an agricultural orientation, and development.

Core Competencies:

  • 5 years of work experience, with at least five years of experience working in seed sector development in developing countries, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Experience in facilitation of public private partnerships
  • Ability to design and facilitate multi-stakeholder processes and institutional innovation processes
  • Affinity with capacity strengthening and facilitation of trainings
  • A strong interest in linking theory with policy and practice
  • Excellent English language skills
  • Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft packages and electronic communication.

General Information:

  • The contract will be for an initial period of three years and extendable depending on performance of the incumbent and availability of funds.
  • IITA offers internationally competitive remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.

Method of Application

Interested applicants should forward their applications with detailed curriculum vitae saved with their names in Microsoft word format. 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.

To proceed with application, click here

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