Seed Systems and Production Specialist

Screening starts: Feb 01, 2012    |    

Unit: SSA    |    

Location:    |    

Type: International

The position will serve a new 3 year effort focused on capacity strengthening of African advocates to mobilize resources for massive investment in the dissemination of pro-vitamin A rich orange-fleshed sweetpotato and training change agents in how to effectively design and implement such programs.  This project is being jointly implemented with Helen Keller International (HKI).

The Center: CIP is a not-for-profit international agricultural research-for-development organization with a focus on potato, sweetpotato, and Andean roots and tubers. Its vision is of roots and tubers improving the lives of the poor. CIP is dedicated to achieving food security, improved well-being, and gender equity for poor people in root and tuber farming and food systems of the developing world. CIP works with partners to contribute high quality science, technology, and capacity strengthening for sustainable science-based solutions. CIP is headquartered in Lima, Peru, with staff and activities in over 30 locations across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. CIP is a member of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, a network of 15 research centers mostly located in the developing world and supported by more than 50 donor members.

The position: The Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative, launched by CIP and over 26 partners in October 2009, has an ambitious goal of improving the lives of at least 10 million African households by 2020 through the effective production and expanded use of sweetpotato. Evidence has clearly demonstrated that orange-fleshed sweetpotato varieties are an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, an essential vitamin for health. This position requires working in collaboration with public and private sector development agents and a variety of specialists engaged in advocacy activities to build capacity in sweetpotato crop production and post-harvest value added management. The position requires being able to train counterparts in skills required for designing and implementing orange-fleshed sweetpotato promotion and dissemination efforts.

The position will be based in Mwanza, Tanzania. The project has five target countries: Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, and Burkina Faso and will require significant amounts of travel.

Duties and Accountabilities:

  • Review existing training materials and work with the communication and training specialist to design a comprehensive training program on sweetpotato, targeted at extension personnel;
  • Backstop partner organizations in implementation of sweetpotato action research and dissemination projects on all aspects of sweetpotato production and post-harvest handling;
  • Train and supervise junior agronomists in other target countries and assist them in developing quarterly work plans;
  • Assist partners in the design of realistic sweetpotato multiplication and dissemination schemes as part of their project proposals and/or implementation plans;
  • Identify any emerging bottlenecks to successful implementation of sweetpotato production and dissemination and work with national research partner institutions to design adaptive research strategies to address those constraints and assist them in raising funds to implement the proposed strategies;
  • Collaborate with the monitoring & evaluation office in the design and implementation of an effective monitoring system;
  • Prepare brief bi-weekly updates and semi-annual reports on a timely basis.

Selection Criteria:

  • PhD or Masters with 8 years of relevant experience in agronomy, horticulture, plant science, agricultural engineering or other relevant agriculture discipline;
  • Research experience in managing a vegetatively propagated crop, preferably sweetpotato;
  • Demonstrated success in working with multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships;
  • Excellent social skills and a collaborative style;
  • Proactive, innovative and creative attitudes;
  • Teaching experience preferred;
  • Willingness to travel extensively within the region;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Kiswahili are required. Good working knowledge of Portuguese or French is preferred. Evidence of interest and ability to learn a foreign language is requisite;
  • Must be a citizen of a sub-Saharan African country.

Conditions: The position will be based in Mwanza, Tanzania. Employment contract will be for a three-year term with a three month probation period. Salary will be regionally competitive, paid in US dollars, and commensurate with experience. CIP provides additional benefits, including employer-paid medical, life and disability insurance. CIP prides itself on its collegial and supportive working environment, which allows space for personal and professional growth.

Applications: Applicants should apply by email, sending a letter of motivation, a full C.V., and the names and contact information of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to copied to Adiel Mbabu ( The reference name of the position should be clearly marked on the subject line of the email message. Screening of applications will begin on 1 February, 2012 and will continue until the post is filled.

All applications will be acknowledged, only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at

CIP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women and professionals from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply

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