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  • Job Vacancies at ICRISAT

  • Posted on: 19 May, 2015 Deadline: 25 May, 2015
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    ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid tropics is home to over 2 billion people, with 650 million of these being the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT and its partners help empower those living in the semi-arid tropics, especially smallholder farmers, to overcome poverty, hunger, malnutrition and a degraded environment through more efficient and profitable agriculture. ICRISAT, established in 1972, and is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. For more details, see

    The research associate in market development will work under the supervision of the Market Development Specialist. Each of the successful candidates will be posted at any of the 4 Sorghum hubs with frequent travel to the project communities

    Scientific Officer (Research Associate) in Market Development


    The Job:

    a) Develop and coordinate market development strategy and interventions in the Sorghum sector

    • Support the design of Sorghum sectors market development strategy within the context of ATASP-1 executed in Nigeria

    • Plan and implement Sorghum market development interventions in Sorghum seed systems development, Sorghum inputs and output market sub-sectors

    • Organize capacity building for stakeholders (NARIs staff, extension agents, producers’ groups, seed companies, etc) on Sorghum sector market/ value chain development 

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

    • Support marketing activities for Sorghum value chain actors in Sorghum 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 Sorghum farmers and processors for learning and awareness creation purposes

    Actively participate in monitoring and evaluation of project implementation

    The Person:

    • A Nigerian National with Degree in Business Administration, Agricultural Economics or related fields, and/or additional training in Agricultural Market Development/ Entrepreneurship Development or a related field

    • Should have a minimum of 5 years working experience with relevance in agriculture and agribusiness;

    • Previous experience with private sector and hands on market linkages will be an added advantage

    • Must be energetic, creative, and willing to learn

    • Strong written and verbal communication skills

    • Must have previous experience in agribusiness and be willing to spend long periods travelling and staying in rural areas

    • Computer literacy with proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications

    • Proficiency in English language with excellent communication skills

    • Thorough knowledge of Sorghum market development and information systems particularly within Nigeria 

    The Reward:

    This is a nationally recruited staff position with an attractive and competitive salary and benefits package payable in US dollars. The position is initially for two years, and extendable depending on performance of the incumbent and funding availability. An attractive compensation will be offered for the right candidate.

    go to method of application »

    Scientific Officer (Research Associate) in Agricultural Engineering


    The Job:

    a) Facilitate Capacity Building on Good Agronomic Practices

    • Plan and implement capacity building for stakeholders (extension agents, farmers’ groups, technicians) on the use of small and medium scale machines and implements related to on Sorghum production and processing

    • Organize technical support for farmer on best practices and techniques as related to sorghum production and post-harvest handling

    • Identify and introduce appropriate machines and implements for drudgery reductions in sorghum production and processing in sorghum production hubs

    • Identify and develop appropriate partnerships with farmer groups, village-based organizations, government officials and other development partners that are active in the Sorghum sub-sector at village, district and state levels

    b) Facilitate the Adoption and Use of GAP in Sorghum Farmers Fields

    • Promote adoption and use of appropriate machines and implements for drudgery reductions and knowledge to improve Sorghum management and their step-wise integration into farmers’ practices

    • Coordinate the formation and animation of Sorghum producers’ learning groups that constitutes the nucleus of use of appropriate machines and implements for drudgery reductions 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 technologies that increase Sorghum 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 

    c) Supervision and Reporting

    • Supervise and support field based staff including community based facilitators and farmers implementing field activities in Sorghum 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 Sorghum farming, including data analysis and reporting

    • Write monthly, quarterly summaries and annual reports to the Sorghum commodity specialist or senior  management as maybe required for purposes of program documentation, M&E and reporting to donors

    • Plan and carry out analysis of efficiencies and effect of introduced machines and implements at farm level

    • Contribute to project quarterly and annual planning meetings and budgeting process by furnishing timely information on the mechanization 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

    The Person: 

    • A Nigerian National with Master of Science in Agriculture Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Farm Mechanization or a related science, together with field-based experiences in Agriculture sector development projects implementation

    • At least 5 years experience in Agriculture research to development activities in Nigeria and a good knowledge of Sorghum growing ecologies and Sorghum producing communities in Nigeria with proven farmers capacity building, technology and innovation dissemination qualities

    • Must have previous experience in small and medium scale farmers production and processing activities 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

    • Excellent written and spoken communication skills, including presentations

    • Computer literacy with proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications

    • 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

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

    The Reward: 

    This is an nationally recruited staff position with an attractive and competitive salary and benefits package payable in US dollars. The position is initially for two years, and extendable depending on performance of the incumbent and funding availability. An attractive compensation will be offered for the right candidate.

    go to method of application »

    Sorghum Commodity Specialist


    The Job:

    Coordination of Sorghum Project Implementation under ATASP 

    • Coordinate development of Sorghum-related annual work plans in conformity with the overall project implementation plan for the four-year period of the ATASP-1 project or as revised annually and ensure that the budgets  and procurement plans are executed conform AfDB rules and procedures

    • Oversee and drive the implementation of all Sorghum activities with stakeholders and with a focus on timely delivery of targets set and proactively seek linkages with the other non-Sorghum related components of the project

    • Organize annual work review and work planning workshops specific to Sorghum sector development for government officials and NARS stakeholders

    • Organize and oversee capacity-building activities for facilitators and staff members involved in program implementation

    • Develop and promote crop and options that lead to higher nutritional and food security for poor smallholder framers and particularly targeting women

    • Find farm level agronomic interventions that improve the performance of existing cropping systems or test and introduce improved systems or varieties

    • Scale up and out promising interventions

    • Liaise with relevant national research and development institutions, private sector actors in ensuring appropriate backward and forward linkages in the Sorghum value chain

    • Oversee the selection of key project implementation areas (‘Sorghum sector development hubs’) and Sorghum value chain actors  and in particular ensure mobilization of farmer groups for effective implementation of Sorghum project activities in the ‘Hubs’

    • Oversee the monitoring and evaluation of project implementation in the Sorghum sector and ensure measurement of achievements towards project goals

    • Ensure preparation of real-time progress reports of project implementation, defining  progress, problems and solutions

    • Supervise Sorghum project staff and, where necessary, participate in the recruitment, orientation, supervision and mentoring of new staff, including promoting capacity development of staff in accordance with the needs of the project

    • Ensure  that performance appraisals are carried out annually for all project staff

    • Ensure proper  record keeping for the intervention and ensure that appropriate and accurate documentation is provided to the program administrator within specified deadlines

    • In coordination with the project finance officer, supervise the maintenance of the Sorghum budget, including accounting of all project expenditures incurred under the project

    • Represent the project to relevant local authorities and organizations and support ICRISAT Sorghum in policy engagement

    • Develop an appropriate and clear relationship with local and state governments on implementation of the Sorghum activities particularly with respect to their investments in irrigation infrastructure as part of the rural Sorghum development plans

    • Participate in local, regional or international information exchange fora or exposures related to the project as may be deemed necessary by ICRISAT

    • Undertake any other duties as required by the needs of the Center

    The Person: 

    • PhD in Agriculture or related science, together with Agriculture Sector development implementation experience at international or national level with considerable expertise in project management.

    • A minimum of 10 years’ experience of which at least five years at a managerial level in donor-funded (preferably multilateral) projects/programs in agriculture research & development activities. Experience in community-based projects implementation and/or small-holder-oriented development initiatives with a track record in Africa is desirable.

    • Thorough knowledge of Sorghum Value Chain Development including linkages with government and private sector institutions in general and particular experience within Nigeria is important.

    • Working knowledge of the operational modalities of national and international NGOs is desirable.

    Method of Application

    To apply for these positions, click here

    Applicants should apply on or before 25th May 2015, with a letter of motivation, latest Curriculum Vitae, and names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged, however only short listed candidates will be contacted.

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