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 non-profit 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.
We are recruiting to fill the vacant position of:
- This position is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC).
- The overall objective of SARD-SC is to enhance food and nutrition security and contribute to poverty reduction in Bank’s low income Regional Member Countries (RMCs). Its specific objective is to enhance the productivity and income of four CAADP’s priority value chains (cassava, maize, rice, and wheat) on a sustainable basis.
- The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the Executing Agency for the SARD-SC project, wishes to use a portion of the grant to engage the services of a Postharvest Specialist.
- The successful candidate will report to: The Coordinator of the SARD-SC Project.
The Postharvest Specialist will undertake the following activities:
- Oversee the general operations and effective functioning of the various cassava processing and equipment fabrication centers or units established in the various project target countries.
- Develop and implement a strategy for cassava post-harvest management. This will include, technical training in appropriate processes, logistics, food safety and technical assistance for the establishment and management of processing facilities.
- Advise pertinent parties concerning processes and precautions to be followed in the field at postharvest and financially viable facilities for transportation, collection centers, pack houses, food drying and processing facilities that will enable cassava products to meet specifications and requirements including food safety, of specific buyers.
- Work with the M&E and communications staff to analyze baseline information and report findings and results of activities including success stories.
- Coordinate with the value chain and other technical personnel including the market development, environmental compliance, and agribusiness finance staff to design, develop, and teach appropriate procedures and processes for postharvest handling.
- Increase the quantity and quality of cassava new products available to specific buyers, by improving post-harvest techniques and facilities for grading, sorting and packing.
- Improve food safety and quality in order to expand access to more demanding but higher paying and larger markets and to mitigate the incidence of food poisoning and food borne disease.
- Investigate the establishment and management of appropriately scaled product collection centers and pack houses in order to facilitate sales and efficiencies, and decrease post-harvest losses between the farms and the markets.
- Demonstrate appropriate post-harvest handling technologies and equipment and evaluate the results to promote utilization where proven to be effective.
- Work to identify local fabricators, assemblers and traders/buyers with existing handling and or storage facilities that are in need of upgrading and sharing their technologies.
- Develop and implement standard operating procedures to meet daily production goals and set standards.
- Develop and implement schedule of equipment maintenance to ensure continuous and smooth functioning of the processing centers.
- Any other duties as may be assigned by the supervisor.
- The candidate must have a Post graduate degree (MSc or PhD) in Agricultural Engineering or a closely related field from a recognized university and more than five years of post-graduate experience.
- Experience with project activity implementation and monitoring.
- Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and multi-cultural environment with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to interpret drawings and simplify designs of various processing machinery to equipment fabricators.
- Conversant with modern cassava processing techniques and inadequacies in sub-Sahara Africa processing facilities.
- Practical experience in all steps of post-harvest processing and management: design, operation, control and optimization.
- Ability to develop postharvest engineering solutions to energy conservation, prevention of product loss, and issues related to food safety and traceability.
- Demonstrated business and product marketing skills.
- Willingness to travel extensively within the various African hubs where the Cassava value chain of the project is being implemented.
- Excellent spoken and written English; knowledge of French would be an asset.
- The contract will be for an initial period of two years with possibility of renewal based on performance and continued availability of funding.
- IITA offers internationally competitive remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.
Method of Application
Interested applications must 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). The application should be addressed to the Head, Human Resources Service.
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