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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the position of Cassava Agronomist (Ref: DDG-R4D/CA/08/12). The position is based in Ibadan, Nigeria. Frequent travel is expected and candidates should be willing to work in small-scale farm settings in Africa.

The primary responsibilities of the Cassava Agronomist are to:
Work with other team members to maintain the sustainable supply of cassava roots drive by targeted cassava starch/gari factories to increase the income and food security of small-scale farmers though the market created by the processing centres.

Specifically to:
  • Plan, lead, manage, and supervise all on-farm agronomic activities involving commercial cassava production in several states in Nigeria (Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kogi, Niger, Abia etc)
  • Assist in implementing the Nigeria Cassava Transformation Agenda in the areas of stem distribution in 28 states and establishment of Demo and starch evaluation trials.
  • Assist in coordinating private-sector (Cosmo Farmers, GAVA International etc.) and State (Kogi, Jigawa, and Ebonyi) led Cassava Value Chain Initiatives.
  • Design and conduct on-farm Demonstration Trials on resources-use efficiency and cost of cassava root production. The latter compares mechanized and traditional methods of farming with a view to running a cost-benefit analysis of the 2 methods. Also expected to establish multiplication farms.
  • Select, cluster, mobilize, and train farmers on best agronomic practices, identify efficient service providers, make regular monitoring and evaluation visits and organize field days.
  • Assist in supervising the input-supply credit services for the farmers, and advise on the procurement of field materials/inputs through input dealers and service providers.
  • Ensure the timely implementation of all field activities such as land preparation, sourcing of planting materials, weeding, fertilizer application, and harvesting.
  • Supervise the collection of and analyses of all agronomic data, and write technical reports/scientific articles for peer-reviewed journals.
  • Contribute to proposal development and resource mobilization.
Qualifications/Experience:
The candidate should have a PhD degree in agronomy from a recognized university.
Excellent interpersonal skills, good ability to communicate with people in a multicultural setting; good verbal and written expression; good analytical and organizational skills; ability to take initiative.

Core Competencies:
  1. At least 8 years of post PhD experience in agronomy research.
  2. Excellent knowledge of English.
  3. Knowledge of farming systems in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone of West Africa.
  4. Knowledge of the landscape of agricultural research institutions in the region.
  5. Staff leadership experience.
  6. Working experience in the CGIAR system is of advantage.
General Information:
Initial appointment is for three years (renewable) starting as soon as possible. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.

How to apply?
Applications including covering letter, curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three referees should be addressed to the Human Resources Manager. Please complete IITA online application form using this link: http://www.iita.org/irs-online-application

Closing Date:
The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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