Agricultural / Agro-Allied

Fresh Vacancies at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. IITA is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:


Job Title: Scaling Specialist – Nigeria, ACAI Project
Ref: DDG-P4D/SS/ACAI/01/19
Location: Ibadan, Oyo.

Job Summary

  • ACAI is a 5-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The project is structured around the delivery of appropriate and affordable technologies to sustainably improve cassava productivity in the short and long term in these countries.
  • Working with scientists in the national systems, the private sector, and other development partners in the various countries where the project is implemented, ACAI aims to improve cassava yields, cassava root quality, cassava supply to the processing sector, and fertilizer sales and through these processes engage at least 100,000 households and create a value of at least 27 million USD within the 5-year timeframe of the project in Nigeria and Tanzania.
  • To achieve this objective, the project is formulated around the following six agronomy-related use cases:
  • A site-specific fertilizer recommendation decision support tool which targets nutrient management advice based on local soil conditions and crop calendars;
  • Cassava fertilizer blending decision support tool which advises on appropriate fertilizer blends for cassava production based on soil fertility conditions, cost of input and potential demand;
  • A best planting practice decision support tool which guides farmers in choosing best-suited planting practices for cassava;
  • A cassava intercropping decision support tool which recommends intensification options in cassava-based intercropping systems;
  • A cassava scheduled planting decision support tool which provides recommendations on planting and harvesting date to ensure a more continuous supply of fresh cassava roots to the processing industry; and
  • A decision support tool advising on best agronomic practices for high root starch content at harvest for farmers supplying the processing sector. The project is delivering on these use cases through six major Work Streams:
  • Research on cassava growth dynamics, nutrient and water requirements and responsiveness to inputs;
  • Development of a geo-spatial cassava agronomy information base;
  • Production and validation of demand-driven decision support tools for cassava agronomy;
  • Facilitation of the use of decision support tools to primary and other development initiatives;
  • Capacity development of national institutions to engage in transformative cassava agronomy Research for Development (R4D); and
  • Project governance, management, coordination, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (ME&L).

Position Responsibilities 
The tasks of the Scaling Specialist, Nigeria will include:

  • Develop and maintain an inventory of partner dissemination strategies and networks in Nigeria and collaborate with the ME&L team to capture relevant data to assess the effectiveness of the dissemination strategies.
  • Lead and monitor the implementation of systems for validation of recommendations supplied by decision support tools and associated implementation systems integrated into the activities of primary development partners in Nigeria.
  • Align tool functionality and format to the needs and dissemination strategy of these partners based on user feedback.
  • Support the development and integration (into partner work plans) of a sustainability plan for the maintenance and improvement of recommendations supplied by ACAI decision support tools; support institutionalization and ‘country ownership’ to implement, manage and monitor the use of the recommendations.
  • Create and manage support systems through capacity building and common interest based on partnerships to advance development of and learning from decision support systems.
  • Promote the use of ACAI decision support tools (among different gender dimensions) through training events with last-mile delivery partners and extension agents, and integration of tool showcasing within partner-organized grassroot events.
  • Coordinate ‘communication flows’ between Nigerian development partners and researchers to ensure development of the DSTs and their dissemination are in line with development partner needs assessment (i.e. ensure project follows a demand-driven approach).
  • Support the development and use of appropriate training (and communication) materials and digital tools (in line with partner dissemination strategies) for the promotion and capacity building events.
  • Promote the ACAI decision support tools beyond the project’s primary partnerships, to stakeholders within the cassava value chain in Nigeria (addressing various segments of the various chain)
  • Coordinate, participate in and organize technical, planning meetings, training workshops, and consultations of experts from stakeholder and partner organizations as required in liaison with the management team.
  • Develop partner briefings in collaboration with the Workstream 4 Coordinator.
  • Develop partner annual workplans and assist in revision and or development of partnership agreements in collaboration with the ME&L team and other relevant project staff.
  • Support the research team in organizing trainings and monitoring with partners for implementation and management of validation activities
  • Participate in review and learning reflection workshops to ensure feedback from partners are integrated.
  • Engage with the Project Leader, ME&L team and partners to ensure M&E is integrated in the dissemination, evaluation and validation activities to assess project results and obtain timely feedback on the tools’ formats and benefits of recommendations from different gender dimensions.
  • Collaborate with Scaling Specialist in Tanzania for effective dissemination of the decision support tools across the two countries.
  • Contribute to new proposals for funding.
  • Supervise project staff as designated.

Educational Qualifications

  • The candidate should have a minimum of Master’s degree in any of this fields: Agriculture, Economics; Agribusiness; Technology Adoption or other relevant, justifiable disciplines.

Core Competencies:

  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in partnership and dissemination.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to work in multi-disciplinary and multicultural settings.
  • A proven track record in successfully managing complex multimillion donor funded projects.
  • Experience in rural development and or agricultural research, farming systems and value chain development in Africa.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in the writing and publication of technical documents in relation to the project goals.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in scaling innovations within the Research-for-Development agricultural domain in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Proven success in developing and fostering partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders (farmers, extension workers and other service providers, public and private sector entities, national programs), and demonstrated ability to collaborate well across disciplines and with key collaborative institutions and agencies.

Interested applicants should complete the online application attaching detailed cover letter and 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 the applicant’s current or previous direct Supervisor, professional colleague and evidence of current remuneration package.
Click here to apply


Application Deadline 25th January, 2019.



Job Title: Biometrician
Ref: DDG-R4D/B/01/19
Location: Ibadan, Oyo

Job Summary
IITA’s research-for-development work comprises the following five domains: biotechnology and genetic improvement, plant production and plant health management, natural resources management, social science and agribusiness, and food and nutrition sciences. Several scientists in these domains contribute in various ways to the development and deployment of new varieties of banana, cassava, cowpea, maize, soybean, and yam to meet the requirements of key value chains. IITA seeks a highly motivated biometrician with about eight years of post-PhD experience in working with crop improvement and other agricultural programs to join this team.

Position Responsibilities 
The tasks of the Biometrician will include:

  • Investigate, analyse, and evaluate complex statistical and computational problems in plant breeding, genetics, and agricultural sciences.
  • Work with IITA plant breeders in the modernization of breeding programs for enhanced genetic gain particularly with respect to the development and deployment of state of the art biometrical, quantitative genetics, genomic prediction, and statistical tools for experimental design and analysis.
  • Develop the provision of biometrics support within IITA and enhance the capacity of IITA staff and students to utilize advanced biometrical tools in plant breeding, genetics, and agricultural sciences.
  • Work with plant breeders and scientists in allied disciplines to mobilize resources for modernization of plant breeding programs with statistical, computational and scientific expertise.
  • Contribute to genetic improvement plans for individual crops (priority setting, design of research studies, spatial analysis, exploitation of large data sets to predict future performance, statistical analysis, interpretation and communication of results) and to institutional arrangements in support of plant breeding and allied sciences.
  • Work with the Excellence in Breeding Platform of the CGIAR to strengthen support to IITA breeders and to NARS partners in the areas of biometrics and statistical genomics.
  • Contribute to publications, and documentation of new data analysis tools and algorithms on breeding methodologies and breeding progress.
  • Contribute to supervision of PhD and MSc students.
  • Assist and advise IITA management on requirements for strengthened biometrics research and support.

Educational Qualifications

  • The candidate should hold a PhD in Biometrics, Statistics or related area of Science.

Core Competencies

  • Experience in:
    • Data archiving and retrieval, quantitative and statistical genetics, and latest genomics tools with applications to plant breeding or agricultural sciences in the public or private sector
    • Using and developing modern approaches to the design, quality control, and data analysis of trials in the field, laboratories, and plant growth facilities
    • Quantitative genetics and application of molecular marker technologies to plant breeding – using and developing modern approaches to analyse complex multivariate phenotypic and genotypic data with applications to genetic improvement of annual seed, clonally propagated, and polyploid crops
    • Implementation and training in use of relevant software including R for statistical analysis.
  • Track record of peer reviewed publications.
  • Success in resource mobilization as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Some knowledge of French would be an advantage.
  • Ability to work well in a multicultural environment.


  • The contract will be for an initial period of three years. IITA offers internationally competitive remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.

Interested applicants should complete the online application attaching detailed cover letter and 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 the applicant’s current or previous direct Supervisor, professional colleague and evidence of current remuneration package.
Click here to apply


Application Deadline 1st March, 2019.

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