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:
Head of Farm Management
Ref. No: DDG-R4D/HFM/12/19
Location: IITA Headquarters, Ibadan, Oyo
- IITA has successful breeding programs on six very important crops in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): cassava, yam, banana/plantain, maize, soybean and cowpea. In recent years, these have been reviewed based on the Breeding Program Assessment Tool (BPAT) (https://plantbreedingassessment.org/).
- The programs have also had extensive interaction with the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding (EiB) platform during which crop specific and cross cutting (institutional) improvement plans have been developed along with product profiles and market segmentation analyses.
- IITA plans to improve the quality of its field stations, farm operations, and plant growth facilities as part of the plans for, and in support of, improving crop breeding. To achieve this, an experienced manager with a strong background in research farm management and the ability and credibility to work closely with an Institutional Head of Breeding and breeding team leads is needed. The appointee will report to the Head of Breeding.
- The Head of Farm Management will manage the research farms and plant growth facilities of IITA in support of activities of the Institute’s crop breeding programs.
- S/he will have responsibility for all IITA research farms and plant growth facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, with 70% of his/her time in West Africa (especially at Ibadan, Ikenne and Kano stations in Nigeria) and 30% for IITA stations outside West Africa (e.g. in Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, DRC).
With support from station farm managers/superintendents and other staff, his/her activities will include the following:
- Define an investment plan for research farms and plant growth facilities in consultation with the head of breeding and breeding team leads.
- Manage greenhouse equipment, fertigation, pest management, and environment controls.
- Develop and implement improvement plans for irrigation and soil and pest management.
- Ensure organization and regular maintenance and repair of farm and plant growth facilities, machinery and equipment.
- Ensure measurement and control of farm operations efficiency.
- Develop the capacity of research farm staff and raise quality of farm management at all sites, including increased level of mechanization of operations.
- Contribute to increased investment in research farm infrastructure and equipment.
- Manage the budget for the Research Farms Unit.
- Optimize procedures for material handling and workflow for seed processing and packaging.
- Establish a culture of continuous improvement of experimental stations and farm practices.
- Promote a culture of maintaining healthy, safe and environmentally friendly stations.
- As lead for a Western Africa support network for field operations, develop a plan for running trials (at cost) for other CGIAR centers and national research programs and identify opportunities for sharing services with them.
- Lead farm operation teams in the implementation of field plans of breeding programs.
- The candidate should have a finalised MSc degree in Agronomy or related field in Agriculture.
- At least ten years’ experience in management of research farms and plant growth facilities, preferably in support of crop breeding programs.
- Ability to manage change in complex, multi country operations.
- Sound understanding of agronomy and proven experience in management of soil fertility, irrigation systems, and mechanization.
- Proficient in the use of software packages for managing projects and agricultural practices on research stations and farms.
- Excellent work ethic and effective leadership, organizational, and communication skills.
- Ability to adapt to longer work schedules when seasonally required and to operate under time pressure when needed.
- Experience in research farm management in Africa will be an advantage.
General information and Remuneration
The contract will be for an initial period of three years. IITA offers an internationally competitive remuneration package paid in US Dollars.
- Job City Ibadan, Oyo