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16 Aug 2019

Project Coordinator at International Center for Tropical Agriculture

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The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – a member of the CGIAR Consortium ( – develops technologies, innovative methods, and new knowledge that better enable farmers, especially smallholders, to make agriculture competitive and profitable as well as sustainable and resilient. CIAT conducts research for development in tropical regions of Latin America, Africa, and Asia (


Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) is a non-profit organisation that seeks to create value for resource-poor small farmers in developing countries through innovation in sustainable agriculture and the activation of value chains. The operational strategy of the SFSA focuses on smallholders, productivity and markets. Within SFSA, the Seeds2b program helps farmers access quality, affordable seeds of improved varieties for the crops they need


SFSA is collaborating with CIAT in Tanzania in implementation of the AVISA project


Position Summary:


CIAT is seeking to recruit a Project Coordinator to coordinate the AVISA Seeds2B project in Tanzania.  The position will provide expertise on the seed system’s current landscape for Groundnut, Common bean and Sorghum in Tanzania.


Main duties and responsibilities include:


  • Act as the Tanzania expert on the seed system’s current landscape for Groundnut, Common bean and Sorghum. In particular, be the ‘go to’ person for questions regarding the process, seed value chain actors, seed sector challenges, the crops and varieties used, the market segment, value and demand, the optimum zones for growing each crop.
  • Identify and build strong relationships with Tanzania seed companies that are willing to invest in their growth and identify those that have the best potential to take on new varieties.
  • Visit and get valuable feedback from the seed companies in Tanzania regarding their challenges, their growth plan and the crops, varieties they produce or/and distribute.
  • Support selected local seed companies to grow and adopt new variety by understanding their needs and find solution to address them.
  • Work with the public and private breeders to identify varieties that are most likely to fit the market need. Use the Target Product Profile and SFSA’s Product Advancement Approach to be the most efficient and accurate.
  • Ensure that local seed companies are exposed to the new most promising varieties through their participation in field days on demo trials
  • Use data to demonstrate the value of new varieties and to create convincing business cases for seed companies and growers
  • Create and maintain country reports summarizing the seed system situation of Tanzania for the three crops in scope (Groundnut, Common bean and Sorghum) and identify the main areas for maximum impact.
  • Manage the project budget by tracking spending and keep the Finance Manager Africa and AVISA Project Lead informed through regular reports, highlighting any potential issues.
  • Ensure field demonstration trials are carried out effectively and relevant data collected (either directly or through collaboration with national organizations).
  • Collaborate with the AVISA project lead to create technical reports.


The candidate shall have the following competencies, skills and experience:


  • Masters’ degree in Agronomy, Breeding, Agribusiness or related field.
  • Three years’ experience with good scientific knowledge in seed production or seed research, breeding and agronomy
  • Knowledge and experience working with private seed sector and national seed regulations
  • Strong capability to analyse data and extract most relevant knowledge
  • Effective scoping, priority setting and resource allocation to maximise added value of the role.
  • Effective influencing, collaboration and communication across different work levels, functions and locations.
  • Experience in working in a diverse team spread across geographies (‘virtual teams’)
  • Excellent communication skills with ability to communicate with diverse audiences whose native language may not be English.
  • Ability to balance plan, be fully accountable for own work in the territory and to communicate ideas and output efficiently.
  • Ability to communicate value to customers
  • Willingness to travel and may be required to execute delivery of project / initiatives across a range of different locations.


Terms of employment: 


The position is nationally recruited and based at the CIAT Offices in Arusha, Tanzania. The contract will be for a two-year period, subject to probation period of three (3) months, renewable depending on performance and availability of resources.  CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits; we believe that the diversity of our staff contributes to excellence. CIAT is an equal opportunity employer, and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality.

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