Position Announcement

Research Associate

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on behalf of the International Potato Center International (CIP) is seeking a Research Associate

Background: CIP is a not-for-profit international agricultural research organization with a global mandate to conduct research on genetic resources of potatoes, sweetpotatoes, and other Andean roots and tubers, crop genetic enhancement and improvement, integrated crop management and sustainable management of natural resources.

Job Summary:     

Agribusiness Research Associate to support business planning and marketing for sweetpotato seed at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Ukiriguru Center, and commercial seed producers. The Agribusiness Research Associate will implement activities aimed at expanding the market for quality seed to ensure that seed production is self-sustaining. This work is undertaken as part of the Sweetpotato Component of the Program for Seed System Innovations for Vegetatively Propagated Crops in Africa (PROSSIVA) implemented by the International Potato Center (CIP) and TARI. The Program for Seed System Innovation of Vegetatively propagated crops (VPCs) in Africa (PROSSIVA) will develop and validate packages of innovations to strengthen functional VPC seed systems and will work with partners to catalyze their scaling in five target countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The Sweetpotato Component aims to improve the crop’s seed system through technological, marketing, and institutional innovations that deliver affordable quality seed of market-preferred varieties to actors in Tanzania in a timely manner. This will be implemented at the Lake Zone of Tanzania. The Agribusiness Research Associate will be based in Mwanza. This position will report to PROSSIVA’s Principal Investigator for the Sweetpotato Component.

Duty Station: This is a Nationally Recruited Position, and the incumbent will be based in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Work with key business oriented sweetpotato seed producers to develop strong value propositions for sweetpotato seed business.
  • Train sweetpotato seed producers on entrepreneurship and business skills. This includes identifying potential markets to increase sales: and identifying market-preferred varieties and innovative marketing strategies.
  • Guide the development and implementation of sweetpotato business plans for sweetpotato seed production at basic and quality declared seed (QDS) classes.
  • Strengthen linkages within the sweetpotato seed value chain to facilitate business partnerships and attract investments.
  • Provide technical backstopping to the sweetpotato seed producers’ association.
  • Validate TARI-led sustainable early generation seed (EGS) business models linked to the seed producer association.
  • Develop journal articles and other communications materials.
  • Any other deliverable related to developing sustainable business models for seed production assigned by the PI.

Qualification, Experience and Key Skills

  • MSc in agri-business.
  • Strong experience in establishing innovative public-private partnerships for increased sales in private seed industry.
  • Experience with seed systems of roots, tubers and banana crops. Experience working on sweetpotato seed systems is an added advantage.
  • Experience in leading a team in private industries to connect with farmers through contract farming.
  • Knowledge on seed regulations and policies in Tanzania.
  • Experience conducting effective competitive market research, quantitative and qualitative analysis; and implementation of best practices and processes.
  • Experience in mapping value chain and analysis to identify potential business models and seed distribution channels.
  • Sound knowledge of TARI and CIP’s development and planning processes.
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience working with large diverse teams.

General information:

The initial contract for the position is for two years: renewable subject to performance and availability of funds. The duty station for the position will be IITA in Dar es Salaam. This is a nationally recruited position and IITA offers a competitive remuneration package.


Applications including curriculum vitae, copies of certificates, telephone number, email address, and names and addresses of two referees should be sent to the Country Representative, IITA-Tanzania, Plot No. 25, Mwenge – Coca-Cola Road, Mikocheni Industrial Area P.0. Box 34441, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania or by email to [email protected]

Applicants are requested to please indicate the reference number for the position as indicated on the heading of the announcement in your application as well as on the subject of your email if sending by email. If sending by post or hand delivery, please indicate the reference number on your application as well as on the left-hand side of your envelope. Please note that any applications without the reference indicated will be automatically disqualified.

Closing date: Two weeks from the date of advertisement appearing in the newspaper. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.