Head of Farm Management (Ref. No: DDG-R4D/HFM/12/19)
Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for
the internationally recruited position of Head of Farm Management.
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. Please visit http://www.iita.org/ for
more information on IITA.
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
• 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.
Duty Station: IITA Headquarters, Ibadan, Nigeria
General information: The contract will be for an initial period of three years. IITA offers an
internationally competitive remuneration package paid in US Dollars.
Applications: Applications must include covering letter which should address how the
candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for,
curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three professional referees (which must include either
the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct
Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work).
The application should be
addressed to the Head, Human Resources Service. Please complete our online application form
using this link: http://www.iita.org/careers
Closing Date: The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.
IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted