The Potato Specialist will be responsible for coordinating and managing field work with partners in a potato value chain and agricultural project in Cameroon. The position will be based in Ngaoundere, Cameroon with frequent travel to the field.
The Potato Specialist will report to the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project based in Yaoundé, while also coordinating responsibilities and activities with the project team across intervention areas. The Potato Specialist will act as field coordinator to i) implement field activities to strengthen farmers’ potato production capacities and seed multiplication resources and ii) coordinate partners in these activities.
The Potato Specialist will be responsible for coordinating the trialing of innovative and agro-ecological farming methods, such as new disease resistant and high yielding varieties, high quality seed, small-scale mechanization, integrated pest and disease management, and innovative irrigation methods with support from the project PI and project team, and in direct collaboration with project partners.
The principal responsibility of the position is to undertake capacity building of trainers and extension staff. The Potato Specialist will be working independently with planning, implementation and monitoring under field conditions. In follow-up to the training of trainers, the Potato Specialist will monitor the training of farmers through the implementation of Farmer Field School (FFS) systems with innovation farms and demonstration plots in close collaboration with the partners’ Regional Coordinators and extension staff.
- Manage day-to-day partnerships with the participating Agricultural Training Centers, Regional Coordinators of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Farmer Cooperatives;
- Coordinate and support planning and delivery of capacity building for ware potato production and seed multiplication programs with focus on community-based lead farmers, extension, and private sector input suppliers;
- Participate in identification, designing, monitoring and evaluation of potato learning farms;
- Coordinate and monitor demonstration and training sites managed by extension agents;
- Provide training of trainers and supervision to assure quality of FFS and Farmer Business School training events;
- Support extension to document and collect data from demonstration plots to inform and improve delivery of project interventions;
- Support field work of consultants;
- Coordinate and monitor the evaluation and implementation of innovative agronomic practices through on-farm trialing and Farmer Learning Groups;
- Work closely with the monitoring and evaluation team to coordinate, plan and execute monitoring and evaluation activities;
- Support seed system development;
- Support trials and release of new varieties;
- Backstopping multiplication and distribution of newly released varieties;
- Develop and maintain good working relationship with national partners and stakeholders;
- Writing of project reports;
- And any other duty as assigned by the PI.
- Minimum agronomic engineer degree (GCE advanced level or Baccalaureat with 4 to 5 years);
- A minimum of three years’ experience in implementing agronomy- and seed-system-related interventions;
- Fluency in French required; at least good working knowledge in English required;
- Technical knowledge of potato agronomy and pathology;
- Ability to work in an international agricultural research center, interacting with its staff and partners in a variety of institutional and ecological settings;
- Proven experience with working independently in the field with farmers, farmer groups and extension;
- Demonstrated expertise to design and plan field activities;
- Proven experience with preparation and timely submission of publications: reports, training manuals, extension documents;xcellent writing and communication skills;
- Good computer skills (Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, Web browsers, Smart-phone applications);
- Willingness to travel frequently and work under field conditions.