National Associate-Seed Systems Specialist

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Reports to: Senior Agriculture Officer – Odisha Projects

Location: Odisha, India / Any of ICARDA’s India duty stations (as per project requirements)

Main purpose of position

ICARDA seeks a National Associate-Seed System Specialist to work as part of an interdisciplinary team to strengthen the project activities with a focus on informal seed system involving farmers’ producer groups and village seed hubs in Odisha, India. He/she will also help in scaling out improved technologies of ICARDA’s breeding program mandated crops for achieving impact at scale.

The successful candidate will be expected to work with multidisciplinary projects and cross-cutting project teams and responsibilities as assigned by the Team Leader- Odisha Projects and Regional Coordinator, SACRP.



The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is a treaty-based international non-profit research organization supported by CGIAR. ICARDA’s mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food, water, and nutritional security, as well as environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. We do this through innovative science, strategic partnerships, linking research to development and capacity development that take into account gender equality and the role of youth in transforming the dry areas. ICARDA works in partnership with governments, universities, civil society, national agricultural research organization, other CGIAR Research Centers, and the private sector. With its temporary Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, ICARDA operates in regional and country offices across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. For more information:  

All CGIAR Centers are currently engaged into a reform process (“One CGIAR’”) that will help ICARDA and CGIAR achieve better impact through more strategically integrated research, unified governance, an integrated structure and new research modalities across participating Research Centers. This transformation is supported by CGIAR donors who have committed to increased funding as a result of these reforms. 

Main responsibilities

  • Identify and assess systemic challenges constraining the availability of quality seeds at village level.
  • Provide technical backstopping to different bilateral projects being implemented by ICARDA in India.
  • Formulate and implement projects in support of the seed sector in India with emphasis on fast-tracking variety replacement and improved seed replacement rate.
  • Commercialization of improved varieties through awareness and demand creation and accelerated multiplication of certified seed to reach smallholder farmers to achieve impact at scale.
  • Contribute to strengthening the capacity of the seed value chain stakeholders.
  • Engage in networks for collaboration amongst governments and partners including the public and private sectors to promote awareness, collaboration, and information exchange on seed sector development.
  • Share knowledge to expand the understanding of colleagues within the team and promote greater effectiveness in program design and delivery.
  • Prepare analysis, case studies, reports, guidelines, publications, and presentations in support of program delivery.
  • Analyze multi-environment data using a suite of software packages, prepare reports and draft manuscripts for publication in scientific journals.
  • Perform any other duties as required by the Regional Coordinator – SACRP and the Senior Agriculture Officer – Odisha projects.


Education, qualifications, and experience

  • PhD degree with at least 5 years of experience in seed science and technology, agriculture economics, plant breeding, plant sciences or closely related fields.
  • Broad knowledge and experience in technical procedures, institutional arrangements, regulatory frameworks, and national seed policy for the development of the sustainable seed system.
  • Broad knowledge and experience in key components of the seed value chain including variety evaluation and release, seed production, seed quality assurance, and integrated seed system development.
  • Demonstrated experience working in national seed sector development and in building public-private partnership.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in technical and socio-economic research on seed systems and proficiency in the use of statistical packages for data analysis.
  • Excellent communication skills in spoken and written English and Hindi and knowing Odia language would be an added advantage.
  • Willingness to travel extensively within India for project needs.


Terms of appointment, salary, and benefits

The successful candidate will be offered a one-year consultancy contract on a full-time basis, renewable subject to continued need for the position, availability of fund and satisfactory performance. The first 6 months will be a probationary period. 

The Incumbent will be provided with a monthly honorarium.

ICARDA is committed to increasing women representation in its workforce and strongly encourages applications from women.

Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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