Job Title: Participatory Extension Specialist
Job Ref:
Employer: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Job Location: Abidjan, Cote Divoire
Closing Date: 05/03/2018
Job Description:
Participatory Extension Specialist (Ref: DDG-R4D/PES/CS/01/18)
Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Participatory Extension Specialist.
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 for more information on IITA.
CocoaSoils aims to build the knowledge base for sustainable intensification of cocoa production through a large public-private partnership that spans all cocoa growing regions of the tropics. Enhancing cocoa productivity and nutrient use efficiency requires a deeper understanding of the nutrient requirements of the cocoa tree and the roles and physiological responses to different nutrients. Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) recommendations will be developed based on medium- and long-term data from carefully planned and consistently managed nutrient response trials following agreed protocols and resource commitments. Specific ISFM and other productivity-enhancing recommendations will be delivered towards the sustainable intensification of cocoa production. CocoaSoils will be implemented through public-private partnerships with leading partners IITA and WUR in collaboration with CIAT, ICRAF, UNEP-WCMC, NARS (including CNRA, CRIG, CRIN, IRAD, and Universities), cocoa authorities, fertilizer industry partners, cocoa industry partners and IDH. A global network of long-term cocoa fertilizer trials across different environments and systems will be established by companies participating in the CocoaSoils consortium. The main objective of these trials is to collectively design and adopt fertilizer recommendations for cocoa growers, guidelines for recycling of cocoa husks, as well as guidelines to manage the risk of spreading diseases; and to develop a database on the efficacy and availability of organic resources.
Position Responsibilities:
This position aims to develop and validate methodologies and curricula for extension services and strengthen smallholder farmers to adopt evidence-based recommendation in cocoa intensification for improved yields and avoided deforestation in smallholder cocoa plantations in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria. The PES must be prepared for longer periods of field work in the project countries. The main duties of the PES will include the following: 
  • Develop quality, accessible, sustainable extension services and farmer organization support services to provide farmers with the knowledge and technologies they need to increase their incomes and improve their food security through CocoaSoils.
  • Create support systems through institutional capacity building based on partnerships.
  • Coordinate activities among cocoa authorities and industry companies, liaising with their extension operations to engender effective collaboration in service delivery through training, monitoring, dissemination and support for project management with regard to implementation of recommendations derived from the CocoaSoils experimental trials.
  • Recruit, manage and support a team of master trainers who will be involved in dissemination activities under the project in a partnership for delivery context.
  • Coordinate information flow between scientists and development partners.
  • Build a lasting foundation for change by institutionalizing public and private sector capacity to implement, manage and monitor validated methodologies for farmer training and strengthening of farmer organizations.
  • Support country-owned efforts by providing individualized assistance to enable these institutions to independently implement, manage and monitor recommendations from CocoaSoils. 
  • Build capacity of interested private sector institutions (including companies directly involved in the cocoa value chain as well as others such as input suppliers) to do same. 
  • Test new business models with the private sector for provision of services such as pruning, agro-chemical application, and other services.  
Educational Qualifications:
The candidate should have at least an MSC in Development Studies, Agricultural Extension, Sociology, Communication Sciences, Anthropology or related fields in agriculture, with more than 10 years’ experience in scaling and partnership building.
Core Competencies: 
  • Experience in the creation of functioning partnerships.
  • Good stakeholder manager that can connect research and development.
  • Ability to work independently and in a team; pro-active attitude; good communication skills; ability to deal with high a work load; and capacity to work under challenging (field) conditions.
  • Good with service delivery in agriculture or related fields.
  • Good knowledge and inside connections of cocoa industry players in West Africa.
  • Proactive, innovative and independent problem solver, and excellent team player.
  • Good management abilities.
  • Experience in implementation, monitoring and reporting of research for development projects.
  • Excellent communication skills, fluent in both English and French and able to interact with a multi-cultural and interdisciplinary team of scientists and development partners in layman language. 
Duty Station: Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
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 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:
Closing Date: 5th March 2018
IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.           

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.