Associate Program Officer – Seed Technology, Rwanda

The Associate Program Officer – Seed Technology will be responsible for advancing the work of AGRA-seed systems investments in Rwanda (public and private institutions) through ensuring quality seed in Rwanda. S/he will ensure quality control in all aspects periodic visits to observe, advise, recruit and mentor and monitor field-based early generation and certified seed production activities, interact with farmers, managers of seed enterprises and creating on-going linkages between AGRA sponsored institutions, MINAGRI and USAID interventions in Rwanda and other useful contacts and services. S/he will identify high- impact grant-making opportunities and seed company trainees through regular visits to the field and breeding stations, where seed companies and breeders are active, and by interacting regularly with prospective grantees the seed value chain


  • In liaison with GST/Country Head Initiate best bet concepts for investments in the seed systems for Rwanda
  • Assist prospective grantees in the area of quality seed production, seed regulation requirements, breeder and foundation seed acquisition and farmer awareness
  • Identify and recommend for funding qualified and motivated local private seed companies and business entrepreneurs who will transform seed business in Rwanda
  • Provide expert advice and regular monitoring of all seed production activities and systems development activities sponsored by AGRA, so as to maximize the effectiveness of seed production and the overall effectiveness of AGRA.
  • Provide regularly updated information to all seed companies and seed enterprises regarding the release of improved, adapted crop varieties which might be of benefit to smallholder farmers; availability of breeder and foundation seed and parental line maintenance, commercialization of new varieties.
  • Oversee the AGRA agro-dealers’ investment in Rwanda, including selecting and providing technical support for grantee institutions that will train agro-input dealers across target countries
  • Advise and lead forums for seed quality control
  • Compile and maintain an up-to-date database of all trainees of seed companies through AGRA programs, breeding, seed production and agro-dealer activities sponsored by AGRA in order to provide all AGRA staff members with an effective means of measuring the program’s impact.
  • Work with the GST/Country Head to maintaining positive government relations and putting in place M&E for tracking program effectiveness, outputs and outcomes.

Budgetary Responsibility

The Associate Program Officer – Seed Technology may or may not own an operating budget but could control costs associated with a specific budget within a unit. The position may also have responsibility for an operational budget within assigned area of responsibility.

Core Knowledge & Skills

  • Results-oriented, accountable, with proactive leadership skills. Ability to lead by example, drive change and move from program concept to on-the-ground reality.
  • Determined, hard-working, individual who is prepared to work around barriers that arise in the course of an initiative.
  • Have an optimism that African farmers and consumers can benefit from improved, well-adapted agricultural technologies.
  • Ability to excite others about new opportunities and new ways of getting old jobs done.
  • Strong inter-personal skills which allow the Officer to work closely with African plant breeders to help formulate knowledge and ideas into breeding strategies that carry a high probability of success, and communicate effectively with individuals and groups
  • of people.
  • Ability to recognize and prioritize potential crop breeding breakthroughs within an African setting;
  • Interest in field-based breeding work combined with physical stamina for extensive field visits.
  • Skill in negotiating policies which permit sharing of intellectual property.
  • Understanding of private sector activity in plant breeding and seed commerce.

Decisions will typically be limited to area of expertise and may involve exercising independent judgment in developing methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results. Use scientific judgment to evaluate grant ideas. Decide on best way to shape and develop new ideas. Prioritize across different work streams. Work on complex problems. Analysis of situation or data requires an in-depth evaluation of various factors.

Internal & External Contacts:

Serves as a point of contact on issues for key stakeholders, both internal and external. Provide support in external relationship management, keeps current of key developments in partner institutions. Represent AGRA with broad stakeholders: grantees, universities, other funders, international organizations, beneficiaries. Maintains a wide network of stakeholders and contributors to the work. Negotiations skills to bring diverse collaborators together and advocate for their work.


Problems are somewhat complex and require research and careful review of options, for example. the development of a new grant idea, especially if it involves multiple partners, requires extensive internal and external consultations, careful research and can be quite complex. This is not true for all new grants though.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Masters or Ph.D. in plant breeding or other closely-related discipline.
  • Minimum of five years’ experience leading Seed Certification and/or Seed Systems programs in a developing country.
  • Previous experience in related job is a plus.
  • Capable of serving as an advisor to the Country and GST Head on issues related to personnel, program strategy, and program implementation.
  • Be attentive to details which constrain effective program implementation, and be capable of focusing on them as a priority until they are resolved.
  • Ability to travel up to 50% of time required

If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail and telephone contacts).

Applications should be submitted to noting to quote the job title in the subject of the email. To be considered, applications must be received by 24th August, 2018.

For more information on AGRA, applicants can visit

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer