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Jobs: Senior Specialist – Agriculture Research & Development (Seed Systems & Product Management)

Closing Date: 18-Mar-2020

Job Purpose

IRRI in association with NARES partners is engaged in development and promotion of new high yielding, climate resilient and other potential varieties in rice based farming systems. A timely replacement of older varieties with new ones and ensuring seed replacement rate have significant impact on increasing farm productivity with optimum resources and hence ensure the welfare of farmers. There is a need to scale up the adoption of these varieties for better impacts. Indian national programs release many rice / cop cultivars each year, but relatively farmers adopt few. Farmer-to-farmer exchange is considered to be the main mechanism for the widespread dissemination of varieties. However, lot of work needs to be done to ensure quality of seeds distributed in farmer managed systems as well build multiple potential institutions led by community groups. Formal seed chain need to advance and scale the production, distribution pattern for new varieties/products through a strengthened Breeder Seed and Foundation seed linkage and timely/production and distribution in right volume for better access to quality seeds. Evidence driven data need to be generated to evaluate varietal performance of new varieties against the old popular varieties and data from on farm trials need to be organized and fed systematically to NARES breeding and varietal improvement programmes. Research for development needs to be strengthened around seed system models, varietal delivery and adoption. Stakeholder feedback around a new product being evaluated and introduced or developed need to be captures systematically and fed into breeding programmes. Seed business remaining a potential enterprise opportunity for many farmers or farmer’s groups, need to be built as sustainable model for enhancing localized access, production and supply of quality seeds. It is also important to compare and find the pros and cons of different delivery /extension approaches while disseminating these varieties and expecting adoption and research around this also needs to be strengthened.

Under the minimum supervision of Scientist I  – Seed System and Product Management, South Asia, this position therefore will work on strengthening research around varietal delivery programmes, design and promoting models and innovations around seed system strengthening (formal /farmer managed systems), Conduct large scale scientific as well non-scientific evidence generation activities , on farm trials and link those to breeding programmes, foster partnership and strategic collaboration, develop business and funding and resource mobilization  opportunities in the region.

This position will be based at the IRRI South Asia Regional Center (ISARC) at Varanasi and may only be filled by permanent citizens of India.