Scientist - Traditional Vegetables conservation and utilization

The World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) is a non-profit, autonomous international agricultural research center with headquarters in Taiwan and five regional offices around the globe. WorldVeg conducts research and development programs that contribute to realize the potential of vegetables for healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods. For more information please visit our website:

Traditional vegetables have a high potential to improve food and nutrition security in African countries and provide new market opportunities for small-scale farmers. WorldVeg seeks a dedicated scientist to develop a portfolio of activities to conserve and enhance the use of the genetic resources of traditional vegetables in sub-Saharan Africa. The scientist will be responsible for maintaining, screening, and utilizing the genebank collection of traditional vegetables held by WorldVeg East and Southern Africa Regional Office in Arusha, Tanzania. The person will develop research collaborations with WorldVeg scientists in Tanzania, Taiwan and other WorldVeg offices, as well as with universities, NGOs, farmer organizations, seed companies and public organizations to rescue and conserve crop diversity of traditional vegetables threatened by crop replacement and land use change and enhance the demand-driven use of traditional vegetables.

The germplasm collection held by WorldVeg East and Southern Africa Regional Office is an active collection that maintains about 2,500 accessions of traditional vegetables for screening, evaluation, genetic improvement, and distribution. This collection is connected directly to the WorldVeg genebank in Taiwan that holds about 60,000 vegetable accessions.

Reporting to the Flagship Program Leader - Vegetable Diversity and Improvement and under the guidance of WorldVeg's Genebank Manager:

  • Maintain and improve the traditional African vegetable germplasm collection and associated documentation at the genebank at WorldVeg East and Southern Africa Regional Office.
  • Develop proposals and manage projects in strategic research areas to safeguard, screen, and stimulate demand-driven use of vegetable genetic resources in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Investigate and optimize seed supply and access models for quality seed of traditional African vegetables in collaboration with NGOs, governmental institutions, the private sector and other actors.
  • Work closely with relevant national plant genetic resources institutions and phytosanitary and quarantine institutions to ensure compliance with cross-border germplasm transfer regulation in view of safeguarding germplasm health.
  • Ensure that all germplasm transfer into and out of WorldVeg East and Southern Africa Regional Office complies with the rules and regulations of WorldVeg as aligned with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and supported by respective Material Transfer Agreements to guarantee lawful exchange and freedom to operate for the germplasm.
  • Characterize germplasm collections to better understand their diversity, identify traits of interest, more specifically nutritional traits, and evaluate the performance of accessions under different environmental conditions.
  • Develop suitable and efficient storage and seed processing protocols for various priority crops in view of maximizing storage life of the seeds in the collection.
  • Publish and communicate results through journals and other publication avenues.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisors.

Essential Competencies:
WorldVeg is seeking candidates with the following qualifications:

  • PhD degree with at least 3 years of relevant experience in genetics, plant breeding, genetic resource conservation, agronomy or in a related field.
  • Interest and ability to collaborate with multiple partners in the region to enhance the conservation and utilization of vegetable genetic resources in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Relevant publications in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience in proposal development, fundraising and project management.
  • Experience in field experimentation.
  • Excellent computer literacy including experience with database management.
  • Experience in working with genebank collections, preferably of vegetable crops.
  • Familiar and working knowledge with the provisions of Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and Material Transfer protocols and agreements.
  • Excellent computational skills in database, statistical analysis and customized software applications used in genebanks is an advantage.
  • Interest and ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
  • Proficiency with written and spoken English; knowledge of French is an asset.
  • Knowledge of sub-Saharan Africa and good contacts with NARES scientists in the region is an added advantage.

The Reward:
This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position with competitive pay and benefits. The initial appointment is for three years and may be extended depending on requirement, funding availability, and performance of the incumbent.

How to Apply:
Applicants should submit a letter of application explaining their suitability for and interest in the position along with a curriculum vitae, a recent passport size photograph, names and addresses (including telephone/fax/email) of three referees, and date of availability to before the 15th of August 2018.

traditional vegetables
Arusha (Tanzania)