Vegetable Breeder, Flagship Program Leader

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 realizing the potential of vegetables for healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods. For more information, visit the following website:

WorldVeg holds the world's largest collection of vegetable genetic resources in the public domain. The Center's vegetable breeding programs in Africa and Asia turn these resources into improved breeding lines and work with the public and private sectors to develop and scale new vegetable varieties for the benefit of smallholder farmers and consumers in lower-income countries. The Center also develops and promotes safer and more sustainable production and postharvest practices to make vegetable value chains more efficient with the ultimate aim of making vegetables more available, affordable, and accessible.

WorldVeg seeks to recruit a Vegetable Breeder to be based at the Center's regional office for West and Central Africa – Coastal and Humid Regions located in Cotonou, Benin. She/he will report to the Flagship Program Leader for Vegetable Diversity and Improvement.

Key Responsibilities:

  • In coordination with the Senior Scientist – Tomato Breeding, perform research on farmer-preferred traits of tomatoes develop product profiles, and breed tomatoes for the African market.
  • Support the WorldVeg breeding programs, particularly the Traditional African Vegetable breeding program, by performing trials and evaluations in West and Central Africa by supervising field teams and by collecting, curating, and sharing evaluation data.
  • Develop and implement projects on vegetable breeding and vegetable supply that are implemented in West Africa.
  • Strengthen seed systems for vegetables and work with public and private sectors to scale vegetable varieties.
  • Promote vegetable research, breeding, and variety scaling in West Africa by collaborating with public and private sectors and with the African Vegetable Breeding Consortium, and by actively participating in workshops, field days, and other events.
  • Facilitate the establishment and strengthening of collaborative research with key stakeholders in West and Central Africa.
  • Represent the WorldVeg Vegetable Diversity and Improvement Team at conferences, project meetings, and other events.
  • Provide training and technical backstopping to enhance capacity building of the public and private sector through training in vegetable breeding.
  • Contribute to project proposal development and project management including preparation of reports.
  • Publish research in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Undertake any other duties as required by the needs of the Center and directed by the supervisor.

Note: WorldVeg reserves the right to revise job profiles at any time based on changes to the required job responsibilities.

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in genetics, plant breeding, or in a related discipline.
  • Minimum of 4 years of experience in field breeding with a strong publication record.
  • Demonstrated capacity in implementing participatory research methods.
  • Experience with variety development and release as well as effective seed dissemination.
  • Experience in project management, reporting, managing budgets, and leading a plant breeding research group.
  • Fluent in English and French
  • Strong skills in biometry, R statistical software, leadership, and communication

The Reward: This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position with competitive pay and benefits. The appointment is for three years, renewable after a performance review.

The candidate we hire will embody WorldVeg's Core Values:

1. Dedication to Innovation and Knowledge Sharing Supports the conduct of world-class science, respects ethical standards, and is committed to sharing results in a transparent manner.
2. Commitment to Impact Aspires to achieve positive, tangible, and lasting impact contributing to Sustainable Development Goals.
3. Commitment to Partnerships Believes in the value of partnerships to advance research for development.
4. Respect for People Respect the diversity of gender, culture, ethnic origin, religion, age, beliefs, and views.
5. Respect for the Environment Strives to minimize its environmental impact and to introduce greener technology and practices.

How to Apply: Applicants should submit a letter of application explaining their suitability for and interest in the position along with an updated curriculum vitae, a recent passport-size photograph, names, and addresses (including telephone/fax/e-mail) of three referees, and date of availability to The submission deadline is before 31 December 2023. Please mention the position title in the subject line.

vegetable breeding
vegetable diversity
vegetable research
Cotonou (Benin)