Search UN Jobs and NGO Jobs

UN Jobs / NGO Job Vacancy : Product Manager / Market Researcher for Breeding Product Development and Uptake

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Organization: International Maize and Wheat Improvement
Closing date: 12 Apr 2018

The Excellence in Breeding Platform ( is a new cross-commodity platform that supports the modernization of breeding programs targeting Africa, Asia, and Latin America for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development.

The Platform is recruiting a product manager / specialist in market research to improve understanding of how to increase impact of germplasm developed for developing world farmers (with a focus on cereals, legumes, root and tubers). The position will seek to identify and establish principles and practices to better understand demand and constraints to product uptake and associated implications for product profiles, breeding pipelines and product placement / uptake. The incumbent will model a significant role in the variety replacement strategy and variety/germplasm advancement process. Once these constraints are understood, the successful candidate will develop methods and processes to overcome these constraints. The position hence seeks to understand the needs and drivers of the clients, particularly food crop value chain actors (e.g. seed suppliers, farmers, processors and final consumers), direct and indirect factors affecting product uptake and to convey those needs to the associated breeding programs for incorporation into improved product profiles, greater breeding focus and appropriate product placement / variety release strategies. Given the mandate of the CGIAR, special emphasis is placed on understanding the needs and drivers relevant to lower income/less informed socio-economic groups, and challenges associated with generating market intelligence pertaining to women’s needs and role in achieving greater household food security and farm-derived incomes.

The platform is part of the new CGIAR portfolio of research programs and platforms (, and being led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries (

The position will be based at one of the member CGIAR breeding centers in Africa, Asia or Latin America (to be negotiated). The position will involve significant international travel.

Specific duties:

  • Conduct applied research to discover constraints to variety replacement. Develop methods and processes to overcome these constraints.
  • Take stock and develop robust practices for profiling demand and identifying product attributes and their potential use by market actors (seed businesses, farmers, processors, consumers) in different market, cultural, and political-regulatory contexts.
  • Work with CGIAR centers to create a cross disciplinary role within the institution to increase impact of breeding by:
    • gaining an intimate understanding of the factors affecting variety replacement (including accurate product profiles),
    • actively participating in the germplasm advancement process, and,
    • active involvement in the seed multiplication and dissemination process, including active engagement with the seed industry.
  • Develop a business case including a cost-benefit analysis for the above role(s).
  • Develop robust processes and methods for the personnel filling the above role(s) to follow.
  • Work with EiB members to implement these practices and identify and prioritize product attributes which are demanded by market actors and take into account the needs and circumstances of these actors and the value the market places on different product attributes.
  • Provide mentorship and consultation for the partner breeding community to revise product profiling aligned with drivers of variety adoption resulting in clearly defined variety replacement strategies.
  • Ensure socially inclusive needs and circumstances, particularly of women and youth in rural households in target geographies, are considered in product design and scaling strategies.
  • Prepare training strategy and materials for use by researchers and value chain actors.
  • Lead and contribute to electronic virtual and hands on training and mentorship activities targeted at the EiB partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Contribute to annual and multi-year work plan development, execution and reporting, and manage associated budgets.

Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • MBA/DBA or MSc/PhD in business development and/or marketing from a recognized institution.
  • Minimum 5 years commercial experience in the agricultural sector.
  • Experience in collection and interpretation of market intelligence data.
  • Familiarity with the seed sector / seed value chains and experience with defining breeding product profiles desirable.
  • Awareness of the unique challenges of collecting market intelligence data and of variety replacement in the developing world.
  • Awareness of marketing methods including how to intimately understand requirements for variety adoption and methods for marketing, with very limited budget, new varieties to developing world farmers.
  • Interest in social inclusiveness, including awareness of the role women have in variety uptake and challenges associated with generating market intelligence pertaining to women’s needs and role in achieving greater household food security and farm incomes.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies:
    • Research skills to understand the problem, to develop ways of extracting relevant information from market participants, and to collate and interpret such information to develop a solution to the problem.
    • Interpersonal skills to respectfully and tactfully present a paradigm shift in terms of new ways of operating.
    • Leadership skills.
    • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
    • Thrives in complex working environments and in multi-disciplinary discussions and activities
    • Results focused, pragmatic attitude and decision-making skills.
    • An adaptable personality, able to work effectively within a product-oriented perspective while engaging with organizations/stakeholders that might not share this perspective.
    • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills in English.
    • Experience in the design and implementation of training and capacity development.
    • Service orientation.

The position is for an initial fixed-term for three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT offers internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual airfare, contribution to a retirement plan and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

How to apply:

Candidates must apply here for IRS17132 Product Manager / Market Researcher for Breeding Product Development and Uptake. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Thursday February 8, 2018. Applications must include a CV and a letter of interest. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at
Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
This position will remain open until filled.

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.