Programme Leader - Sustainable Agriculture

  • Posted on 10 July 2018

Job Description

The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Programme Leader – Sustainable Agriculture located at its regional office in Suva, Fiji.


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Land Resources Division (LRD) provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) on all aspects of agriculture and forestry. This includes plant protection, conservation, plant genetic resources, animal health and production, agroforestry, biosecurity and trade facilitation, and sustainable systems for agriculture, forestry and land management. This work has two objectives: improved food and nutritional security, and resilient communities. The division’s services are provided through seven technical/thematic teams: Animal Health and Production; Plant Health; Biosecurity and Trade Facilitation; Forest and Agriculture Diversification; Crop Production and Extension; Genetic Resources; and Forests and Trees.

The role – The Programme Leader – Sustainable Agriculture assumes overall leadership and management responsibilities for effective and efficient operations and service delivery for sustainable animal production and health, sustainable crop production and soil management, pests and disease management and the promotion of innovative research and extension. This role encompasses management and development responsibilities and implementation of the programme’s work plans, projects, staffing and financial resources.

The Sustainable Agriculture Programme will have the following focus areas:

  • Sustainable animal husbandry through effective conservation and promotion of improved breeds, feed systems, integrated livestock production systems and animal health practices.
  • Sustainable production intensification through climate smart practices, improved soil health, water management, integrated farming systems and good agronomic practices.
  • Integrated pests and disease management to improve plant health practices in the Pacific region through effective promotion of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
  • Innovative research and extension approaches to improve adoption and scaling of new agricultural technologies through capacity building, robust information systems and effective networking.

The key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Leadership and management – provide high quality leadership in building the Sustainable Agriculture Programme and ensuring a team-oriented culture to enhance the development of projects, and support the implementation of the programme’s work plans and its effective delivery to PICTs and development partners.
  • Resource mobilisation – develop and coordinate multi-disciplinary grant proposals, in close collaboration with scientists and technical advisers from other LRD programmes, as well as regional and international partners.
  • Policy and advice – contribute to policy analysis and ensure timely responses to the Director LRD, the senior management team, member PICTs and other international organisations working on sustainable agriculture development in the region.
  • Technical services – ensure timely provision of strategic technical advice and appropriate technical assistance and support to PICTs and key international stakeholders on crops and soils, integrated pest and disease management and animal production and health.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.

Key selection criteria


  • A master’s degree in agricultural science

Knowledge and experience

  • At least ten years of leadership experience
  • Research expertise in the areas of crop and livestock development, pests and disease management, extension research or related agricultural areas
  • Previous experience in fundraising, proposal preparation and project management
  • Understanding of national and regional issues related to sustainable agricultural production in the Pacific region

Essential skills

  • Demonstrated ability to publish in international peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Experience in computational and statistical tools for the management of agricultural information
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to motivate, inspire and promote teamwork in an interdisciplinary, multicultural, and regional context
  • Strong negotiation and coordination skills
  • Excellent report writing, planning and organising skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Advocacy skills with initiative and ability to think laterally to identify innovative solutions

Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – Three years

Remuneration – The Programme Leader – Sustainable Agriculture is a Band 12 position in SPC’s 2018 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,393‒4,242 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 9,705–12,131 (USD 4,683–5,853; EUR 4,196–5,245). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,170–2,625 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

As an equal-opportunity employer, SPC recruits on merit; however if two interviewed candidates are ranked equally by the selection committee, preference will be given to nationals of Pacific Island countries and territories.

SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.

Application procedure

Closing Date – 2 August 2018

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume
  • contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. The Pacific Community does not support dual spouse employment.

Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions. If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening Questions:

  1. In your opinion, how should we define and build programmes for sustainable agriculture activities, specifically within the context of the Pacific region? In addition, please list a few reasons why the Pacific Community should pursue a sustainable agriculture approach to food and nutrition security.
  1. As the Programme Leader – Sustainable Agriculture, you will be required to operate within a matrix system of projects and programmes. Can you explain how such a system would effectively contribute to sustainable agriculture advancement within the Pacific region?
  1. Your role will be to lead and transform the Sustainable Agriculture Programme to ensure it supports food and nutrition security; the responsibilities will include both programmatic development and operational effectiveness. Please provide a few examples of operational effectiveness in the context of developing this pillar.
  1. A child protection policy screening requirement: Have you been convicted of any offences involving children?

More information

JD Programme Leader - Sustainable Agriculture.docx

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