Position open – Genetic Resources and Food Security Policy Specialist

We are very pleased to be soliciting applications for the position of Genetic Resources and Food Security Policy Specialist, funded by through the  Netherlands’  Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme.

The Genetic Resources and Food Security Policy Specialist will provide scientific support to the project Strengthening national capacities to implement the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources Project (GRPI 2). GRPI 2  supports efforts in a number of countries, with complementary subregional level activities, to implement the International Treaty’s multilateral system of access of benefit sharing.

The JPO will focus on a) countries’ ability to use the multilateral system to respond to climate-change related challenges to food security, and b) farmers’ capacity to participate directly in the multilateral system.

The JPO will work with teams of researchers comprised of national partners, and staff from Bioversity, the Centre for International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and numerous universities, and the Treaty Secretariat, to:

  • Conduct ‘national interdependence and food security studies’
  • Identify climate change-related challenges to agricultural production in partner countries, and identify potential sources of genetic diversity as part of strategies to adapt to those challenges
  • Identify policy and legal options for implementation of the Treaty in ways that address bottlenecks and promote availability and use of germplasm for formal and informal sector conservation, breeding and research
  • Build capacity/empower farmers and farming organizations to take advantage of the multilateral system 
  • Organize activities to draw together participants from the different countries supported by the GRPI 2 project and international experts to develop research and capacity building tools, work on common research products including peer reviewed publications, workshop reports, draft policy options

The succesful candidate will work out of Bioversity International’s Regional Office for Sub-Saharan African, in Nairobi, Kenya. He or she will primarily focus on supporting activities supported by GRPI in East Africa.

Applications will only be accepted from candidates from developing countries. The deadline for applications is May 20.



Rice collecting in Uganda – materials to be included in the multilateral system

John Wasswa Mulumba, Head, Plant Genetic Resources Center, Uganda

The Head of the Plant Genetic Resources Center** (PGRC) of Uganda, John Wasswa Mulumba, has sent us a message about plans to collect rice germplasm in Uganda, confirming that the collected material will be included in the multilateral system of access and benefit sharing under the Treaty. The PGRC, in partnership with farmers,  local communities and research institutions will collect and conserve cultivated and wild rice germplasm under a Gatsby-funded project entitled ‘Collecting wild and cultivated rice from East Africa’.

The  PGRC, through the Uganda National Gene Bank, will safety duplicate samples of each accession with AfricaRice and IRRI. Those materials will be made available under the multilateral system.  

IRRI reports that rice collecting missions are also being coordinated with national partners in Tanzania and Kenya.

**The PGRC is an entity comprised of the historical Entebbe Botanic Gardens  (EBG) and the Uganda National Genebank (UNGB). It is part of the National  Agricultural Organisation (NARO) of Uganda.