ECHOcommunity Updates

Career Opportunity: ECHO Asia Seed Bank Supervisor 2020-04-01

The ECHO Asia Regional Impact Center is seeking highly qualified individuals to apply for the role of Seed Bank Supervisor.

General Description

 

The primary purpose of this role is to lead and coordinate effective operations of the ECHO Asia Seed Bank according to the goals and objectives of the Asia Regional Impact Center. Housed at the ECHO Asia Farm, the Seed Bank primarily serves the needs of network members, as well as other like-minded organizations and individuals operating in the Asia region. These support services occurring at

the Seed Bank can include but are not limited to:

  1. Identification, selection, and collection of regionally important crops that are open pollinated and underutilized but bearing potentials for improved nutrition, food security and livelihoods;
  2. Production testing, propagation and multiplication of these seeds and seedlings;
  3. Processing, packaging, distribution and storage of seeds and planting materials;
  4. Conduct of applied research on seed saving and storage technologies and techniques appropriate for farming communities and small scale producers; and
  5. Provision of training and/or learning sessions on Seed Saving and Banking for community development practitioners in general, and community-based Seed Bank operators in particular, including interns and volunteers.

Position Title

Seed Bank Supervisor

Division

ECHO Asia Regional Impact Center

Department

Program Department

Reports directly to

Program Manager

Reports ultimately to

Regional Director

Will work in conjunction with

Farm Supervisor, Operations Manager, Research and Extension Coordinator, and Hospitality Coordinator

Supervisees

Information & Quality Control Technician, and Seed Technology Assistant

Starting Date

May/June 2020

Duration

Full-time

Date Document Finalized

10 March 2020

 

Main Duties & Responsibilities

 

  1. Key Result Area 1: Management and operation of the ECHO Asia Seed Bank.

 

        Key Performance Indicator: Systematic and effective day-to-day running of the Seed Bank in accordance with plans and resources of the RIC.

 

        Tasks:

  1. Identification, selection, and collection of regionally important crops:
    1. Review relevant publications about Asian food crops, particularly those that are underutilized or less common but promising cultivars.
    2. Network with research agencies, academic institutions, social enterprises, farmer organizations and non-governmental organizations engaged in production and testing of indigenous crop varieties.
    3. Prepare list of candidate crops for collection and update this list periodically. Work with Florida staff to keep records current in the online store and seed information pages on ECHOcommunity.org
    4. Collect sample seeds and planting materials of these crops in the course of networking, field-based trainings, field visits and seed swap events.
    5. Assign accession number/identity of these collected seeds and planting materials and store them properly.
  2. Production testing, propagation and multiplication of these seeds and seedlings:
    1. Evaluate the merit and potential of seed collections at the ECHO Farm and with network members in Asia. Then produce and multiple promising varieties with natural farming methods
    2. Prepare monthly and seasonal plans (e.g., plot mapping, and assign them to staff for implementation on weekly basis).
    3. Monitor implementation of activities and prepare monthly reports.
    4. Develop periodic budgets (monthly/quarterly/annual as needed) for the Seed Bank operations in coordination with immediate supervisor (Program Manager) and Operations Manager.
    5.  Establish partnerships with ECHO-accredited local seed producers for contractual production to ensure sufficient quantities of select seeds for the Seed Bank.
    6. Ensure adequate and timely supplies and materials for the Seed Bank.
    7. Ensure quality and safety standards of the Seed Bank facilities and equipment.
    8. Oversee and follow-up record keeping by Seed Bank staff, interns and volunteers (on grow-out sheets, inventory records, etc.) to ensure correctness and up to date records. 
    9. Assist the Seed Bank volunteers and/or interns in developing the Seed Bank Crop Information Sheets with technical descriptions and photos to be posted in the ECHO website and included in seed orders
  3. Processing, packaging, distribution and storage of seeds and planting materials:
    1. Manage the inventory of master and active seeds in the Seed Bank.
    2. In conjunction with the Information and Quality Control Technician, maintain up-to-date records of (a) seed accessions (b) inventory - type and amount of seeds in stock, and (c) seed distribution in Passport Software. And maintain these records in ECHO’s shared accounts currently housed in Google Drive and DropBox).
    3. Oversee the following activities:
      1. Handling of seed orders, their distribution and delivery, and collection of payments.
      2. Oversee and manage the ECHO Seed Bank photo library.
      3. Oversee cleaning, drying and germination testing of seeds.
    4. Work with the Operations Manager in updating the on-line Seed Catalog and seed order process.
  4. Perform other management tasks and duties assigned by direct supervisor for the common good of ECHO Asia, such as annual performance appraisal of staff, convening of Seed Bank team meetings, annual team planning and year-end review, etc.
  5. Periodic assessment and evaluation of activities and progress, and institute necessary adjustment/changes.

 

  1. Key Result Area 2:  Conduct of applied research on seed saving and storage technologies and techniques.

 

Key Performance Indicator: Innovative and low-cost ways of saving and storing seeds are developed, documented and shared with ECHO Asia network members.

 

      Tasks:

    1. In coordination with the Program Manager, and Research & Extension Coordinator develop and conceptualize research topics and protocol of identified studies and field tests.
    2. Carry-out varietal testing and performance assessment of promising food crops at the ECHO Farm.
    3. Support the Research and Extension Coordinator in engaging select regional partners in evaluation of seed varieties in their localities (outside ECHO Farm), and performance reporting by (a) providing a selection of seeds for testing, (b) recording feedback from collaborating partners, and report preparation
    4. Disseminate free trial packets of seeds through the ECHO Asia Network of community change agents and farmers.

 

  1. Key Result Area 3: Provision of training on Seed Saving and Banking for community development practitioners and community-based Seed Bank operators

 

Key Performance Indicator: Highly satisfied training participants and learners as evidenced by their evaluation and feedback of the training and learning events.

 

Tasks

    1. Supervise activities of interns and volunteers of the Seed Bank based on assigned tasks and activities.
    2. Provide technical support in planning, organization and implementation of major ECHO Asia Conferences, for a, workshops and tours.
    3. In tandem with the Agricultural Training Coordinator, co-lead in planning and implementing the ECHO Seed Saving and Banking Courses.
    4. Engage self in making knowledge and skills in seed saving and banking current and up-to-date.

 

Work Environment & Physical Requirements

 

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions at the ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center. The noise and activity level in the work environment is varied depending on trainings and construction happening at the farm site. The farm office is usually quiet; however, at times the environment can become harried due to expected (and unexpected) urgent projects, trainings, tours and deadline demands.

 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands, talk and hear. Fine motor skills such as typing, the use of a computer mouse and telephone handset are required. The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms. The employee is required to sit, stoop, kneel, and crouch. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

 

Key Working Relationships

 

The Seed Bank Supervisor will report directly to the Program Manager and will work alongside the Farm Supervisor, Operations Manager, Research and Extension Coordinator, and Hospitality Coordinator. Additionally, the position will interact with the Farm and Administrative staff. This position will directly supervise the Information & Quality Control Technician, and Seed Technology Assistant.

 

Experience & Qualifications

 

Education: Degree in technical field related to agriculture, preferably agronomy, horticulture, crop science, and plant breeding, or closely related field. Master’s Degree-holder is preferred for this position. Commensurate experience in the field of agriculture is also acceptable.

 

Experience: More than eight years of experience working in and around agricultural and/or international development, particularly in seed production and research , including but not limited to on-farm work experience, planning and implementation of topical workshops, facilitation of hands-on demonstration training, compilation of technical resource materials (on-line and hard copies). Experience working in developing countries in Asia with smallholder farmers is preferred.

 

Thai national.

 

Willingness to adhere to ECHO’s statement of faith: https://echonet.squarespace.com/statement-of-faith.

 

Preferred Skillsets:

  • Capacity for fluent English, both speaking and writing.

  • Ability and flexibility to work in a crosscultural setting.

  • Ability to work and relate to international and local colleagues.

  • Selfmotivated and able to work independently at times.

  • Ability to teach and train on a wide range of topics and materials and in diverse venues.

  • Willingness to work in multi-lingual environment.

  • Willingness to travel to and work in the developing countries.

  • Willingness to continually learn and keep up to date with current agricultural and community development practices.

  • Willingness to spend time in the office or out in the field for long periods of time.

  • Highly comfortable working in a team set-up.

  • Lightheartedness and possesses commitment to improving lives of people.

 

Travel:

  • Potential  for regional travel to training sites and/or consultations, up to about 45 days per year.

 

oOo

 

To Apply, please send cover letter and CV to Daniela (DJ) Riley at driley@echocommunity.org.

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ECHOcommunity is a membership community that provides access to nearly all of ECHO’s resources online, as well as communications tools to help development workers connect with each other.   View a list of ECHOcommunity.org features here.

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