(SPECIFIC PROCUREMENT NOTICE - SPN)

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1 Apply for PhD and MSc Graduate Scholarships in the Cassava value chain, under the project Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC), funded by the African Development Bank (SPECIFIC PROCUREMENT NOTICE - SPN) This invitation for applications follows the general procurement notice AfDB43-04/12 for this project that was published in UN Development Business online on 27 April, Cassava is a major food crop in sub-sahara Africa and one of the most important sources for carbohydrates. It is a major source of income for the farmers and a raw material for local industries. In the past years, cassava production and processing have been facing a lot of challenges such as no supply chain structures for the commercialization of cassava products, high cost of the production versus low yields as well as production orientation towards subsistence and not commercialization. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture ( and its SARD-SC project partners is working to develop new technologies and innovations to improve cassava production, processing and marketing so as to improve on food security and contribute to poverty reduction of target countries through a value chain approach. These new technologies and innovations will be developed and promoted through platforms comprised of stakeholders from participating countries (DR Congo, Tanzania, Zambia and Sierra Leone) and focusing on one of five main intervention areas: breeding, agronomy, agribusiness, gender, postharvest and policy. Gender issues will be considered and incorporated through all these areas. The SARD-SC project is aligned with national agricultural development plans and processes as smallholder cassava businesses in each country are already primed to boost productivity through their prior participation with other cassava projects. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and its partners AfricaRice and the International Center for Agricultural Research for the Dry Areas (ICARDA) have received a grant of about US$ 64 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance the project Support to Agricultural Research for development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD- SC). The strategic crops within the context of the project are cassava, maize, rice and wheat. The overall objective of SARD-SC is to enhance food and nutrition and contribute to poverty reduction in AfDB s low-income member Countries (RMCs). Its specific objective is to enhance the productivity and income of four CAADP s priority value chains (cassava, maize, rice and wheat) on a sustainable basis.

2 Under this project, AfDB has made a contribution to IITA to execute a 5-year sub-project, which aims to upgrade the cassava value chain in Africa through the (i) generation of agricultural technologies and innovations; (ii) sustainable dissemination and adoption of agricultural technologies and innovations across the value chain; and (iii) sustainable capacity strengthening of project stakeholders. As part of its human capacity building component, the project is offering up to ten (10) MSc and seven (7) PhD scholarships at African universities from 2013 onwards. Scholarships will be comprehensive and include stipend, research costs, tuition, travel and insurance. Areas of research The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture is offering scholarships related to the cassava value chain, in the field of Agronomy/Natural Resource Management; Postharvest, Mechanization; Gender; Agribusiness; Marketing; or any other closely related field. The research will comprise in-depth study of a relevant topic conducted in one of the SARD-SC cassava target countries. Suggested topics are detailed below, although the recruitment panel invites other topics related to the cassava value chain.

3 Tanzania following discipline areas 1 Agronomy Study of fertilizer response to elaborate on fertilizer recommendation for commercial cassava operation/testing of cassava varieties for efficient use of fertilizer. 2 Food Science and Technology or Agriculture Engineering Assessment of industrial traits in cassava, 2. Assessment of nutritional quality of cassava products, 3. Assessment of the technical efficiency and gender responsiveness of two cassava peeling and drying technologies 3 Agribusiness Evaluating options and identifying best models for financing commercial cassava operations 4 Marketing Assessment of consumption pattern and marketing efficiency for value added cassava products DR Congo 1 Plant Breeding (PhD) Breeding/Conventional and molecular assisted breeding 2 Natural Resource Management Development of soil (micro) biological implements to reinforce ISFM interventions (PhD) 3 Natural Resource Management Integration between soil fertility and soil-borne pest and disease management 4 Agronomy Effects of different cropping systems on cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) production and productivity in some agro ecologies of DRC 5 Agronomy/Physiology Cassava root and leaves yields depend on the genotypic variation in the source and sink capacities and their efficiency in translocation 6 Socio economic Assessment of cassava value chain in some regions of DRC Sierra Leone 1 Postharvest (MPhil) Application of solar technology to cassava flour value chain development

4 2 Crop Protection/Soil and Soil and plant health enhancement for increased crop yields through cassava- grain legume Plant health (PhD) intercrops 3 Extension (MPhil) The sociology of novel technology interventions in promoting cassava value chains Zambia 1 Plant Breeding (PhD) Breeding/Conventional and molecular assisted breeding 2 Natural Resource Developing integrated soil fertility management for cassava based systems Management (PhD) 3 Natural Resource Weed density and cassava yield Management 4 Post-harvest/ agroenterprises (i) Constraints and driving factors to developing rural-based agro-enterprises (ii) Factors to sustainable agro-enterprises

5 Qualifications Candidates must satisfy the target university s admission requirements for MSc or PhD studies. Candidates must have identified a supervisory Professor at a reputable target University in one of the eligible countries, who must have agreed to the research proposal written by the applicant. Strong preference is given to candidates already enrolled at a University, and who have finished all or most of the coursework requirements. Media for the thesis research program will be English, except for candidates from DR Congo where French may be used. Eligible countries The scholarships are open to nationals from any African countries. Enrolment can be in any reputable African university. Application procedure Candidates should apply by sending an to Please identify which SARD-SC position for which you are applying. All applicants are required to include: (1) Bio data; (2) BSc or MSc Certificate; (3) A brief proposal of the research (one-page maximum); (4) Endorsement letter by a supervisory Professor; (5) Where applicable, proof of enrolment (Admission letter) at a reputable University; (6) Where applicable, transcripts of MSc or PhD coursework at a reputable University. (7) A completed version of the IITA Graduate Research Training application form. Closing date 30 th August Screening of applications will begin shortly afterwards and will continue till positions are filled. IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates. All applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted. For more information about IITA visit:

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