Secretariat of the Pacific Community (HQ)

Programme Leader - Sustainable Agriculture

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Last update: Jan 31, 2024 Last update: Jan 31, 2024


Deadline: Mar 3, 2024 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Fiji Fiji
Job type:Contract, 12 months +
Work experience: Min 12 years
Date posted:Jan 31, 2024



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 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Land Resources Division (LRD) provides effective expert scientific advice, capacity building and services on conservation, development and utilization of plant genetic resources, forest and landscape management, resilient agricultural systems, diversification of livelihood strategies and access to markets to maintain ecosystem services and improve land productivity and the food, nutrition security and resilience of Pacific communities. LRD has expertise in genetic resource conservation, resilient agriculture, biosecurity, pest and disease management, agricultural extension, plant pathology, entomology, and animal health. It collaborates with governments, regional organisations, civil society and other SPC divisions to pinpoint the needs and priorities of Pacific countries and communities and provide technical expertise to address them. This mission is realized through four main thematic work areas, or pillars, and a progressively integrated approach to programming that works towards achieving SPC’s development goals.

The role – Programme Leader – Sustainable Agriculture will assume 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 key responsibilities of the role include:

Leadership and Management

  • Ensure the effective management of the sustainable agriculture programme to support regional scientific research and development on crop production, animal health and production, pests and disease management and research and extension systems to support scaling of innovations in agriculture.

Resource Mobilization

  • Develop and coordinate multi-disciplinary grant proposals, in close collaboration with scientists from other LRD Programmes and technical advisers, as well as regional and international partners.
  • In support of Director LRD and in consultation with the Senior Technical Advisors, assume a lead role in the mobilisation of resources to enhance LRD work on Sustainable Agriculture.

Policy and advice

  • Contribute to policy analysis and timely responses to Director LRD, senior management team, member PICTs and other international organizations on sustainable agriculture development in the region.

Technical services

  • Ensure timely provision of strategic technical advice and appropriate technical assistance and support to member PICTs and key international stakeholders on crops and soils, integrated pest and disease management and animal production and health.
  • Promote extension support and scaling of innovations and good practices on sustainable agriculture and livestock production.

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

Key selection criteria


  • A master’s degree in agricultural science or relevant field.
  • Demonstrated experience in project or program management role within a regional/international organization.

Technical expertise

  • Minimum of 12 years of experience in a similar role or demonstrated project management and staff supervision experience.
  • Expertise in research relevant to crop and livestock development, pests and disease management, extension research and or related agricultural areas.
  • Understanding of national and regional issues related to sustainable agricultural production.
  • Experience in computational and statistical tools for the management of agricultural information.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Experience in fund-raising, proposal preparation and project management.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to motivate inspire and promote teamwork in an interdisciplinary, multicultural, and regional context.

Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written).

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

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

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration3 years – subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.

Remuneration – The Programme Leader – Sustainable Agriculture is a band 12 position in SPC’s 2024 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,565‒4,456 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 10,623–13,279 (USD 4,741–5,927; EUR 4,419–5,524). 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 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, 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.

Recruitment principles– SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will be given to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s Privacy Policy.

How to apply

Application procedure

Closing Date: 3 March 2024 at 11:59pm (Fiji time)

Job Reference: JM000569

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

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

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. SPC may assist on a case-by-case basis with submissions to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consideration and final approval. SPC cannot and does not make any guarantee whatsoever of approval for such applications to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs and where an application is approved, the spouse or partner will subject to such terms and conditions as may be set from time to time by the Ministry.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.

Screening Questions (maximum of 2,000 characters per question):

  1. Please share your thoughts on how we can define and develop sustainable agriculture programs specifically for the Pacific region. Also, please explain why adopting sustainable agriculture practices would benefit the Pacific Community and ensure food and nutrition security.
  2. As the Programme Leader for Sustainable Agriculture, you will operate within a matrix system of projects and programmes. Can you explain how this system can be managed effectively to deliver programme results. What sort of additional support mechanism would be required -if any – for such as approach to succeed?
  3. Your role is to lead the Sustainable Agriculture Programme and make it more effective in meeting and addressing the Pacific food systems and nutritional and food security. This will involve developing the program and ensuring it runs smoothly. Please provide a few examples of how you plan to improve the operational effectiveness of the Sustainable Agriculture programme. What would be the key considerations in a resource mobilization strategy for this programme?
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