Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor-Leste

Location:    Based in Maliana, District of Bobonaro.

Duration:    32 months

Commencement date:    10 June, 2013

Closing date for applications:     24 May, 2013

Remuneration:    A competitive package will be offered

Description of the organisation:    

Seeds of Life (SoL) is a program within the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) in Timor-Leste (East Timor).  The third phase of Seeds of Life (SoL III), 2011-2016, aims to improve food security in Timor-Leste through increased productivity of food crops.  The Governments of Timor-Leste and Australia collaboratively fund the program.  Australian funding is provided through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and is managed by ACIAR.  The Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) within The University of Western Australia (UWA) coordinates the Australian funded activities.

SoL III consists of a team of more than 80 professional Timorese staff plus 10 international advisors.  There are three regional advisors (RAs).  This RA position is based in the District of Bobonaro.  Frequent travel to Dili will also be required.  The RA will work with the Director and staff of the District MAF office and the SoL advisors for research, formal and informal seed production.  The RA will report to the SoL Australian Team Leader (ATL).

General description of position

The Regional Advisor will:

Establish and maintain a close primary counterpart relationship with the Director of the MAF Office in Bobonaro and three other districts in the west of the country;

Play a lead role in coordinating the implementation of Program activities at District level, providing an operational interface between the Program and the Districts.

Key tasks and responsibilities

The Regional Advisor will:

Establish a close working relationship with the Directors of the District MAF Offices as primary counterparts, and actively guide and mentor staff of the District Offices involved in the implementation of Program activities in the west of the country.

Advise and support MAF district staff involved in implementation of the on-farm trial and demonstration program under Component 1.

Advise and support MAF district staff involved in planning and managing the multiplication and distribution of formal seed under Component 2.

Advise and support MAF district staff involved in establishing Community Seed Production Groups (CSPGs) as a means of increasing production of informal seed, under Component 3.

Provide support for the development of Formal Seed Marketing Groups (FSMGs), focal seed merchants, and farmer to farmer seed exchange as mechanisms for helping to promote the market-based distribution of improved seed, under Component 3.

Support the implementation of targeted capacity building activities designed to support the professional development of MAF staff at district and sub-district levels. This will include but not be limited to:  developing the capacity of OFDT Coordinators to manage the OFDT program;  developing the capacity of MAF district-level extension staff to plan and manage seed distribution activities;  developing the capacity of subdistrict extension staff and Suco Extension Officers to ensure that distributed formal seed is used in the most effective manner by recipient farmers; and developing the capacity of subdistrict extension staff and SEOs to support the establishment and operation of CSPGs.

Facilitate field evaluation activities of the M&E/ SOSEK Unit.

Assist with the dissemination of improved variety technical and promotional materials.

Assist with the organisation of improved variety mass media campaigns at district-level.

Provide inputs as required to Program reports and monitoring activities.

Skills and Experience


The successful candidates will have:


  • A degree in agricultural science or equivalent.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and some experience in the application of research and extension methods in a developing country.
  • Previous work experience in SE Asia.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team.
  • Willingness to work independently in remote and isolated areas.
  • Fluency in English and at least basic proficiency in either Tetun, Bahasa Indonesia or Portuguese.


  • Experience in Timor-Leste.
  • Training or capacity building experience.
  • Management experience.
  • Post-graduate qualifications in agriculture.


Interested candidates can submit a short covering letter, CV, names of three referees and a document addressing the required skills and experience electronically to Dr Harry Nesbitt, Adjunct Professor, University of Western Australia (  Further enquiries can be addressed to Professor William Erskine, tel. (+61 8) 6488 1903.  Information on the Seeds of Life program is available at .