Native Seed Initiative Technical Field Officer at Savannas Forever Tanzania June, 2024

Position title  : Native Seed Initiative Technical Field Officer

Reports to       : Native Seed Initiative Assistant Director

Supervises     : Community seed champions, community-based field staff, and seed collection and cleaning teams

Savannas Forever Tanzania (SFTZ), a non-government organization established in 2006 and registered under the laws of the United Republic of Tanzania and having its headquarters at Arusha, Tanzania.

SFTZ identifies and provides practical solutions for conserving African wildlife and wildlands, mitigating human/wildlife conflict and reducing poverty in rural communities. SFTZ uses research to measure the impact of development projects and builds learning networks that connect rural communities and their stakeholders in the private, public and charitable organizations at local, national and international levels. The restoration of grasslands with native grasses, forbs and legumes is a major focus of attention.



Overall responsibility: Manages the field activities for community-based native seed initiative in the northern rangelands. Works with indigenous women and youth to identify, collect, prepare and cultivate native plants for future seed sales. Carefully monitors and tracks field research and seed champion work performance.




  1. Fieldwork for Native Seed Initiative for the northern rangelands and expansion to new districts as assigned


  1. Facilitate native seed champion groups in target rangeland villages to identify, collect, clean and cultivate native grass seeds for native pasture restoration.
  2. Work with community leaders to identify women and youth native seed champions.
  3. Provide technical training to pastoralist seed champions on plant identification and sustainable seed collection in collaboration with rangeland botanists and ecologists.
  4. Supervise native seed collection teams in communal grazing lands and protected areas to ensure the correct species are collected in a timely manner.
  5. Supervise native seed cleaning and packaging in targeted villages.
  6. Identify community-based field officers to support seed champions.
  7. Conduct monthly discussion and training sessions with seed champion in Monduli communities.
  8. Act as the contact person at Regional, District and Village Administration
  9. Work with rangeland experts to implement, monitor and evaluation village-level native seed research relevant to the project with reliability, integrity and timeliness.
  10. Train seed champions on conservation-agriculture land preparation and seed ball testing and production.


  1. Field Research on Native Plants and Rangeland Restoration


  1. Collect field research data on seed germination, plant growth and plant biodiversity in Monduli villages and at Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science and Technology
  2. Maintain native seed initiative database for all villages
  3. Work with Principle Investigators on native seed plot preparation, planting, monitoring and evaluation, data collection and analysis.
  4. Works with SFTZ team on designing and testing equipment for conservation agriculture land preparation, reseeding and seedball manufacturing.
  5. Work with MSc and PhD students to implement research related to native plant re-seeding methods for rangeland and pasture restoration.


  1.  Administration
  1. Works with the SFTZ Native Seed Assistant Director in setting, clarifying and evaluating goals and objectives for the native seed program in the northern rangelands
  2. Implements SFTZ goals, objectives and strategic plans for the native seed program in Monduli.
  3. Works with SFTZ team on fundraising targets, budgets and grant writing for Native Seed Initiative.
  4. Assists in the development of the annual project budget; manages budget for Monduli villages.
  5. Ensures that funds are disbursed to community members, and financial records kept in accordance with contract requirements and donor designations
  6. Ensures timely completion of field plans, work plans, budgets, reports, input requisitions, and any other requisition as required on time
  7. Identify needs, challenges, and opportunities to improve project outcomes and work with the SFTZ team to implement them.
  8. Acts as the key contact person between SFTZ and seed champions, local partners and government officials at the village and district levels.
  1. Other duties as assigned

As a start-up project team with a small staff, the field technical officer will be asked to take on roles as assigned by the Executive Director and Assistant Director of the native seed.

  1. Qualifications and Experience:
  2. Undergraduate degree in ecology, botany, conservation agriculture, ecological horticulture, or the equivalent in additional years of community-based field experience (5 years)
  3. Fluent in spoken and written Swahili and English. Preference given to applicants who speak Maa.
  4. A minimum of two years of field research experience and/or working in community-based projects
  5. Knowledge of East African native rangeland grasses, forbs and legumes and their roles in the ecosystem
  6. Strong computer skills in Excel, Word, PowerPoint and ability to accurately manage and maintain research database.
  7. Experience training community members on complex and/or technical issues.
  8. Highly experienced driving both manual and automatic field vehicles in bush conditions

III.  General Skills

  1. Initiative
  2. Persisting – Pursues work with energy, drive, and a strong accomplishment orientation; persists and expends extra effort to accomplish tasks even when conditions are difficult, or deadlines are tight; persists at a task or problem despite interruptions, obstacles, or setbacks.
  3. Taking initiative – Goes beyond the routine demands of the job; takes initiative in seeking out new work challenges and increasing the variety and scope of one’s job; seeks opportunities to influence events and originate action; assists others who have less experience or have heavy workloads.
  4. Interpersonal Skills
  5. Speaking Expresses information to individuals or groups taking into account the audience and the nature of the information (e.g., technical or controversial);
  6. Listening and Two-way Communication – Understands and responds to verbal and non-verbal messages; appreciates feelings and concerns of speaker. Practices meaningful two-way communication (i.e., speaks clearly, pays close attention and seeks to understand others, listens attentively and clarifies information).
  7. Working with diverse people – Is flexible and open-minded when dealing with a wide range of people especially women and youth; highly educated or illiterate. Listens to and considers others’ viewpoints and alters opinion when it is appropriate to do so; works well and develops effective relationships with highly diverse personalities.
  8. Maintains open communication – Maintains open lines of communication with others; establishes a high degree of trust and credibility with others.
  9. Team Building:
  10. Conflict Management – Identifies sources of seed champion group conflicts and provides members with an opportunity to express their point of view; remains impartial in gathering and verifying relevant information.
  11. Encouraging resolution – Encourages parties to work together towards problem resolution; works with parties to identify a range of acceptable solutions;
  12. Building cooperative teams – Encourages and builds mutual trust, respect and cooperation among team members; seizes opportunities and utilizes creative methods to build team cooperation and cohesion.
  13. Problem Solving & Decision-Making:
  14. Identifying the problem – Anticipates or recognizes the existence of a problem; identifies the true nature of the field problems by analyzing its component parts;
  15. Locating, gathering, and organizing relevant information – Effectively uses both internal resources and external resources to gather information;
  16. Choosing a solution – Decisively chooses the best solution after contemplating available approaches to the problem; makes difficult decisions even in highly ambiguous or ill-defined situations
  17. Implementing the solution – Commits to a solution in a timely manner, and develops a realistic approach for implementing the chosen solution;
  18. Thinking innovatively – Constantly searches for new ways of improving existing processes and doing things more efficiently; strives to understand what is missing from current product stream, and searches for new ideas for product improvement everywhere; attempts to address product gaps and build the business by creating innovative and unique solutions.
  19. Clarifying Roles & Objectives of Seed Champions:
  20. Sets Expectation– Clearly explains responsibilities and priorities; informs seed champions and their families of the work for which they will be responsible for and helps them establish priorities; checks to ensure that they understand duties and responsibilities.
  21. Instructs – Provides instruction on how to accomplish an assignment; explains correct and incorrect ways to accomplish tasks; provides timely and effective feedback about whether task is being performed correctly.
  22. Setting performance goals – Works with seed champions to set performance goals that are clear, specific and attainable; informs the champions of deadlines and continually follows up on progress and needs for assistance.
  23. Linking tasks to project objectives – Explains relationship between individual work tasks and overall project objectives; continually rethinks job duties and responsibilities as organizational objectives shift and communicates new roles and responsibilities to employees as appropriate.
  24. Monitoring Performance –
  25. Works with the SFTZ native seed team to develop performance criteria – Identifies seed champion performance criteria and how to measure it for individuals and group performance.
  26. Works with researchers and principle investigators to establish a monitoring plan for technical seed and plant results: germination, growth, vegetation coverage, biodiversity, etc.
  27. Measuring progress – Measures progress against timelines set for technical and champions’ tasks; asks questions of seed champions to check for problems in work processes; encourages them to communicate problems and mistakes by creating a non-threatening environment for discussion of problems.
  28. Reviewing work – Conducts monthly progress review meetings with champions to discuss progress and any barriers to progress; conducts after-reviews upon task completion to identify lessons learned and generate ideas for more effective task completion in the future.
  29. Records monitoring data: Maintains checklists, forms e.g. and databases consistently and on time. Writes progress reports as required.
  30. Soliciting feedback – Solicits feedback from multiple sources during and following task completion to ensure champion tasks are performed correctly, and to learn how employee and team performance can be improved; conscientiously monitors downstream consequences

H  Developing and Mentoring of Seed Champions

  1. Supporting learning – Provides support and encouragement during learning process; expresses confidence that seed champions will be able to learn new skills such as identifying plants, sustainable collection, seed preparation and planting.
  2. Generating enthusiasm – Generates enthusiasm for team and individual accomplishment through standard and creative influence techniques; focuses team effort and enthusiasm on goal attainment;
  3. Recognizing – Recognizes contributions and achievements of all types, among people in high and low visibility tasks alike; actively searches for contributions to recognize; recognizes improvements in performance as well as commendable efforts that failed.

Email applications should be sent to: [email protected] and [email protected]

The closing date of applications: June 20th, 2024

Applications should include a one-page cover letter and one-page CV or Resume. Please quote “Native Seed Initiative Technical Field Officer” as a reference in your subject line.

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