Become a Sakata employee

Take a look at our vacancies below, apply and maybe you’ll become the newest member of the Sakata Seed SA team!

Sakata Seed SA

A subsidiary of international horticultural seed company Sakata Seed Corporation, Japan with a regional Head Office in France.

We represent Sakata in the sub-Saharan Africa region and are currently strengthening our footprint within the region. As an ISO 9001 accredited company in South Africa, we seek to appoint suitably qualified professionals to our team who have a flair for horticulture (vegetable production), marketing and commerce and who support the company values of Quality, Service and Reliability.

An exciting career path awaits with many opportunities for local travel and at a later stage, some international travel.

Career Opportunities

SHIPPING AND PROCUREMENT ADMINISTRATOR

An international seed company based in Lanseria, Gauteng, is expanding its business operations and seeks to appoint an energetic, experienced Administrator to join the team responsible for the procurement and shipment of product within the Logistics team. Providing a...

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CREDITORS CLERK

An international seed company based in Lanseria, Gauteng, is expanding its business operations and seeks to appoint energetic, professional and efficient Creditors Clerk within the Financial Department. Providing a high level of accuracy and able to work under...

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CREDIT CONTROLLER (FMCG/RETAIL)

An international seed company based in Lanseria, Gauteng, is expanding its business operations and seeks to appoint energetic, professional and efficient Credit Controller within the Financial Department. Providing a high level of accuracy and able to work...

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Thinking of a career in seed …

SEED PRODUCTION

This job entails…

Professionals working in Seed Production are sometimes referred to as “fieldsmen” and are responsible for contracting and supporting professional growers to multiply stock seed to obtain high quality and yields of hybrid seed for commercial sale. In essence, they have to produce marketable hybrid seed that meets stringent local and international standards. In a legislated industry, most commercial fieldsmen are also qualified seed inspectors as they perform a regulatory function on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, as seed produced for commercial release has to be certified at various stages of the crop’s growth.

Key aspects of this job

• This job requires a lot of work in the field when inspecting crops as well as indoors, specifically when planning for contract production, recording data and preparing crop reports
• Regular interaction with growers to advise on raising healthy crops and during inspection of crops
• Recording and monitoring of trials and commercial crops
• Sourcing and contracting of reliable growers
• Close contact with sales teams to forecast availability of seed
• Cleaning and treating of harvested seed in preparation for release

Personal attributes -suited to individuals who….

• Enjoy working in the field and growing crops
• Are able to work with large amounts of data
• Have a good of knowledge of horticultural practices as well as seed physiology and basic plant pathology
• Can work under pressure
• Enjoy travelling

Recommended qualifications

• BSc Plant Production/Horticulture
• Seed Inspector

PLANT BREEDING

This job entails…

Using principles of genetics to develop new varieties of vegetables, the breeder contributes to society creating improved or unique varieties that:
– Generate better yields for growers
– Have improved disease resistance reducing the need for pesticides
– Tolerate harsh environmental conditions e.g. drought, heat, cold
– Provide improved nutritional value for consumers e.g. higher levels of lycopene
– Appeal to consumers e.g. novel shapes, good colour, better taste, long shelf-life

Key aspects of this job

• This job requires a lot of patience in selecting genetic traits for a breeding programme and trialling various crosses over a period of time and under various growing conditions.
• Recording, monitoring and evaluation of trials
• Interaction with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals in sales, marketing, biotechnology, pathology and growers

Personal attributes -suited to individuals who….

• Enjoy growing crops and developing something new
• Are able to work with large amounts of numerical data, applying statistical methods
• Have a good of knowledge of breeding principles, horticultural practices as well as seed physiology and plant pathology
• Have the ability to plan ahead and are patient (breeding successful varieties can take more than 7 years)
• Enjoy travelling and a variety of activities in their daily work
• Are aware of trends in the environment, market and industry, both locally and internationally

Recommended qualifications

• BSc (Hons) in Breeding or Genetics

PLANT PATHOLOGY

This job entails…

Plant Pathologists work with bacteria, fungi, viruses, insects and study their effect on the plant. They need to understand plant diseases and how they are transmitted, playing an extremely important role in identifying disease in plants and making recommendations to growers as to how risk of further transmission can be minimised to protect commercial trials and crops. As a support to the breeding team, they screen diseases to fast-track the development of cultivars for commercial release.
Using their knowledge of diseases in various crops, Plant Pathologists also work with national and international trade organisations and governmental departments regarding the phyto-sanitary requirements of moving seed across borders.

Key aspects of this job

• Scouting crops for diseases and collects samples for diagnosis in the laboratory
• Collection and isolation of cultures; growing cultures and micro-organisms
• Perform inoculation of plants
• Diagnosis of pathogens
• Not routine – involves a variety of activities and interaction with breeders, seed production, product specialists and growers.

Personal attributes -suited to individuals who….

• Enjoy working in a laboratory environment as well as outside in fields and green-houses
• Are passionate about plants and diseases
• Are creative, inquisitive and enjoy problem- solving
• Can work methodically and using own initiative

Recommended qualifications

• BSc (Hons) Horticulture, majoring in Plant Pathology. Subjects such as microbiology and entomology are recommended.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

This job entails:

The Biotechnician supports the pathology team, breeding programme and commercial growers through the rapid detection and identification of pathogens as well as with the identification of resistant genes within breeding lines.

Key aspects of this job

• Detection of pathogens in plant lines using PCR and ELISA.
• Performing DNA extractions.
• Screening breeding material for resistance genes.
• Rapid detection of pathogens to support breeders, pathologists and commercial growers.
• Develop, research and optimise new PCR techniques and means of detecting pathogens.

Personal attributes -suited to individuals who:

• Enjoy working indoors – mostly isolated in a laboratory environment
• Can work methodically, using own initiative
• Are disciplined and can work to deadlines
• Enjoy routine work procedures
• Have a problem-solving approach to work

Recommended qualification

• BSc in Cellular and Molecular biology: biotechnology, microbiology, genetics.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT (VEGETABLE SEED)

This job entails…

The Product Manager is responsible for sourcing new potential varieties for the South African grower and ultimately local consumer. A major part of the job involves interaction with commercial growers, processors and retailers to recommend suitable varieties for a particular growing region, market and to address consumer preferences.
As a specialist in a specific crop e.g. brassicas, root crops, Solanaceae and Cucurbits the Product Manager supports the sales team by providing a high level of technical advice to professional growers regarding the crop and it’s fertigation, irrigation and integrated pest management needs. This requires the product manager to visit commercial growers on a regular basis and to establish trials of new varieties to determine their adaptability to local growing conditions.

Key aspects of this job

• Planning and evaluation of trials of new varieties prior to commercial release
• Liaison, on a technical level, with breeders (local and international), seed production and quality assurance teams to ensure commercial varieties meet market requirements.
• Hosting farmers’ days to support growers in obtaining commercially successful crops
• Extensive local travel and some international travel
• Preparing budgets and forecasts
• Managing product inventory
• Keeping abreast of international trends e.g. marketing, consumer, environmental, lifestyle, nutrition

Personal attributes -suited to individuals who….

• Enjoy a variety of tasks and activities
• Communicate well with others and are fully bilingual
• Can work independently and take initiative
• Are confident in delivering presentations to various groups
• Enjoy the outdoors and are willing to get their hands dirty in the fields
• Are prepared to travel extensively
• Have a keen interest in applying scientific knowledge to marketing and commercial activities

Recommended qualifications

• BSc Horticulture/Plant Production/Agronomy
• Practical knowledge of agricultural practices i.e. growing, irrigation, fertigation, IPM, GAP and Global GAP)

SEED ANALYSIS

This job entails…

A Seed Analyst contributes to develop seed quality by performing various tests to determine the germination, purity, viability and vigour of seed that is to be sold commercially. Tests are performed under the stringent rules of the International Seed Testing Association to ensure that the seed meets local and international standards. The Seed Analyst is a professional with a good understanding of seed biology, chemistry, scientific principles and methods.
Seed Analysts work in both private as well as government laboratories. In some cases, a Seed Analyst may work in the field helping test various seeds under very specific growing conditions.

Key aspects of this job

• Work is mostly indoors
• Application of scientific principles and routine procedures in a very disciplined manner
• Recording and monitoring of experimental procedures and results
• Although most laboratories employ a team of analysts, work is performed individually

Personal attributes -suited to individuals who….

• Prefer working in a laboratory
• Enjoy routine work using trusted methods
• Can attend to fine details
• Work consistently, accurately and precisely
• Are patient
• Have a good understanding of seed anatomy and physiology

Recommended qualifications

• BSc Biological Science/Botany/Horticulture
• DAFF Seed Analyst training
• Seed science course