Project Design Consultant

Semilla Nueva

Semilla Nueva

Guatemala · United States
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Semilla Nueva is recruiting several project design consultants to contribute to the co-creation of a USAID project focused on scaling the use of biofortified maize seeds in Guatemala. Consultants may be invited to apply for full-time roles with the project (likely COP and DCOP) after signing, but this is not necessary. The consultancy may be part-time, full-time, paid by deliverable, or by time. The position will require time in Semilla Nueva’s office, but most work may be done remotely.

Summary of the Organization

Malnutrition is one of the greatest barriers to the world’s poorest people escaping poverty. The 900 million people in Africa and Central America who eat corn daily are some of the most affected, with nearly half of  Guatemala’s children suffering from stunted growth. Semilla Nueva launched the world’s first social enterprise dedicated to the development, production, and sale of more nutritious, biofortified corn seed directly to small farming families. Farmers buying our seed increase their yields and incomes, while improving the diets of hundreds of thousands— and someday millions—of the world’s poorest consumers. Semilla Nueva is currently expanding our model to work with other seed companies, the Guatemalan government, and partnerships in other countries. In 2022, our fifth year of sales, our seed reached 20,500 families, improving the nutrition of nearly 600,000 people. In 2023, 9% of the maize seed sold in Guatemala is expected to be biofortified. 3% of the total maize consumed in Guatemala will be biofortified, amounting to over 2 billion tortillas.  

Semilla Nueva has a $3.2M annual budget, a staff of nearly 40, an office in Guatemala City, a laboratory in San Lucas, and a research farm in Suchitepéquez. We work with some of the world’s leading scientists at organizations such as CIMMYT, Bayer, DIL, HarvestPlus, INCAP, and universities like Purdue, Cornell, Tufts, and  UC-Denver. Our donors include some of the most prestigious in impact philanthropy, including Cartier  Philanthropy, Mulago, and the U.S. Government. Our seeds are based on conventional breeding (non-GMO),  although we are not opposed to well-tested biotechnology. Our work has led to rapid growth and international recognition, including an Ashoka fellowship, Mulago fellowship, and Forbes 30 under 30 for our founder. 

Summary of the Project 

The project and its details are still being negotiated. It will likely consist of building a third-party mechanism to scale Semilla Nueva’s seed subsidy to over 40,000 farmers, invest significantly in both ICTA and Semilla Nueva seed breeding efforts, and generate the evidence to help build policy consensus to institutionalize the subsidy.  

Consultant Specialties Sought

  • IEE, EMMP, indigenous, gender, and youth risk evaluation and mitigation plans  
  • USAID proposal writing and implementation (DCOP/COP level)  
  • Financial instruments (i.e. fideicomiso) or national economic policy  
  • Institutionalization of policies with the Guatemalan government  

To apply please send your CV to with the subject line “Project Design Consultant, your last name” and provide 3 potential times in the next week we could ask for a Zoom meeting.