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Mechanization Support Specialist – East and South Africa at International Maize and Wheat Improvement

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information: www.cimmyt.org

The Platform is recruiting a Mechanization Support Specialist for eastern and southern Africa to help developing world breeders achieve higher rates of genetic gain and extract maximum value from new and proven technologies.

The EiB Mechanization Support Specialist that will support CGIAR and national agriculture research system (NARS) Institutions to develop and implement mechanization plans for their breeding programs, including acquisition and maintenance strategies. They will report to the EiB Breeding Operations and Phenotyping lead and work in collaboration with other EiB staff and consultants.

The successful candidate will be a mechanization specialist with strong communication skills, capable of providing technical recommendations and supporting implementation of mechanization and automation techniques across a range of different organizations and crops in western Africa.

The Mechanization Support Specialist will also be accountable for proposing and managing a mechanization network within the region. They will need to understand the demand and capacity across centers and manage the communication between centers to guarantee that all centers will have access to mechanization, offered as a service, reducing so the overall capital cost across the system of breeding programs.

The position will be based in eastern or southern Africa. The exact location – tentatively Kenya – is yet to be defined depending on operational needs and established partnerships with CGIAR sister research centers. It will involve significant international travel within the region.

Specific duties:

  • Develop machinery inventories;
  • Develop machinery acquisition plans;
  • Develop business cases for mechanization and process automation;
  • Develop and implement maintenance procedures;
  • Develop a list of local/ regional /global vendors for critical equipment and services (shared across EiB members);
  • Develop metrics and KPIs for monitoring adoption of mechanized and automated solutions and for maintenance of machinery.

Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • Bachelor in agricultural engineering, agronomy or related field with a minimum of 10 years of relevant experience.
  • MBA will be viewed favorably.
  • Relevant global experience in agriculture sector.
  • Familiar with operations in large breeding pipelines.
  • In-depth understanding of the following process and respective mechanization options:
    • Soil Preparation equipment
    • Irrigation
    • Tractors
    • Planters and planting solutions
    • Harvesters and harvesting solutions including dryers
    • GPS
    • Sprayers
    • Seed process equipment
    • Seed storage options (cold rooms, packaging etc.)
    • Digitizing nursery and trial processes (packet printers, plot tags, labels etc.)
  • Experience with managing machine maintenance process (protocols, logistics, labor, costs, etc.).
  • In-depth understanding of agricultural machinery market within the region (vendors, service providers, etc.).
  • Project Management skills will be viewed favorably.
  • Excellent oral, written and presentation skills in English (French will be considered favorably).
  • Able to work in a multicultural environment with leadership skills.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Communication, Negotiation and conflict resolution, Teamwork and Client Orientation.

We offer:

  • A great opportunity for technical and professional development by teaming up with a wide range of experts from CGIAR, NARS and private industry.
  • Excellent career opportunities in an international organization.
  • A friendly, humble environment full of people passionate for what they do and interested in helping people around the world.

The position is for an initial fixed-term of three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Additional information:

EiB seeks candidates who embrace diversity in the broadest sense. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by law. CGIAR has a deep and profound commitment to diversity both as an end in itself but, also as a valuable means for eliminating health disparities. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

If you are interested of know someone who would be interested, please contact EiB Breeding Operations and Phenotyping lead Gustavo Teixeira ([email protected], +52 1 595 122 3983) or EiB Director Michael Quinn ([email protected]).

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