Mechanization Support Specialist

International Maize and Wheat Improvement, Kenya

Skill Required:, Project Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
31st July, 2020

Job Description

EiB draws from innovations in CGIAR centers, advanced research institutes and the private sector, providing access to cutting-edge tools, services and best practices, application-oriented training and practical advice.

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.


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