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Mechanization Support Specialist – West Africa

West Africa
Posted 4 years ago



The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is the global leader in publicly-funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. CIMMYT works with hundreds of partners throughout the developing world to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems, thus improving global food security and reducing poverty. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR System and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat and the Excellence in Breeding Platform.

The CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform ( is a cross-commodity platform that supports the modernization of breeding programs targeting Africa, Asia, and Latin America for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development.

The Platform is part of the new CGIAR portfolio of research programs and platforms ( and is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, a not-for-profit research, and training organization with partners in over 100 countries (

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.


Mechanization Support Specialist – West Africa

The EiB Mechanization Support Specialists 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 the 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 West Africa (tentatively Nigeria, Senegal or Ghana) depending on operational needs and established partnerships with CGIAR sister research centers. It will involve significant international travel within the region.


Specific duties include:

  • 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 the adoption of mechanized and automated solutions and for maintenance of machinery.


Candidate Profile

We are seeking for mechanization experts with the following:

  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy, or related field
  • MBA and project management skills are considered favorably
  • Relevant global experience in the agriculture sector.
  • Familiar with operations in large breeding pipelines.
  • In-depth understanding of 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.), and 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 the agricultural machinery market within the region (vendors, service providers, etc.).
  • 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 competencies in Communication, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and Teamwork and Client Orientation.

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.

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

CIMMYT also offers excellent career opportunities in an international organization with a friendly and humble environment full of people passionate about what they do and interested in helping people around the world.


Applications must include covering letter which should address how the candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, curriculum vitae, names, and addresses of three professional referees (which must include either the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work). The application should be addressed to Ms. Auree de Carbon by email at: no later than 14TH August at 18:00 CET. Please indicate in the ‘Subject’ of the email the title ‘application for the post of ‘Mechanization Support Specialist – West Africa.


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