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Project Leader for the Cereal System Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) – Mechanization Extension Activity (MEA)

Posted 4 years ago



The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) was established in 2009 with a goal of benefiting more than 8 million farmers by the end of 2020. The project is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and implemented jointly with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).


  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is the global leader on publicly-funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. CIMMYT leads the CGIAR Research Programs on MAIZE and WHEAT.
  • The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. IFPRI’s vision of a world free of hunger and malnutrition is based on the human rights to adequate food and freedom from hunger and the recognition of the dignity inherent in all human beings.
  • The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations.
  • CSISA-Mechanization and Irrigation (CSISA-MI) is co-implemented by iDE, an international NGO that creates income and livelihood opportunities for poor rural households.
  • CSISA would like to thank its many national and international partners, including the numerous public, private, and civil society organizations with which it collaborates. Some of CSISA’s key national collaborators include the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council.


Operating in rural ‘innovation hubs’ in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, CSISA works to increase the adoption of various resource-conserving and climate-resilient technologies and improve farmers’ access to market information and enterprise development. CSISA supports women farmers by improving their access and exposure to modern and improved technological innovations, knowledge, and entrepreneurial skills. CSISA works in synergy with regional and national efforts, collaborating with myriad public, civil society, and private-sector partners.


CSISA goals are as follows:

  • Promote widespread adoption of resource-conserving practices, technologies, and services that increase yields with lower water, labor, and input costs.
  • Support mainstreaming innovations in the national-, state- and district-level government programs to improve long-term impacts achieved through investments in the agricultural sector.
  • Generate and disseminate new knowledge on cropping system management practices that can withstand the impacts of climate change in South Asia.
  • Improve the policy environment to facilitate the adoption of sustainable intensification technologies.
  • Build strategic partnerships that can sustain and enhance the scale of benefits accrued through improving cereal system productivity.


CIMMYT and iDE are partnering on the USAID-funded Agricultural Mechanization and Manufacturing Extension Activity (CSISA-MEA) project to boost the productivity, competitiveness, and efficiency of domestic agricultural machinery and machine parts manufacturing by supporting companies to build their manufacturing capacity, improve quality of manufacturing practices, improve workforce skills, increase workplace safety and strengthen agriculture machinery market systems.


Project Leader For The Cereal System Initiative For South Asia (Csisa) – Mechanization Extension Activity (Mea)

CIMMYT is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated, and outcome-oriented professional for the position of Project Leader for the Cereal System Initiative for South Asia – Mechanization Extension Activity. This is an agricultural mechanization project that follows a market systems approach to engage with the private sector in introducing innovative ways of developing the agricultural machinery manufacturing industry and furthering the mechanization of agriculture in Bangladesh.


The position is based at CIMMYT’s regional office in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but will interact regularly with administrative and supportive systems at CIMMYT headquarters and in South Asia.


Specific duties:

  • Provide management, leadership, and technical guidance for the CSISA MEA project.
  • Lead project implementation and assign and oversee project staff, partners, and consultants work based on project annual work plan.
  • Lead engagement with the agricultural mechanization and financial services sectors in Bangladesh to develop jointly implemented innovative mechanization orientated development programs.
  • Manage project subcontractors to ensure proper implementation of their scopes of work and adherence to proper budget management.
  • Ensure budgetary and fiscal planning along with the financial report to be prepared and submitted to the donor.
  • Ensure proper cooperation with and among project partners including private sector entities to ensure reaching project outcomes.
  • Ensure proper MEL design, data gathering, and reporting of data toward project outcomes.
  • Lead development of semi-annual/annual reports as required by USAID with input from staff and partners and submit to PMU.
  • Managing relationship with the implementing partners i.e. public and private sector as required for the smooth implementation of CSISA MEA.
  • In conjunction with CIMMYT Bangladesh country office leadership, brief USAID representatives on project progress and accomplishments as requested by USAID.
  • In conjunction with CIMMYT Bangladesh country office leadership, meet with GOB partners and other interested parties to keep them informed and involved in project activities.
  • Develop annual work plans in conjunction with, partners, project staff, and USAID and ensure timely approval of work plans by USAID.


Required academic qualifications, skills, and perspectives:

  • Master’s degree (Ph.D. preferred) in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Mechanization, Industrial Engineering, or related field
  • Minimum of 15 years of relevant experience implementing and managing USAID projects with knowledge of USAID regulations and procedures
  • Demonstrated active participation in and understanding of market systems approach, preferably applied to agricultural machinery production
  • Experience and knowledge of light engineering and agricultural machinery production
  • Demonstrated ability to deal with the market constraints and supply chain management system
  • Familiarity with the Bangladesh agricultural production systems and the role of mechanization in those systems. Previous experience in Bangladesh preferred
  • Excellent English speaking and writing skills
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage numerous partnerships
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with interdisciplinary teams
  • Ability and experience supervising staff
  • Strong English language skills, both written and spoken. Bangla language skills a plus.
  • Willingness to travel frequently, both internationally as well as to rural Bangladesh.


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.


Applications must include a cover 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 3rd of February at 18:00 CET. Please indicate in the ‘Subject’ of the email the title ‘application for the post of ‘Project Leader CSISA MEA’.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.


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