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Job Details

Date Posted

May 20, 2015



Job Title

Scientific Officer (Research Associate) In Agricultural Engineering At ICRISAT

Job Type



ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid tropics is home to over 2 billion people, with 650 million of these being the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT and its partners help empower those living in the semi-arid tropics, especially smallholder farmers, to overcome poverty, hunger, malnutrition and a degraded environment through more efficient and profitable agriculture. ICRISAT, established in 1972, and is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. For more details, see


The Sorghum commodity specialist will drive the implementation of Sorghum related activities under the African Development Bank (AfDB) funded ATASP-1 project and take responsibility for coordination of all Sorghum related activities in a manner that is efficient and timely. He/she will provide oversight to all project activities working with other commodity specialists and staff including senior government officials to ensure result-oriented implementation of all project activities in accordance with the overall project implementation plan for the five-year period or revised Annual Work Plans and Budgets and Procurement Plans, in compliance with the relevant Protocols of Agreement as well as AfDB Rules and Procedures. The successful candidate will be based at ICRISAT Office in Kano, Nigeria and will work under the supervision of the ICRISAT Country Representative.


Job description

The Job:

a) Facilitate Capacity Building on Good Agronomic Practices

  • Plan and implement capacity building for stakeholders (extension agents, farmersí groups, technicians) on the use of small and medium scale machines and implements related to on Sorghum production and processing
  • Organize technical support for farmer on best practices and techniques as related to sorghum production and post-harvest handling
  • Identify and introduce appropriate machines and implements for drudgery reductions in sorghum production and processing in sorghum production hubs
  • Identify and develop appropriate partnerships with farmer groups, village-based organizations, government officials and other development partners that are active in the Sorghum sub-sector at village, district and state levels

b) Facilitate the Adoption and Use of GAP in Sorghum Farmers Fields

  • Promote adoption and use of appropriate machines and implements for drudgery reductions and knowledge to improve Sorghum management and their step-wise integration into farmersí practices
  • Coordinate the formation and animation of Sorghum producersí learning groups that constitutes the nucleus of use of appropriate machines and implements for drudgery reductions learning and dissemination at farm level
  • Promote participatory extension methods and group-based learning tools that encourage knowledge and experience sharing amongst farmers
  • Demonstrate new technologies and practices to increase crop yields at farm level
  • Promote the use of audio-visual and other multi-media tools for the dissemination of technologies that increase Sorghum yields in farmersí fields
  • Assist farmer leaders to develop a critical capacity to observe, analyze, and to propose appropriate solutions to crop management problems challenges


c) Supervision and Reporting

  • Supervise and support field based staff including community based facilitators and farmers implementing field activities in Sorghum sector development hubs
  • Supervise in conjunction with other project staff as may be required, annual field surveys on the agronomic, socio-economic and livelihoods aspects of Sorghum farming, including data analysis and reporting
  • Write monthly, quarterly summaries and annual reports to the Sorghum commodity specialist or senior  management as maybe required for purposes of program documentation, M&E and reporting to donors
  • Plan and carry out analysis of efficiencies and effect of introduced machines and implements at farm level
  • Contribute to project quarterly and annual planning meetings and budgeting process by furnishing timely information on the mechanization aspect of crop cultivation
  • Provide feedback and manage information to/from stakeholders (farmer organization, private sector value chain actors, etc) as maybe advised by project management from time to time to ensure adequate communications linkages are maintained between the project management team, the communities and other stakeholders


Desired Skills and Experience

The Person: 

  • A Nigerian National with Master of Science in Agriculture Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Farm Mechanization or a related science, together with field-based experiences in Agriculture sector development projects implementation
  • At least 5 years experience in Agriculture research to development activities in Nigeria and a good knowledge of Sorghum growing ecologies and Sorghum producing communities in Nigeria with proven farmers capacity building, technology and innovation dissemination qualities
  • Must have previous experience in small and medium scale farmers production and processing activities and be willing to spend long periods travelling and staying in rural areas
  • Must have experience with community-based projects implementation and/or small-holder-oriented development initiatives are desirable
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out ToT capacity building and farmers groups trainings
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills, including presentations
  • Computer literacy with proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications
  • Shows commitment to teamwork with minimal supervision by working positively and cooperatively with others. Committed to a high standard of performance, a sense of urgency and mutual respect and integrity
  • Thorough knowledge of Sorghum Agronomy, Sorghum growing environments and particular experience within Nigeria is important


The Reward: 

This is an nationally recruited staff position with an attractive and competitive salary and benefits package payable in US dollars. The position is initially for two years, and extendable depending on performance of the incumbent and funding availability. An attractive compensation will be offered for the right candidate.



How to apply: 

Applicants should apply on or before 25th May 2015, with a letter of motivation, latest Curriculum Vitae, and names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidateís professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged, however only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Year of Experience

5-10 year


Date Available



Closing Date


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