Cropping Systems Agronomist, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Harare, Zimbabwe

Cropping Systems Agronomist

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) invites applications for the position of Cropping Systems Agronomist within the Global Conservation Agriculture Program. The position will be based at CIMMYTs regional office in Harare, Zimbabwe, but the selected candidate will spend considerable time at other research sites in southern Africa. The appointment begins with a two-year contract, subject to the continued disbursement of approved funds, after which further employment is subject to performance. 

The selected candidate will:

Work with CIMMYT staff and partners in ongoing research-for-development programs for maize-based cropping systems in southern Africa.  

Work with partners to develop efficient and dynamic programs to understand and extend conservation agriculture (CA) practices and systems in the region.

Develop and strengthen partnerships with diverse actors, including national agricultural research programs and advanced research institutes, so that expertise and advanced technologies from the latter reach farmers' fields.

Provide practical training to local researchers and extension agents on managing agronomic research programs, CA principles and practices, and promotion and research backstopping for the effective adoption of CA-based cropping systems.

Help develop innovation systems to extend and support relevant CA practices and, particularly, to adapt practices and equipment for small-scale, resource-constrained farmers.  

Oversee the management of high-quality trials, both on-station and on-farm, to study CA effects on system productivity, soil quality, water and nutrient use efficiencies, and pest and disease dynamics.

Communicate research results to diverse audiences, including scientists, change agents, policy makers, the media, and farmers.

Help develop new CA initiatives in the region and elsewhere.


We are seeking candidates with the following qualifications, skills, characteristics and interests:

Ph.D. in Agronomy, Soil Science or a closely related field.

Considerable practical agricultural experience, including experience with on-farm research and farm equipment.

Experience with adapting agricultural practices to local biophysical and socioeconomic conditions.

Record of high-quality scientific publication and experience in translating research results into bulletins and training materials.

Computer literacy, with proficiency in the common software packages.

High proficiency in written and spoken English.

Ability to work in multi-cultural environments and in multi-disciplinary teams.

Willingness to spend considerable time away from home.

Commitment to advances in farm productivity and poverty reduction in the developing world.

CIMMYT ( is an internationally funded, nonprofit, scientific research, training and development organization dedicated to improving the nutrition, food security and livelihoods of the worlds poor. CIMMYT is a global leader in maize and wheat germplasm preservation, trait discovery, crop variety enhancement, cropping systems improvement and socio-economic analysis for the developing world. The Center has an annual budget of US$45 million and a staff of 600, including 80 internationally recruited staff. Our headquarters and four research stations are located in Mexico and we have regional centers and offices in 12 other countries, especially in eastern and southern Africa. Rapid growth is occurring in South and East Asia. 

CIMMYT offers an attractive remuneration package, with a range of  benefits including housing allowance, life and health insurance, education allowance (to Grade 12), home leave, retirement fund,  and relocation shipping allowance.    

CIMMYT is an equal-opportunity employer and strives for staff diversity in gender and ethnicity. 

Please send via e-mail your letter of application, CV/Resume (including full contact information), and names and contact information of three references no later than November 30, 2009 to: 

Human Resources Manager, CIMMYT

(Reference 2009/14)


 For further information contact Dr. Patrick Wall,  Director, Global Conservation Agriculture Program, email: