Agronomy Services Technician (2 Positions)

Centre for Agricultural Transformation

Lilongwe, Malawi

Project Description

Land O’Lakes Venture37, the University of Minnesota (UMN), Stellenbosch University (SU), and Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) have forged an innovative partnership to establish the Center for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) as the central hub to catalyze Malawi’s agricultural growth. By leveraging our core partners’ scientific, technological and agribusiness expertise and deep regional connections, the CAT will forge integrated research-to-impact pathways that reduce productivity gaps between men and women and foster diversified, resilient and healthy smallholder households, particularly those transitioning from tobacco farming to alternative livelihoods.

The CAT will be a world class hub for creating, piloting, and scaling appropriate science, technology, and business models that will transform smallholder tobacco farmers’ lives and Malawi’s agriculture sector in general. This center of excellence aims to uniquely combine research, smallholder farming, and large-scale commercialization in a manner that facilitates transformational agricultural development in Malawi. We envision the CAT as an anchor institution in the global ag-tech innovation ecosystem, where reimagination, experimentation, and refinement of new ideas take place through the intermingling of cutting-edge research and development (R&D), market research, evidence-based decision making, new business models and product pilots, and entrepreneurs.

Position Summary

The Agricultural Technicians will be part of the CAT Agronomy Services team and will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the CAT land used for trialing, demonstration and promotion of scalable technologies that can be used by farmers (including smallholders) to improve their productivity.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Day-to-day management of CAT land holdings (e.g., land around the CAT premises, CAT plots at LUANAR NRC campus or CAT plots at LUANAR BUNDA campus.
  • Support the establishment of CAT system of demonstration and trial plots and lead the day-to-day operationalization of the CAT land holdings.
  • Ensuring that land is prepared, planted, cultivated, maintained, and harvested in a timely and quality manner in collaboration with partner stakeholders.
  • Assisting with the product selection process and the development of planting and irrigation schedules, and timelines.
  • Collecting seed, plant, and soil samples in readiness for testing for nutritional deficiencies, diseases, or other changes.
  • Keeping detailed records regarding fields, customers, crops, and samples.
  • Assisting in developing technical training materials for maximizing productivity of identified products in collaboration with key stakeholders.
  • Providing assistance in training and demonstration tours for relevant stakeholders (e.g., private-sector teams, extension officers and farmers) on product knowledge, best agricultural practices, etc.
  • Various other duties as assigned by supervisor.
  • Performs all aspects of operational functions including but not limited to: farm equipment preparation & operation, seed prep, equipment transport, field operations and GIS applications. The Research Specialist reports to the Agronomy Services Manager and assists in planning and executing the Demo Plot objectives. Communicate effectively, keep detailed records, and follow instruction. Customer focus is imperative.
  • Walk through Demo Plots to evaluate weed control, insect infestations and disease outbreaks, consulting with Agronomy Services Manager on solutions, and planning operations to resolve issues with crop production.
  • Prepare sites for training sessions or grower field days. Grooming plots and planning protocol execution to coincide with these events is paramount.
  • Oversee and coordinate temporary labor needs.
  • Assist Agronomy Services Manager in a number of planning and organizing tasks such as but not limited to the following: sourcing designated remote sites, developing contracts, site layout, entry lists, database setup, equipment prep, fertilizer and Crop Protection Product (CPP) planning, operational plans, and data flow planning

Reporting & Supervision

The position will report to the Agronomy Services Manager and will periodically have a few field workers direct reports

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Diploma in Agriculture, preferably in the agronomy-related field.
  • A minimum of 3 years’ relevant experience in Malawi.
  • Experience in implementing trial and demonstration plots for a public or private sector organization.
  • Demonstrated experience and sound understanding of farmer technology adoption models.
  • Capacity to write reports on field activities and results under tight deadlines.
  • Highly developed conceptual, analytical and innovative field problem-solving ability.
  • Strong inter-personal skills, self-motivated, result-driven and ability to work without supervision, possessing a strong work ethic, and maintaining a good attendance record.
  • Good command of English and Chichewa, spoken and written.

Please apply at

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls will be accepted. Land O’Lakes never requests money or payment from candidates for any position type. Please report any such requests to Land O’Lakes.

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