Research Associate – Precision Farming

  • Location:
  • Salary:
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    3 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Agricultural, forestry and fisheries, Research and data science
  • Deadline:



The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is a treaty-based international non-profit research organization supported by CGIAR. ICARDA’s mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food, water, and nutritional security, as well as environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. We do this through innovative science, strategic partnerships, linking research to development and capacity development that take into account gender equality and the role of youth in transforming the dry areas. ICARDA works in partnership with governments, universities, civil society, national agricultural research organization, other CGIAR Research Centers, and the private sector. With its temporary Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, ICARDA operates in regional and country offices across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. For more information:

All CGIAR Centers are currently engaged into a reform process (“One CGIAR’”) that will help ICARDA and CGIAR achieve better impact through more strategically integrated research, unified governance, an integrated structure, and new research modalities across participating Research Centers. This transformation is supported by CGIAR donors who have committed to increased funding as a result of these reforms.  

About position

Reports to:

Administrative Supervisors:Project Coordinator and Director, Food Legume Research Platform (FLRP)

Research Supervisor: Research Team Leader – Soil, Water, and Agronomy (SWA)


Location: FLRP, Amlaha (Sehore), Madhya Pradesh, India

Precision farming, which leverages advanced digital tools and breakthroughs in big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to fast-track value creation by saving on input costs, is also an option for small-scale farmers. This approach, which observes and responds to yield, moisture levels, and soil quality variations across a field, relies on analyzing data collected by sensors, drones, satellite imagery, GPS, IoT devices, and other geospatial tools that scrutinize land plots for anomalies and inefficiencies. Following an official agreement with the Madhya Pradesh state government, ICARDA launched in November 2021 a pilot project to use precision agriculture tools to increase farmers’ income across Madhya Pradesh, known for having the highest agricultural growth rate in India. The three-year pilot project spans irrigated and rainfed production environment and focuses on the most economically important crops in Madhya Pradesh, namely cotton, wheat, and soybean. All the data from precision farming tools relative to farmers’ fields is channeled to Amlaha’s precision farming control room for plot specific in season advisory. It is analyzed before messages are sent to farmers to advise on optimum times to irrigate and when to apply fertilizer or insecticide. The project is tailored to the small holder and resource poor farmers in the region. Resource poor farmers adopt new technology only if it is low-cost, low-maintenance, robust, easy-to-scale, and simple to manage and operate. The digital tools chosen for the project are durable, cheap, and efficient, and they have been tested in a range of conditions to prove their stability and consistency. The position is to support this project.


Main responsibilities

  • Work closely with Soil, Water and Agronomy (SWA) Team members, project team and our partner organizations to execute project implementation.
  • Design and implement field experiments (on-station and on-farm) related to precision farming according to the research protocols.
  • Follow up functioning of scientific equipment, data collection, curation, processing, and analyses relating precision farming innovations introduced by the Project.
  • Assist in developing technical reports, technological advisory for farmers and field technicians as per the project needs.
  • Assist in publishing research findings in ISI peer-reviewed scientific journals, participate and present in conferences and workshops.
  • Assist in organizing workshops, farmers field days, trainings, and developing different training materials.
  • Involve in scaling-up of technologies under various projects/initiatives, and link farmers with research products and developmental activities.
  • Share and interact with Agriculture Ministry, Department, and other NARS scientists/visitors to the research station.
  • Supervise timely field operations, inputs and labour to ensure proper implementation of research activities and proper record keeping.


Essential qualifications and competencies

  • Experience managing research for development projects funded by State, National and International donors.
  • Minimum masters or equivalent in Agronomy, Water resource management, Soil & Water conservation, or related fields
  • At least 3 years’ experience managing projects in precision farming or climate-smart agriculture research.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, conduct, analyse and interpret research results through rated publications.
  • Previous work experience in an international, multi-cultural environment would be preferred.
  • Ability to work in a team and supervise technical staff.
  • Experience in writing reports and communicating scientific topics to laypeople.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills in spoken and written Hindi and English
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural work environment.
  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively within Madhya Pradesh state to follow up, troubleshoot and manage precision farming scientific equipment installed in farmers’ fields.

Desirable qualifications and competencies

  • Experience working with CGIAR centres and national governments.
  • Training in crop modelling, GIS, precision agriculture, climate-smart agriculture.
  • PhD degree holder.


Terms of appointment, salary, and benefits

This is a nationally recruited project-based consultancy position. The successful candidate will be offered an initial contract of 1 year, renewable subject to satisfactory performance, continuous need of the position and availability of funds. The first 6 months will be a probationary period. The Successful incumbent will be granted a monthly consolidated all-inclusive honorarium.

ICARDA is committed to increasing women representation in its workforce and strongly encourages applications from women.

Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.