Agricultural Engineer (Seed Value Chain)

  • Contract
  • Rome

FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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The length of appointment for internal FAO candidates will be established in accordance with applicable policies pertaining to the extension of appointments.


• FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
• Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply
• Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values
• FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination
• All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
• All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
• FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting
The Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) enables the transition to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable plant production and protection through optimization and minimization. This requires the integration and harmonization of all appropriate crop production policies and practices to increase production in a sustainable manner to eradicate hunger while preserving the natural resources and environment for future use.
The post is located in FAO’s headquarters in Rome, Italy, in the Rural and Urban Crop and Mechanization Systems Team (NSPLD) in collaboration with the Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources (NSPGD) Team, two of the six teams in the NSP Division. NSPLD’s work, in particular relating to sustainable mechanization and digitalization, including precision seeding equipment, results in small-scale farmers gaining access to appropriate and affordable mechanization technologies, as well as digital tools and solutions to help them optimize their production. NSPLD also focuses on the promotion of farm power and timely access to it by developing service provision models that empower women and youth in particular. NSPGD’s work, in particular relating to seed sector development, results in enhanced timely access of farmers to sufficient quantities of affordable quality seeds and planting materials of the preferred, well-adapted, productive and nutritious crop varieties that are resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses.

The incumbent will be an active member of both NSPLD and NSPGD Teams.

Reporting Lines
The Agricultural Officer (Seed Value Chain) reports to the Agricultural Officer, leader of the Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization subgroup within NSPLD.

Technical Focus
The incorporation of innovative efficiency-enhancing agricultural mechanization and digitalization processes along the seed value chain, i.e. from seed production to sowing including no-till seeding through soil cover and precision seeding equipment, often combined with precision fertilizer tools.

Key Results
Research, technical analysis and project related services to support the delivery of programme projects, products and services.

Key Functions
• Researches and analyses technical, social, economic, environmental, institutional and technology related information, data and statistics and/or related policy issues to support the delivery of programme projects, products and services.
• Produces a variety of technical information, data, statistics and reports as well as input for technical documents and web pages.
• Provides technical support/analysis to various assessments, studies and initiatives and provides technical backstopping to field projects.
• Collaborates in the development of improved/updated tools, systems, processes and databases.
• Participates in multidisciplinary teams and/or leads working groups/teams; collaborates with other divisions and agencies on work groups and committees and promotes best practices.
• Collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development activities within Member Nations’such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events, including preparation of related information, learning materials and on-line tools.
• Promotes knowledge sharing and best practices at international meetings and conferences and influences partners in stakeholder consultations.
• Supports resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate Strategy.

Specific Functions
• Supports FAO’s activities to enhance the use of sustainable agricultural mechanization, automation and digitalization along the seed value chain, i.e., from seed production through processing, storage, packaging and marketing operations, to sowing, specifically also no-till precision seeding through soil cover in the field, in particular by participating in the validation and promotion of appropriate context-specific methodologies, and developing appropriate relevant guidelines.
• Provides technical support to FAO Member Nations and regional bodies in the preparation of policies, strategies and operationalization plans relevant to agricultural mechanization and digitalization processes along the seed value chain, especially also for no-till seeding through cover and precision seeding equipment; collaborates with the public and private sectors to promote green and innovative technologies including precision seeding, automation, digitalization and robotics to enhance timely access to, and efficient use of, quality seeds and planting materials.
• Contributes to the identification of innovations in agricultural mechanization and equipment and related new digital paradigms, which enhance the efficiency of the seed value chain and advocates for designs that are suitable for small-scale farmers’ production systems, including no-till seeding through soil cover.
• Analyses, assesses and recommends appropriate business models for investing in innovative efficiency-enhancing agricultural mechanization and digitalization processes along the seed value chain especially in low- and middle-income countries.
• Promotes opportunities to engage women and youth in agriculture through the seed value chain, including through the development of targeted hire services as a business enterprise.
• Supports the Development of and maintains partnerships and networks with relevant research and development institutions, private sector, farmer’s organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), universities and governments to exchange and publish information and transfer sustainable agricultural mechanization technologies for the seed value chain, and which are adapted to local contexts.
• Participates and supports the technical reviews and clearance procedures concerning quality assurance for the procurement of, and investments in, machinery, equipment and tools, including robotics and drones and supporting infrastructures, for the seed value chain.
• Performs other related duties as required.


Minimum Requirements
• Advanced university degree in Agricultural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or related field.
• Five years of relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: agricultural mechanization and machinery, automation/robotics and digitalization along the seed value chain, including for seed processing, seed treatment and coating and precision seeding.
• Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions, is desirable.
• Familiarity with emerging trends and advancements in agricultural technology, including digitalization and data science/analytics, in particular for the delivery of quality seeds and planting materials, is highly desirable.
• Extent and relevance of experience in research and development in, and knowledge of, agricultural engineering and digitalization processes – and the associated technologies and innovations – along the seed value chain, in particular seed treatment, precision seeding and sundry land preparation processes.
• Experience in collaborating with diverse partners such as: governments, NGOs, research institutions and private sector entities, is valuable. The ability to build networks and partnerships to leverage resources and promote innovation is highly beneficial.
• Ability to analyse sustainable seed value chain and precision seeding related mechanization issues from a technical, socio-economic and environmental point of view.
• Strong written and verbal communication skills are necessary to effectively communicate technical concepts to a variety of audiences, including policymakers, farmers and other stakeholders.
• Ability to prepare reports, presentations, training and information materials and technical documents.


FAO staff are expected to adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.


  • Extension of fixed term appointments is based on certification of performance and availability of funds
  • FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment.
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.


A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link:
Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:
• Dependency allowances
• Rental subsidy
• Education grant for children
• Home leave travel
• 30 working days of annual leave per year
• Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
• International health insurance; optional life insurance
• Disability protection
FAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes:
• elements of family-friendly policies
• flexible working arrangements
• standards of conduct.

• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

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