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Agronomist in the field of agro-ecological transitions in irrigation systems F-H

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CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, works with its partners in southern countries to generate and pass on new knowledge to support agricultural development and innovation.

It has one main objective: to build sustainable farming systems for tropical and Mediterranean regions capable of feeding ten billion human beings by 2050 while preserving the environment.  



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Science - Agricultural sciences



Job title

Agronomist in the field of agro-ecological transitions in irrigation systems F-H

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Job description

Irrigation accounts for 70% of global water consumption and is at the forefront of the challenges and strategies for adapting to climate change. However, there has been little research into the role of irrigation in agro-ecological transitions, and the agro-ecological practices studied have so far had little impact on irrigated areas, especially in arid and semi-arid environments (oases, irrigation schemes).

Operating in an interdisciplinary environment, you will take part in the production of:
• knowledge, methodologies and operational tools for the assessment of current and new agro-ecological practices in irrigation systems;
• a scientific frame of reference for these practices to facilitate the adaptation of irrigation systems towards more sustainable pathways;
• environmental impact testing of irrigated agriculture;
• illustrations, indicators, models, etc. for and with the stakeholders and operators of these schemes, with the aim of documenting their practices and decision-making.

You will support farmers and managers in the implementation of agro-ecological solutions at plot, farm and territorial levels.
An awareness of the circularity of water in these regions will be crucial for the design, simulation, testing and evaluation of these solutions. In particular, which practices are likely to improve water efficiency while preserving the integrity of the ecosystems that depend on it in a context where this resource is greatly limited?

These interventions will be part of a multi-level and multi-criteria strategy:
1/ quantitative and qualitative control (and potential reuse) of water flows, and production of environmental services;
2/ evaluation of environmental impacts at crop system, farm and territorial levels;
3/ maintain the regional agricultural production and productivity.

The relevance of these practices will be evaluated taking into account current and projected hydro-climatic variability and associated risks, with a view to assisting with decision-making, facilitation of discussion between stakeholders. Research results will contribute to teaching modules in academic and professional education.

The research will be carried out in the field, in collaboration with water stakeholders, users and managers. It will essentially involve identifying ecological intensification practices suited to the environments (meetings, interviews, field work), improving them through co-design, analyzing the processes (testing, evaluation and modelling), and evaluating the impacts at different levels in order to produce useful information for the various stakeholders and for dialogue between them.

Desired profiled

PhD in agronomy, with a specialisation in agro-ecology in irrigation systems.

Development experience: Supporting stakeholders in the implementation of new techniques, practices – participation in co-design of agro-ecological solutions for better water management, agricultural production while reducing negative environmental externalities (pollutants, GHG); experience in innovation tracking and analysis of practices.

Ideally, you should have experience of working in developing countries with stakeholders in the field.

Experience and ability to respond to requests from donors and consultancy firms for expertise and project design.
Experience in conducting individual and collective field surveys and interviews.
Experience in initial (if possible, in reverse pedagogy) or professional training.
Ability to adapt to different cultural situations.
Ability to adapt and work independently and within a team.
Ability to communicate and to participate in a multi-disciplinary team and with a diversity of actors.
Good command of French and English (written and spoken, writing of scientific articles).

After an integration period of a few months at Montpellier (France), you will be posted to North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia).

Position constraints

Computer screen work exceeding 4 hours per day.

Socio-professional category


Salaire base France, hors indemnités d'expatriation le cas échéant

27-37 K€


Job location



Montpellier puis Maghreb

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