June 22, 2021
Stellenbosch, Winelands area, South Africa
Job Type
Job Category
Agronomy (crops) and horticultural production, General management, GIS, Remote Sensing, Data Usage, Procurement, buying/purchasing, Research & development
Accept Terms and Conditions


Job Description Summary:  COFCO International South Africa (Pty) Ltd has an opportunity for an Agronomist to lead our team of Field Managers to maintain and improve production efficiency of our Farming Operations together with our Independent Contractors and Input Suppliers.

Reporting to the General Manager: Farming Operations, COFCO International South Africa is looking for an Agricultural Economist or Agronomist who will fit the following criteria:

Experience/key skills required:

  • Minimum Tertiary qualification: BSc. or BCom degree with focus in Agricultural Economics or Agronomy.
  • Preferably at least 10yrs experience in a row crop production environment
  • Proven ability to construct, manage and report budgets.
  • Must utilize whole of Farming Team, including our Independent Contractors and Input Suppliers to reach goals, and therefore must have excellent people skills to direct team members.
  • Proven knowledge of inputs associated with crop production and ability to do research to evaluate alternatives.
  • BASOS and AVCASA qualifications will support application.
  • Knowledge of SAFEX market to apply different instruments available to hedge tons produced.
  • Solid administrative discipline.
  • Ability to function independent.

Be able to do the following:

  • Consolidate all seasonal plans to construct Farming Budget and establish inputs needed.
  • Conduct practical research to evaluate performance and efficiency of the different inputs utilized in each production season to enable critical analysis of seasonal plans and potential new inputs to be utilized.
  • Support Field Managers with information and decisions to optimize production at lowest cost for each crop produced, as well as decisions regarding potential new units.
  • Take part in the procurement process for the identified inputs each season.
  • Coordination with representatives of different input suppliers
  • Stock management in conjunction with Field Managers, Independent Contractors and Administrative Team.
  • Communicate and discuss Enterprise Budgets vs Actual/Projected with Field Managers and Independent Contractors and maintain monthly reporting and feedback to different role-players.
  • Facilitate pricing decisions per unit based on the relevant tons derived from the budgets/crop estimates and targeted levels to optimise profitability within the parameters of the pricing strategy.
  • Report crop development and progress with scenario analysis for potential outcomes and impact on budgeted outcome

Achieve the above mentioned by concentrating on the following focus areas, but not limited to them:

  1. Planning:
    • Construct crop production plans for all crops grown on units contracted with CIL SAF in conjunction with the Field Manager assigned to the different units, the Independent Contractors, and technical specialists from Input Suppliers.
    • Compile enterprise budgets per cultivated crop at each unit together with the Field Managers, evaluate different inputs and optimize combinations.
    • Identify production challenges and evaluate new inputs and cropping methods.
    • Compile shopping list for Inputs per unit and combine into total requirement for CIL SAF for the season.
    • Take part in the procurement of inputs together with General Manager: Farming Operations.
    • Evaluate new areas of expansion and farmers
  2. Execution:
    • Execute the production plans within the set budget together with Field Managers and Independent Contractors.
    • Oversee that field preparations are done accurately and on time.
    • Ensure timely and accurate delivery of inputs and contracting services rendered.
    • Evaluate alternative plans and ad hoc decisions necessitated by climate or other unforeseen challenges each season to maintain efficiency.
    • Safe and timely delivery of harvested grain at designated destinations.
  3. Managing:
    • Coordinate Field Managers by assisting with their day-to-day activities and decision making.
    • Visiting farming units to follow up on challenges, problems and general progress.
    • Coordination of representatives from input suppliers.
    • On-farm stock management
    • Continuous management of planned enterprise budgets for crops planted at each unit together with the Field Managers, Independent Contractors, in liaison with the Ag Econ Lead for CIL SAF.
  4. Reporting:
    • Frequent updating and reporting on crop progress from an operational perspective as well as projecting production outcomes based on agronomical characteristics.
    • Support CIL SAF Research Team with agronomical insights in crop development and synchronize Farming crop estimate process to support data feeding into crop simulation model.
    • Oversee the monthly cost-to-completion calculations for each farming unit in conjunction with Field Managers using the enterprise budget as platform for projected future costs as well as to determine possible overspending and savings.
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