Precision Agriculture for Development, Inc. (PAD) is an early stage global technology enterprise using rich data and smart algorithms to help smallholder farmers make better production decisions. We are advised by top academics at Harvard and Brown Universities and backed by global funders. We are in advanced discussions in launching projects that will expand functionality of system and reach more than a million farmers within next two years in India alone.
It’s possible to boost production of major crops by 30% and reduce environmental impact simply by managing agricultural inputs better. Part of this promise has already been achieved in developed countries, where precision agriculture technologies have improved targeting of inputs to local conditions.
PAD is adapting precision agriculture for smallholder farmers in the developing world. We are building an intelligent platform that provides individualized production recommendations based on theory and data. Our vision is better livelihoods for the poor, drawn from a more productive, environmentally-friendly landscape.
In a rigorous randomized controlled trial in India, the alpha version of our voice-based service increased yields by 8.6-28%, with a social benefit to cost ratio of 10/1 (Cole and Fernando 2016). We have scaled up our pilot, growing from 200 to 56,000 users over the past 18 months in Gujarat. We are also operational in Odisha with 12,000 users, and are actively exploring expansion opportunities in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.
Our ambitions are large: our funders include Silicon Valley venture capitalists and technology entrepreneurs, and we believe that technological innovations create new scope and opportunities to address rural poverty and close the global food production gap. We aim to improve the lives of 100 million farmers in developing countries. To reach our goals, we will tap new technologies (like microsatellites, drones, smartphones, and machine vision), which have the promise to vastly improve the intelligence of our service and the quality of recommendations we provide to farmers.
PAD’s senior leadership team includes professors and global experts in technology and development with considerable combined experience in sub-Saharan Africa and India as well as deep expertise in data sciences and monitoring and evaluation. The board includes Professor Michael Kremer (Harvard University), Professor Shawn Cole (Harvard Business School), Professor Daniel Björkegren (Brown University), and Heiner Baumann (Harvard Business School alum, former McKinsey).
We are in advanced discussions in launching projects that will expand functionality of system and reach more than a million farmers within next two years in India alone.
PAD’s India team consists of alumni from IIM-Ahmedabad, IIT-Kanpur and Delhi College of Engineering with experience in management, research, and building start-ups.
We are seeking an experienced technical leader to guide technology & product
development and to advise on strategy.
We aim to have the candidate based in Ahmedabad, India, but can explore alternate arrangements as well. The job may also involve travel to USA, Africa and working with the global team as we scale.
We offer highly competitive compensation, international work experience, and the opportunity to apply technology based problem solving skills in a high-growth, impact-oriented environment.
Responsibilities and Desired Qualities
You will work directly with PAD’s Managing Director, Board of Directors and Country Director, mediating between organizational objectives and technical implementation. You should be able to guide the implementation of backend and frontend systems (interacting via voice, SMS, or app).
You may be a good fit for this job if you:
• Think big: you are creative and are energized by disruptive ideas
• Can wear many hats: you can work with the leadership team to understand and articulate business needs, work with user populations to understand their pain points and preferences, turn these into viable specifications, determine the best tools for the job, and implement
• Have humility in working with low income rural populations whose needs may be very different from your own
• Are a constant learner, eager to test hunches and theories with data and experiments
• Have a passion for new technologies, but know that sometimes it is the least sexy solution that is most effective
• Are highly flexible and open to traveling
• Have Excellent English communications and interpersonal skills
• Are interested in new technologies and integrating the best ones into PAD system
2-4 years of experience bringing commercial software products to market as a developer, technical lead, or product manager
• 2-3 years coding/software development experience
• Ability to design for end users in a very different context
• Experience with, and enthusiasm for, agile product development
• Experience in analyzing third party technological systems quickly and acting as a consultant suggesting practical solutions in a manner acceptable to client
• Ability to help build a product development team
• Ability to architect a complex technical system
• Experience working with farmers or underserved populations desired
Precision Agriculture for Development, Inc. (PAD) is an early stage high-growth global... technology enterprise. We use the latest research and technological advances to provide customized advice to smallholder farmers so they can make better production decisions that increase crop yields and income. We are supported by world-renowned academics from Harvard and other top universities and are backed by leading private foundations. Read full description