Trade Development Group (TDG) has a mission to passionately use our knowledge and expertise to develop sustainable economies in Africa. TDG has a strong focus on cashews. TDG want to stimulate the local economy in Africa by creating and stimulating employment, resulting in fair income for the poorest, and as a spin off: fair buying conditions to source basic needs. TDG has now several subsidairies in Africa. One of the subsidairies is Afokantan Benin Cashew S.A.. Afokantan Benin Cashew is a cashew processing company operating in the North of Benin, West-Africa. The plant started processing in 2007, with the objective to counter the trend of exporting raw cashew nuts to India and Vietnam, and create additional value locally instead.
During the first years cashew processing was mainly done manually, but without great success. Therefore two years ago the company changed to a mechanized processing model, and invested in mechanical processing equipment. After the first operational year this is giving promising results, but experience also learns that it remains difficult to install, maintain and improve these machines in an African environment. Main technical challenges are the limited availability of spare parts, practical-analytical skills and knowledge about maintenance and repairs of (electro-)mechanical equipment, and linking machine performance to machine design and settings, etc.
Therefore Afokantan is looking for a Young Expert, who will mainly focus on and give support on the following subjects:
- Optimization of the processing plant by improving efficiency of the machinery;
- Instigating a market comparison for the availability of processing machines for upcoming investments;
- Co-developing the best possible machine standard for the plant;
- Work preparation and composing protocols for purchasing machines;
- Improving and implementing a practicable technical plan for the management and maintenance of the machines;
- Identifying and recognizing issues in the performance of the machine on micro level as well as identifying production technical issues in the production process;
- Development, construction and installation of technical improvements in existing machines or new machines;
- Setting up a long-term plan for development and preservation of knowledge about the machines;
- Monitoring of maintenance programs (personnel, technically and budget wise);
- Training local employees in using and maintaining the machines, so they can manage in case of absence of the Young Expert;
- Further development of the business case by optimizing the machine park in general
Processing cashew nuts can only be done in a profitable way when it’s done in an efficient way (when the KPI’s are being achieved). Technical aspects play an important role in achieving these results, and the Young Expert will work with our technical team of 7 persons to contribute in achieving these goals.
- Mechanical or electromechanical engineer or similar, minimum level bachelor
- Hands on mentality with knowledge of mechanical engineering and electronics
- Relevant working experience in a similar job in the food processing branch
- Go-getting personality who is enthusiastic about lifting the plant to a higher level
- Knowledge of Autocad and Microsoft Office programs
- English and French speaking
- Willing to travel on a regular basis, both within and outside Benin
- Professional work attitude, independent and responsible
- Communicative and capable of explaining complex processes in a simple way