Consultancy: Aquaponics Infrastructure Engineer

Posting Date
2 February 2021
Closing Date
13 February 2021
Report To
Project Leader (ICBA) and the National Project Coordinator
Vacancy Type
Job Number
ICBADP-DXB- CS-2021-002

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture(ICBA) is an international, non-profit agricultural research center established in 1999 through the visionary leadership of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), and the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ICBA is a unique applied agricultural research center in the world that is focused on marginal areas where an estimated 1.7 billion people live. It identifies, tests and introduces resource-efficient, climate-smart crops and technologies that are best suited to different regions affected by salinity, water scarcity and drought. Through its work, ICBA helps to improve food security and livelihoods for some of the poorest rural communities around the world. ICBA is an equal opportunity employer and appoints qualified staff regardless of race, creed, color, age, gender, religion or national origin. We demonstrate our commitment to each member of our team through a competitive benefits package designed to assist our employees to cover their needs and the needs of their immediate family members.

Job Summary

This consultancy will be conducted under the project entitled: “Adoption of inland and coastal integrated farming models in Laayoune region growing fish, Salicornia and other halophytes”. The project is funded by OCP-Phosboucraa Foundation and it is implemented in Laayoune region in south Morocco. Through the proposed farming interventions ICBA will support the local farming communities in inland and coastal areas of Laayoune region to establish farms that integrate halophytes. The ultimate goal of the project is to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers depending on degraded/desert lands in Laayoune region by making such lands more productive and creating opportunities for small-holder farmers.  The focus will be mainly on the cultivation of Salicornia bigelovii and other halophytic species such as highly salt-tolerant forages and vegetables using the water from the fish following the Integrated farming approach. The project will demonstrate the productive and sustainable use of marginal water resources such as the reject brine from desalination and saline groundwater in an inland area for fish and halophytes farming. A Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) is needed to be built as part of the inland multi-component farm focusing on both freshwater and saline aquaponics systems. An engineer is needed to design and build the RAS infrastructure that will operate in an efficient and cost-effective way integrating the rest farming production modules.

Job Responsibilities

The Aquaponics engineer should have good knowledge on RAS design and the appropriate infrastructure for growing fresh vegetables and halophytes. The engineer should design and build an efficient and cost-effective RAS to support the aquaculture component and the relevant facilities for crops cultivation of the aquaponics farm. In particular, the Consultant will work in collaboration with the project leader, national project coordinator, the Aquaponics specialist and the local staff for the following tasks:

  1. Propose and design the most suitable Aquaponics unit based on the local needs and conditions in collaboration with the aquaponics specialist and the local experts
  2. Propose the most cost-effective solutions for RAS systems, and participate in the evaluation and selection of the most suitable control and monitoring systems
  1. Supervise the work under progress during the Aquaponics construction 
  2. Inspect and advise on the operation of recycling saline water and control through the monitoring system
  1. Train the local staff on the proper operation and maintenance practices of the installation
  2. Conduct trips to Morocco for the proper following-up
  3. Prepare a thorough report / manual and presentation of the design of the freshwater- / saline-based aquaponics unit accompanied with the proper operation and maintenance practices
Qualifications and Experience


  • A degree from an accredited institute related to the following expertise (Electrician, Mechanical engineer or other)
  • Minimum 15 years’ experience in aquaculture / aquaponics’ construction
  • Experience in implementing freshwater- and saline-based aquaculture and freshwater- and saline-based aquaponics
  • Experience in construction on RAS for freshwater and saline fish species
  • Experience on control and monitoring systems of RAS / Aquaponics Systems
  • A working knowledge of English is essential


  • Additional language skills, Arabic or French
  • Supervisory experience and remote consulting