The U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) activity in Pakistan is a USAID funded activity implemented by CNFA with the goal of supporting the development of Pakistan’s commercial agriculture, particularly through improving the ability of Pakistan’s agriculture and livestock sectors to meet both international and domestic demand and requirements in targeted product lines in citrus, mango, high value/off season vegetables and livestock. AMD envisions transforming the four targeted product lines into efficient, private sector-led value chains that deliver competitive products to domestic and export markets. AMD’s targeted training, matching grants, and technical assistance will leverage private sector investment and encourage innovation. Together, these approaches will support upgrading, streamline supply chains, optimize profit margins, increase participation of women entrepreneurs, and ultimately make Pakistani mango, citrus, meat and HV/OSV more profitable and more competitive.
Irradiation of food is the application of ionizing radiations from accelerators that produce controlled amounts of beta rays or x-rays on food. Benefits of E-beam irradiation treatment are dramatic and impact a wide cross section of agricultural products by extending shelf life. Irradiation extends the shelf life of certain foods by deactivating molds, killing spoilage organisms and, in some products, delaying ripening. Irradiated foods are kept fresh for longer periods of time. Moreover, by interfering with cell division, irradiation inhibits sprouting in tubers, bulbs, and root vegetables (potatoes, onions). Extended shelf life directly helps in food security by holding stocks safely for extended periods and also for extended delivery range for the domestic and international markets. Irradiation also decreases post-harvest food losses due to spoilage and deterioration in quality. Large amount of agriculture produce is wasted due to insect infestation, molds and premature germination — all of which irradiation can eliminate or control. Irradiation presents an effective and safe alternative to traditionally used fumigants and pesticides, resulting into a reduction of chemical residues in food and preventing the health hazards associated with them. Furthermore, irradiation is an effective plant quarantine treatment against possible infestations in foods. It is an accepted official post-harvest quarantine treatment for products such as fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, cereals, legumes, spices and dried vegetable seasonings, as well as other stored foods. For instance, USA had allowed market access to irradiated Pakistani mangoes in Ohio. Australia is also considering irradiation as quarantine treatment for allowing access to Pakistani mangoes.
AMD proposes to encourage private sector investment in this technology by mitigating risks through matching grants and the provision of technical assistance. This cross-cutting activity has the potential to transform the agriculture sector in Pakistan by decreasing post-harvest food losses due to spoilage and deterioration in quality and increasing market access by extending the shelf life of foods. Extended shelf life directly helps in food security by holding stocks safely for extended periods and for extended delivery range for the domestic and international markets.
Objective of the Technical Assistance
The objective of this assignment is to provide technical input to the AMD team to design and develop recommendations for E-Beam technologies appropriate for Pakistan, that meet international norms with implementation strategies and timelines for setting up an E-Beam irradiation facility. During the international consultant’s field work, the consultant will conduct working sessions with stakeholders who have indicated a willingness to participate in the AMD program. As part of the STTA assignment, the international consultant will develop a turnkey proposal for an E-beam facility, which, includes an indicative list of equipment and assets required for efficient and competitive operations. Home office work days will be coordinated with the AMD sector specialist and will be completed by February, 2017. The target issue date for the E-beam RFA is March 01, 2017. Specific scope and deliverables for the assignment are given in the proceeding sections.
Estimated level of effort (LOE) for the assignment:
25 working days
Timing of the Assignment:
The STTA will commence on or about January 24, 2017 and will continue through the end of February 2017.
- Background reading of AMD Work Plan and published studies on previous value chain and marketing assessments of related agriculture in Pakistan (Provided);
- Assist the AMD team in designing and developing the working model, budget and program implementation strategy for developing the RFA / grant for setting up an E-Beam food irradiation facility;
- Provide technical support to AMD’s Horticulture Specialist and Grants Manager in the development of the technical part of the RFA document;
- Along with E beam irradiation facility development process the International consultant will conduct demonstrations of the shrink-wrap packaging technology for Kinnow;
- Meet with stakeholders to identify potential cost share partners for investing in an E-beam facility;
- Development of SoPs for Kinnow fruit shrink-wrapping technology and appropriate packinghouse storage recommendations;
- Provide a briefing (via Skype) to AMD staff on relevant findings and composition of final report;
- Any other tasks assigned by the Chief Technical Advisor relating to design and development of interventions for an E-beam irradiation facility & shrink-wrap packaging technology for Kinnow
- Finalize working model options for recommended e-beam facilities including recommended technology, capacity, potential product mix, programmatic budget, operational details, technical specifications for setting up an E-Beam Food Irradiation plant in Pakistan;
- Report identifying possible mix of products that can be processed through E Beam irradiation with identified markets;
- Assist AMD’s Business & Financial Analyst to develop a detailed cost benefit analysis for proposed E Beam facility with IRR or ROI;;
- Submit a power point presentation of the proposed E-beam facility for discussions with potential investors;
- Submit final report on technical assistance provided under the STTA within 5 business days of completion of the assignment along with other deliverable listed in this section.
- Detailed work plan and SOPs forKinnow fruit shrink-wrapping technology
- An advanced degree in the field of food sciences or horticulture;
- Extensive experience in the field of food irradiation and E-beam technology, irradiation facilities, and familiarity with manufacturers, processors and exporters of products suitable for E-beam treatment
- More than 15 years of professional practical experience working in the field of horticulture and 5 years in field of food sciences and food irradiation;
- Requisite prior experience of working at senior level consulting assignments with USAID
- In-depth knowledge of environmental requirements for food processing and their proper mitigation;
- Experience in developing countries on designing and development of food processing facilities, horticultural projects;
- Excellent English writing skills and oral fluency.