CNFA-AMD / Project Number AID-391-C-15-00003
1. Design and Development of E-Beam Food Irradiation Technology Intervention
International E-Beam Food Irradiation Technology Specialist
Chief of Party
Place of Performance
College Station, Texas
Est. Period of Performance
7 Days (3 working days + 2 travel days + 2 work from home days)
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 training team that is attending the Texas A&M E-beam training seminar to design and develop recommendations for application of the training appropriate for Pakistan, that meet international norms with implementation strategies for operation of an E-Beam irradiation facility in Pakistan. The consultant will conduct 3 full day working sessions with trainees after the workshop is completed to apply what they learned to the specific Pakistan Situation. As part of the STTA assignment, the international consultant will develop a work plan for his future trip to Pakistan based upon the level of knowledge of the trainees and the specific application of the e-beam technology to the Pakistan needs. Specific scope and deliverables for the assignment are given in the proceeding sections.
Assignment Scope: The STTA tasks will include but not be limited to:
- Background reading of AMD Work Plan and published studies on previous value chain and marketing assessments of related agriculture in Pakistan;
- Assist the Pakistan E-beam training team at Texas A&M in designing and developing the working model, budget and program implementation strategy for setting up an E-Beam food irradiation facility for the processing of agricultural products in Pakistan;
- Work with the stakeholders to identify potential commercial uses of an e-beam facility in Pakistan for agricultural products;
- Meet with the trainees to develop the Standard Operating Procedures for an e-beam facility in Pakistan based upon available knowledge given to the consultant after the training;
- Provide a briefing (via Skype) to the appropriate AMD staff in Pakistan on relevant findings and composition of final report;
- Any other tasks assigned by the Chief of Party relating to design and development of interventions for an E-beam irradiation facility
- Finalize e-beam facility capacity requirements, potential product mix, operational details, and technical needs for operating 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;
- Submit a power point presentation that was shown and used in training the trainees of the proposed E-beam facility on operation and marketing of e-beam treated products in the international market;
- 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.