Project Name: CNFA-AMD

Consultancy Assignment: ISTTA Consultant  –  High Value/Off Season Vegetable Program

Consultant Title: ISTTA for Controlled Atmosphere Vegetable production for quality improvement, and food safety standards to high end export markets..

Reports to: Chief Technical Advisor & Senior Value Chain Specialist – AMD

Place of Performance: Lahore  and adjoining production areas -Punjab

LOE: 21 Days

Est. Period of Performance: July 17 to August 12,2017

Project Description

 

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. This is envisioned to be achieved through improving the ability of Pakistan’s agriculture and livestock sectors to meet both international and domestic demands and requirements in AMD’s four targeted product lines: 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 upgrades, streamlining of supply chains, optimization of profit margins, and an increase in the participation of women entrepreneurs, ultimately making Pakistani mango, citrus, meat and HV/OSV more profitable and competitive.

Background Information

 

The horticulture sector contributes about 12% of GDP and provides employment and incomes to several actors along the value chains. An estimated 13.67 MMT of horticultural products are grown annually with post-harvest losses averaging about 25%.  Only 4% of the annual production is exported, garnering less than 50% of average world prices due to poor quality of produce and to sales in low-value markets.

Most fruits and vegetables are sold in fresh form.  Little value is added in the way of sorting, grading, or packaging and post-harvest losses are unsustainably high. A very low percentage of fruits and vegetables are processed.  Farmers face numerous challenges maintaining product value from harvest to market.  The limited availability of cold chain facilities is a major constraint, resulting in products with a short shelf life that quickly loses its freshness.

The challenges faced by the horticulture sector include low quality inputs and lack of knowledge of modern farming practices; limited value addition; poor post-harvest handling; inadequate storage and transport facilities; weak market linkages and lack of market information; limited access to finance by agribusinesses; lack of compliance in grading, sorting and quality assurance standards; and limited farmer organization/associations.

The Pakistani horticulture sector is currently unable to meet the stringent phyto-sanitary requirements of the major markets of Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union and the US, which limits its exports to regional and global markets. 

Over 35 kinds of vegetables are grown in various ecological zones in Pakistan. At the moment Pakistan is exporting very limited number and quantity of vegetables mainly to GCC, some European countries and neighboring Afghanistan.  Vegetable production in Pakistan, especially HV/OSV, faces marketing constraints due to a lack of post-harvest handling facilities for grading, sorting, packaging, pre-cooling and cold storage. According to estimates, up-to 40% of fresh produce is lost at post-harvest stage. Amongst other reasons, the prime reason for these losses is the absence of field heat removal and cold chain management at all levels. AMD aims to strengthen the HV/OSV value chain by partnering with private-sector investors to upgrade or establish centralized grading, packing and refrigerated cold storage hubs.

As part of an integrated strategy to formalize a consistent and improved supply of produce, where appropriate, AMD intends to support competitively selected businesses to establish/upgrade cold chain facilities at processor level, which will reduce post-harvest losses and increase marketing time for the fresh vegetables.

 

Objective of the Technical Assistance

AMD intends to hire an international Horticulture (specialized in vegetable production, harvest and Post-harvest handling of vegetables under controlled and semi controlled systems.)

LOE, Period and Place of Performance

The level of effort (LOE) and the periods for this consultancy include 21 days around July 15 onward.

Estimated level of effort (LOE) for the assignment: :21 Days 

Assignment Scope

  • Demonstrate hands on training and TA in controlled vegetable production for summer and winter vegetables, harvest, processing, post-harvest handling and market linkage development in local and export market.. Also demonstrate the use of computer for data recording and cost benefit analysis.
  • Scoping for Greenhouse and semi controlled HVOV production at selected program sites
  • Detailed GAP analysis for technology use and efficiency, input supplies, post-harvest practices, cold chains, local and international markets.
  • Best High value and off season vegetable farming and production at AMD identified farms (s)
  • Integrated farm management  and establishment of green house
  • Onsite trainings for production practices, nutrients and input applications under SPS regime and  according to the environment and phonological stages of summer and winter vegetables.
  • Onsite handling and grading of vegetables on the basis of size and appearance as A, B & C grades for high end local market and export markets.
  • Post- harvest best practices (Packing, labelling and branding)
  • Develop appropriate strategies to assist program beneficiaries in improved and best management practices in vegetable field operations, moreover, link them to the packinghouses to get a better price for their product

Deliverables

  • Develop a detailed plan and a brief suggested methodology during the period of assignment and get it approved by AMD COP or his designee.  This should be finalized prior to travel to Pakistan;   
  • Evaluate present issues of the vegetable sector and make commendations to stakeholders in Pakistan;
  • Assist the HV/OSV stakeholders  to link with value added businesses for the marketing of B & C grade natural produce for value addition;
  • Provide 1-page biweekly updates to the COP, or his designee;
  • Submit the draft of the final report along with power point presentation to CNFA within 10 business days after the Design and Recommendations of the Horticulture Value Chain activity    
  • Submit Final Report along with power point presentation to CNFA, using AMD template, within 5 business days upon completion of the assignment.
  • Any other tasks assigned by the COP or Chief Technical Advisor relating to design and development of vegetable production, processing, and handling practices interventions.

Qualifications

  • Graduate or doctorate degree in Agriculture, horticulture, Agribusiness or other related field;
  • Over 10 year’s practical industry experience in use of Drip Irrigation and controlled environment plant production systems including greenhouses, shade-houses.
  • Work experience with international donors, preferably with USAID-sponsored programs or other similar development projects;
  • Demonstrated understanding of Pakistan and/or the region, a plus.
  • Hands on experience in sourcing of raw material, nutrients, growth regulators, packaging material, washing, grading, transportation and marketing both local as well as international markets.
  • Hands on experience in Good Agricultural practices and Global GAP certification for individual growers and groups.
  • Understanding of phyto sanitary practices and regulations for compliance.
  • Experience in training and development of workers in greenhouse production

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