Team: Programs | Commitment: Consultant | Location: Lahore, Pakistan

International Postharvest and Cold Chain Specialist with experience in shipping vegetables via sea freight shipment using refer containers

Project Description

US-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 vegetable 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.

Background Information

Pakistan currently exports vegetables to many countries in the Gulf States and the European Union. These vegetables include chilies, Okra, bitter gourd, round gourd, long gourd, brinjal, peas, carrots, cabbage, and cauliflower.  Currently Pakistani faces numerous challenges in the export of fresh vegetables including limited infrastructure for cold storage and the technology and know-how for extending shelf life. Part of AMD’s strategy is to facilitate continuous support in critical technical assistance along the product supply line to improve quality, extend shelf life and thereby increase market share and access to new markets.

AMD intends to explore the possibility of developing a strategic framework for exporting vegetables in refrigerated sea containers. Since this will be a new era for sea freighted vegetable exports, technical support will be required in the harvest and post-harvest sectors and specific on developing product lines for leafy and other vegetables.

The successful introduction of this technology has the potential to initiate a new era of vegetable exports for Pakistan. Assistance will be required  in following areas;

·         Product pre harvest handling for sea shipment; including field handling and transport to pack house for selected vegetables

·         Cleaning, sorting, grading, and waxing requirements for each identified product

·         Cold chain requirements as well as transportation and humidity requirements

·         Ethylene sensitivity and product competitiveness

·         Packaging requirements of different products

·         Important post-harvest diseases, their management and SPS measures

This intervention will help AMD to support the private sector to upgrade, streamline and make the supply chain competitive and cost economic. It will optimize the profit margins and encourage the women participation. Moreover it will reduce the shipping cost and enable the Pakistan exporters to export larger volumes to the products to the high end markets.

Objective of the Technical Assistance

The technical assistance (TA) provided by AMD will be delivered through an international specialist and will include the preparation and oversight of trial shipments of mixed vegetables (excluding onion and potatoes) via refrigerated sea containers to international markets identified by AMD’s team and export partners. The international STTA will provide onsite technical guidance and supervision in the preparation of vegetables for a trial shipment under managed atmosphere conditions. The consultant will recommend grading, packing, loading and shipping of mixed vegetables for the trial shipments to ensure compatibility and will develop the SOPs for the technical personnel to manage, operate, and dispatch future sea shipments of mixed vegetables under managed atmosphere conditions. Trainings will also include technical support and knowledge sharing on ethylene production, ethylene compatibility and sensitivity, , international labeling and packaging requirements. The SOP’s will include guidelines on the shelf life of products in refer containers or under cold chain.

Estimated Level of Effort (LOE) for the Assignment

24 working days including 3 travel days.

Assignment Scope

  • Background reading of AMD work plan and published studies on previous value chain and marketing assessments of related agriculture in Pakistan
  • Develop work plan for execution of STTA in consultation with AMD staff and submit to COP and CTA for approval within 1 day of assignment commencement
  • Develop post-harvest handling procedures for chilies, okra, bitter gourd, long and round gourd, brinjal, peas, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage and leafy vegetables including coriander and mint.
  • Provide training to the stakeholders on executing the SOP’s developed for each of the product lines.
  • Develop and deliver recommended procedures for receiving and  packaging of the specified products keeping in view the temperature, relative humidity and ventilation requirements
  • Provide guidelines on ethylene levels and ethylene sensitivity and product compatibility in case of mixed vegetables’ sea shipments
  • Provide guidelines on hygro-thermic sensitivity and requirements  for extended period  for compatible vegetables in case of mixed shipments
  • Suggest the most suitable market destinations for these sea shipments
  • Evaluate the existing cooling units of identified stakeholders for the suitability to utilize for cool chain export
  • Provide a briefing to AMD staff on relevant finding and composition of final reports
  • Any other tasks assigned by the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) relating to design and development of managed atmosphere interventions for each of the four target value chains

Deliverables

  • Develop a detailed work plan to execute the STTA within 1 day of assignment commencements
  • Submit a written report identifying appropriate mixes of vegetables that can be exported together in a refrigerated sea container keeping in view their temperature requirements and ethylene sensitivity as well as suitable international destinations with sizeable profit margins
  • Develop the SOP’s for exporting the identified products in refrigerated sea containers including post-harvest handling, recommended packaging, temperature requirements and loading.
  • Evaluation of the existing cold chain of the identified stakeholders for their suitability for utilizing them for export with recommendations for improvements
  • Conduct a two day training session on post-harvest handling, processing, packaging and proper utilization of cold chain facilities for the export of a mixed vegetables in a refrigerated sea container.
  • Submit final report on technical assistance given under STTA with power point presentation using AMD templates within 5 business days on completion of assignment

Qualifications:

  • An advanced degree in the field of crop sciences;
  • Extensive experience of having worked with agriculture value chains across the world;
  • More than 10 years of professional practical experience working with the farmers or agribusiness projects;
  • More than 10 years of capacity building experience.
  • Requisite prior experience of working at senior level consulting assignments with USAID funded projects;
  • Experience in developing countries on designing and development of Agribusiness;  
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team;
  • Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills; and
  • Documented excellent writing skills in English
  • Oral fluency in English.
  • Ability to travel to Pakistan

This is a current and active recruit. Candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis.