Team: Programs | Commitment: Consultant | Location: Azerbaijan

Raspberry Consultant

Background

 

The USAID Agricultural Support to Azerbaijan Project (ASAP) has recently expanded the Berry Value Chain to include Raspberry and Blueberry production. Raspberry production is concentrated in a small area near Ganja in the community of Goygol. The fields are small with an average size of less than 0.25 hectares.

Production levels have steadily declined in recent years and there is concern that gradually warming temperatures are responsible. This may be the case, but there is also evidence of insect and disease pressure that is contributing to the problem.

These growers have received technical assistance from another USAID-funded project, but nevertheless, production practices need to be updated.

In addition, there is significant new interest in blueberry production. This is a new crop for Azerbaijan and there is no technical assistance available in the country. If the consultant is versed in this crop, this topic will be added to the consultancy as well.

Objectives

  • Provide updated technical agronomic support to ASAP staff and raspberry (and blueberry) clients in the field.
  • Include reference materials on updated production and post-harvest handling techniques so that production manuals can be prepared that will be used in training classes and distributed to farmers.
  • Determine the causes of yield reductions that the farmers are experiencing and include corrective measures. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Meet with ASAP management and technical staff to review current practices.
  • Update staff on the production and post-harvest techniques that will be introduced
  • Travel in the field to meet with growers and to view their fields and practices
  • Provide recommendations to farmers and project staff to improve production quality and quantity

Deliverables

  • Reference material that can be used by ASAP to update production practices that are specific to the condition in Azerbaijan
  • Report with an analysis of the decline in productivity with recommendations to reverse this trend

Qualifications

  • PhD in agronomy, crop sciences, or related field
  • Extensive experience in berry cultivation, including raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Experience in strawberries also a plus.
  • Experience in intensive production methods and post-harvest handling
  • Experience conducting STTA for USAID or other donor-funded development projects
  • Experience working with berry growers in the South Caucasus
  • Knowledge of Azerbaijani or other Turkic language or Russian or other Slavic language desirable

Period of Performance and Timing:

 

Approximately 10 consulting days, to be scheduled as soon as possible. The level of effort would include, in addition to eight days in the field, two travel days.