Team: Programs | Commitment: Consultant | Location: Pakistan
Seedless water melon marketing specialist
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.
Pakistan is blessed with wide climatic diversity which offers opportunities for growing variety of vegetables throughout the year in various agro-ecological zones of Pakistan. Watermelon is cultivated throughout Pakistan mostly for domestic consumption where the soil and climatic conditions are favorable for its cultivation and is cherished well in the local markets. Domestic supply of seeded water melons starts in April and continues till September from different areas of Pakistan. It’s high in demand during summer season leading to appreciable profit margins for farmers, middle man and traders.
Another superior variant of watermelons is seedless watermelon which is demands higher managerial skills to grow as they require much higher levels of hard and soft inputs. In terms of prices seedless watermelons can command a premium of up to 200% over their seeded counterparts. Pakistani watermelon production calendar synchronizes well with the peak demand season in Europe and GCC which has experienced very strong growth in imports, indicating increasing demand from the watermelon producing countries which include China, Turkey, Iran, USA, Brazil and Albania etc.
Pakistan’s easy access to GCC provides a competitive advantage for export of seedless watermelons to these countries. With the operationalization of Gwadar port, exports to Europe through sea are also competitive for Pakistani producers. Additionally, at the moment no SPS requirements are in place for export of watermelons to EU, making it an easily exportable commodity.
However, despite having favorable agro-climatic conditions for the cultivation of seedless watermelon which has high demand in international markets and can lead to higher profit margins, no or very limited efforts have been made to promote cultivation of seedless watermelon in Pakistan. The primary reasons being unavailability of seeds of seedless watermelon and relevant production technology at local level. The initial efforts of AMD to support commercial production of seedless watermelons for high end markets, working with Pakistani private sector investors on a limited scale for trial production met encouraging success depicting the promise to fetch higher returns in the export markets.
Objective of the Technical Assistance
The technical assistance (TA) provided by the ISTTA is aimed at reviewing the existing status of seedless watermelon marketing in the GCC and/or EU with potential competitors, competitive advantage for Pakistani produce, suggest suitable packing and packaging for seedless watermelon for GCC and EU markets along with the developing a suitable marketing strategy. The ISTTA will work in close collaboration with AMD’s technical team and meetings with relevant stake holders including producers, exporters and seed companies for developing an understanding of the production dynamics of seedless watermelon production in Pakistan as well as appropriate marketing channels.
The STTA tasks will include but not be limited to:
§ Background reading of AMD Work Plan for seedless watermelon;
§ Work with AMD marketing and VC teams to assess production regime of seedless watermelon;
§ Meetings with relevant stake holders for assessing packing, packaging and marketing requirements;
§ Assess competitiveness of Pakistani seedless watermelon in the GCC and EU markets’
§ Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for seedless watermelon.
1. A detailed work plan for the period of this assignment within two days after the commencement of this consultancy;
2. Suggest appropriate packing and packaging for GCC and EU;
3. Conduct a one day training for seedless watermelon exporters in its marketing;
4. A comprehensive marketing strategy for Pakistani seedless watermelons for GCC and EU markets;
5. Submit a detailed report with all of the above cited deliverables, recommendations and future course of action;
6. Any other duty assigned by CTA/COP.
- A university degree in the field of Agri economics, marketing, or any other relevant field;
- Practical knowledge of watermelons’ packing, packaging and marketing;
- Hands on knowledge of major seedless watermelon supplier in GCC and EU and their marketing strategies;
- Extensive experience of practical marketing of seedless watermelons;
- Knowledge of Pakistan agriculture sector will be an added advantage;
- More than 10 years of professional practical experience working in the field fresh produce marketing;
- Prior experience of working on consulting assignments with USAID funded projects in Pakistan will be an added advantage;
- Demonstrated ability to work in a team;
- Documented excellent writing skills in English
- Oral fluency in English.
- Ability to travel to project sites in Pakistan.