Team: Programs | Commitment: Consultant | Location: Pakistan

STTA: Agricultural Technology Specialist

Project Name CNFA-PATTA/ Project AID-391-C-17- 00004

Consultancy Assignment Rapid Assessment of Agricultural Technologies

Consultant Title Agricultural Technology Specialist

Reports to Chief of Party / Crop Technology Specialist 

Place of Performance Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Mansehra

LOE 23 days, including 2 international travel days, 18 days in country, and 3 days for report preparation

Estimated Overall Contract Period of Performance April 22- May 31, 2018 (for overall assignment, including travel and report production)


CNFA Description: CNFA is an enterprise development organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to stimulating sustainable growth in the agricultural sector. CNFA specializes in fostering private sector investments in training, new technologies and marketing to increase the overall competitiveness of agricultural value chains, expand exports, and develop skills in the rural workforce. By generating higher incomes for farmers, processors, entrepreneurs, and distributors, CNFA helps improve livelihoods and reduce poverty.


PATTA Background: Outdated and ineffective agricultural technologies are among the leading causes for Pakistan’s agricultural productivity falling short of its potential. Scaling up the production, distribution, and adoption of agricultural technologies in Pakistan is made challenging by lack of information, difficulty in accessing credit, a wide dispersion of smallholders, and diverse of challenges facing marginalized subsets of smallholder farmers – such as women. 


PATTA Description: PATTA will bring to scale private sector solutions to improve agricultural productivity in Pakistan through a four-year activity. PATTA will partner with agricultural technology companies to commercialize products and services with the potential to increase the productivity and competitiveness of smallholder farmers while mobilizing private sector investment in agricultural technology. PATTA’s partnership will provide smallholder farmers with boarder access to affordable technologies to increase productivity, build resilience to climate change and reduce postharvest losses. In so doing, PATTA expects to achieve the following results:


·         Increase smallholder farmer access to affordable, appropriate and effective agricultural technologies;

·         Enable agricultural technology-related businesses to expand and adapt their products and services to meet smallholders needs;

·         Scale up the adoption and use of agricultural technologies.


STTA Rationale/Background: The agriculture sector of Pakistan constitutes the largest sector and contributes about 23% to the economy. This sector could contribute even more to the economy if innovative, tech-based agricultural practices were adopted on a wider scale. Agriculture research institutions in Pakistan are progressive; scientists and biotechnologists have diversified seed development and transitioned to higher value seeds for important crops. This has resulted in surplus production of wheat, maize (pulses) and sugarcane[1]. Similar advancements have been made in the horticulture and livestock sectors. However, Pakistan’s challenge is for ordinary farmers to adopt these technologies.

In Pakistan, approximately 35 million rural people depend directly or indirectly on livestock for their livelihoods. As a testament to Pakistan’s livestock activity, the country is proud to be the fifth largest milk producer in the world. If the potential of the livestock sector were maximized, a large portion of rural labour would be absorbed, significantly reducing rural poverty. Currently, the full potential of the livestock sector is not being realized due to many factors, including low productivity because of nondescript breeds, poor feed and water intake, the use of traditional farm management practices, limited capacity to provide balanced feed and mineral supplements, limited awareness of modern production practices, poor animal disease management, and limited access to quality health care.

As mentioned, outdated and ineffective agricultural and livestock technologies are among the leading causes for Pakistan’s agricultural productivity falling short of its potential. Scaling up the production, distribution and adoption of agricultural technologies in Pakistan is made challenging by lack of information, difficulty in accessing credit, a wide dispersion of smallholders, and diverse challenges faced by marginalized subsets of smallholder farmers, such as women

Scope of STTA: The primary objective of this assignment is to conduct a rapid assessment of agri-tech firms producing and selling agricultural technologies suitable for smallholder commercial farmers, farmer groups and associations, which could bring significant enhancement in their productivity, farm returns and ultimately result in the generation of jobs both for men and women in the targeted populations. This assessment will provide greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities of targeted smallholders, and will generate realistic and logical recommendations that support the core activities and projected achievements of PATTA. The STTA will be required to collaborate with a local counterpart as part of the capacity building component of PATTA. 

The assignment will entail the following steps:

1.       Discovery: The consultant must develop an understanding of the overarching horticultural industry in targeted provinces, including awareness of smallholder operational and machinery barriers. This step will entail a survey of: 1) machinery applications used in current farm operations; 2) soil conditions, including survey of dryland, rainfed crops and irrigation technologies; and 3) average productivity.  If available, secondary data may support this survey – including data on the rental, purchase and maintenance costs of machinery, and the subsequent relationship to productivity gains. Lastly, this step will entail familiarization with any related, parallel projects of USAID and other donors and, where appropriate, the collection of feedback from projects which could strengthen activities to achieve related results. 

2.      Exploration: The consultant will develop a rapid assessment of PATTA interventions.  This assessment will analyse farm-level scenarios by surveying the inputs, outputs, post-harvest technologies, and other tools applied by farmers to enhance productivity. The consultant will assess these agricultural technologies. Specifically, the consultant will:


·         Assess the timeframes for the ability of farmers to purchase, maintain and benefit/profit from these technologies.

·         Assess machinery functionality within the context of crop type, soil characteristics and weather conditions.

·         Assess the type of agricultural machinery related to climate change adaptation in terms of small holder farmers

·         Review the adoption of conservation farming technologies within the project footprint for niche marketing purposes and to lower operation costs.

·         Review current costs, efficiency & use of solar-powered technologies.

·         Review machinery maintenance from the perspective of farmers.

·         Develop an understanding of purchasing power from the perspective of farmers (i.e. access to/use of: microcredit, farm service centres and farmer’s associations; quality of products and services).

·         Assemble secondary information on both the demand- and supply-side for machinery preference.

·         Consider how existing extension services (private and public) could be improved and promoted. 

·         Develop a broad list of sectors/Areas of Interest and related crosscutting technological interventions that will form the basis for a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) that will allow PATTA to refine its implementation methodology going forward.

·         Identify crop technologies and practices which qualify for a CBA for the benefit of supply-side partners.  


STTA Deliverables:

1.       Work plan with methodology

·         Develop detailed work plan and a brief suggested methodology during the period of assignment to PATTA technical team and COP in accordance with USAID approved PERSUAP regulations.

2.      Report detailing efficient and affordable agricultural technologies that offer potential for upscaling and commercializing the operations of smallholder farmers

·         Conduct a workshop to identify and prioritize technologies and supply/import/manufacturer companies for assessment of technologies.

·         Develop final list of agriculture technologies for a cost benefit analysis. 

3.      Report detailing a strategy for demonstration of agriculture technologies

·         Design trainings and demonstration activities for demand-side partners and private extension agent of private sector (SSPs)

4.      Report detailing best techniques for promotion and upscaling of technologies through demand-side dealer networks

·         Design technology awareness and promotion activities for demand-side partners

·         Develop recommendations for adaptation and behavior change through extension activities

5.        Weekly status updates submitted to the COP based on field visits and the given assignment.

·         Assessment, discovery and exploration about the Agricultural technologies which qualify for a cost benefit analysis.

6.       Submission of detailed, final report with recommendations.


Desired Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Agriculture, Agriculture Engineering, Agriculture Economics, or a related field, with more than 10 years of professional experience in conducting assessments and evaluation of USAID-funded projects (with a focus on Agribusiness and the agriculture sector), preferably in agricultural technology transfer and private sector led agricultural technology transfer methods.
  • Proven track record of conducting research and reports for donors – specifically agricultural baseline and research studies, value chain analysis and financial analysis.
  • Excellent report-writing skills and good command of written and spoken English.
  • Experience working in complex environments and developing countries, with demonstrated strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills.