Team: Programs | Commitment: Consulting | Location: Republic of Georgia

STTA: Dried Fruit Industry Consultant

BACKGROUND:

 

The USAID Agriculture Program is a five-year activity that aims to accelerate growth of agricultural sub-sectors that demonstrate strong potential to create jobs and increase micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) revenues. The USAID Agriculture Program plans to deliver firm-level investment and tailor-made technical assistance to entrepreneurial, market-driven enterprises, production clusters and supporting associations and service/information/extension providers to foster inclusive and sustainable market systems development.

 

The USAID Agriculture Program provides competitive cost-shared grants and technical assistance to address identified gaps in targeted value chains (VCs) that will result in the improved productivity and productive capacity of MSMEs, strengthened value chain linkages, increased access to markets, and improved capacity of MSMEs, cooperatives, associations and service/information/extension providers.

 

Development of processing industry is pivotal to strengthening Program’s priority VCs. Therefore, the USAID Agriculture Program planned to provide targeted technical assistance to its grantee and non-grantee beneficiaries engaged in processing operations. Dried fruit production is one of the directions with high potential, considering steadily increasing demand for better-for-you foods, including dried fruits within U.S. and European markets.

 

One of the challenges faced by dried fruit industry actors is a lack of knowledge of modern technologies, global market trends and opportunities. While there are a few key players with established business and clear goals, the number of small and medium enterprises that lack vision and pursue ad-hoc based testing practices prevail. The latter segment needs tailored advice and up to date information to set clear and realistic goals for sustainable growth and development.

 

In line with abovementioned, the USAID Agriculture Program plans to utilize expertise of international consultants, to provide targeted beneficiaries – small to large scale dried fruit producers with tailored STTA, thereby helping them improve operations and gradually adopt best practices.

 

OBJECTIVE:

 

The purpose of this assignment is to provide technical support to dried fruit producers to increase their awareness of modern practices and innovations, thereby strengthening Program’s priority VCs and horticulture sector in Georgia.

Under this scope of work, the Consultant shall work closely with the USAID Agriculture Program’s value chain specialists and technical assistance team to perform the following tasks: 

·         Visit up to 3 large scale dried fruit producers, with significant experience in the industry, to advise them on product development plans, marketing and sales strategies in light with global market trends and demands.

·         Provide individual consultancies to up 3 small-scale dried fruit producers. Consultancies should be focused on:

◦    general assessment of existing business operations, development goals and sales targets;

◦    provision of recommendations for developing business development strategies and action plans;

◦    advice on new product development (unique product offerings), most relevant marketing tools, infrastructural improvements and cost-effective equipment.

·         Conduct 1-day workshop for broader audience of dried fruits producers and relevant stakeholders to increase their awareness of dried fruit industry and provide them with general overview of global perspective on dried fruit.  It is anticipated that the workshop will highlight the following major topics: basics of county-specific and company-specific competitiveness analysis, new product development and marketing strategies, including market requirements/certifications; supply chain development; technology innovations (for both fruits and vegetables), etc. In addition, the workshop will serve to summarize findings of the assignment and discuss industry development opportunities within the audience of key stakeholders.

·         Develop report highlighting findings, consultancy-specific briefs and recommendations. 

 

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Minimum 5 years of working experience with dried fruit industry actors;
  • Proven experience in new product development, supply chain development and agriculture marketing areas;
  • Strong communication skills.

DELIVERABLES:

  • Final Report integrating visit findings, consultancy briefs and improvement recommendations;
  • Delivery of one day workshop for dried fruits producers and relevant stakeholders to increase their awareness of modern approaches and innovations and to provide them with general overview of global perspective on dried fruit.

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE:

 

This assignment is planned to take place starting from February 17, 2020. This consultancy will be provided through one visit and follow-up offsite work, and will not exceed 14 days.