Team: Programs | Commitment: Consulting | Location: Remote
STTA: International Product Shrink Wrap Specialist
Project Name: Feed the Future Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity
Consultancy Assignment: Distance Learning for youth entrepreneurs and food processors in post-harvest handling of cassava, and vegetables.
Consultant Title: International Post Harvest Handling and Loss Specialist
Reports to: COP and Senior Agribusiness and Private Sector Advisor
Place of Performance: Distance Learning
LOE: 15 working days
Estimated Period of Performance: April 15- May 31, 2020
The Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA) is being implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) and is supported and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the United States Government’s Feed the Future (FTF) Program. The LADA activity takes place in four counties: Bong, Nimba, Lofa & Rural Montserrado and focuses on three components, including:
C1: Increase private sector investment in agricultural inputs system
C2: Increase private sector investment in post-harvest handling support, packaging, marketing, storage and auxiliary services,
C3: Strengthen facilitation, market information, advocacy and support
LADA works to catalyze increased private sector investment and commercial finance to agribusinesses and expand commercially sustainable linkages among consumers, producers, and post-harvest enterprises. LADA is designed to provide broad support to agricultural development and food security initiatives at the community and national levels in Liberia. It supports forging innovative partnerships with the private sector to leverage new resources and maximize impact in support of its developmental efforts. The activity supports USAID/Liberia IR 2.1: Food Security Enhanced, including Sub IR 2.1.2: Agricultural Sector Growth Supported, Sub IR 2.2: Selected Value Chains Strengthened and IR 2.3: Enabling Environment Supports Private Sector Growth.
To increase sustainability and enhance implementation, CNFA is working with various partners in Liberia whose activities are aligned with LADA objectives. Some of these partners are the Business Startup Center (BSC) Monrovia, the Consortium of Business Development Service Providers (CBDSP), Impact Advisory Services (IAS), the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) and the Ministry of Agriculture, which by use of their professional contacts and well-organized structures are considered as key CNFA implementing partners and professional entities with the requisite set of skills, knowledge, and expertise to contribute in attaining the overarching objectives of LADA. Specifically, these partners are strategic to CNFA/LADA in delivering agricultural extension outreach and business development services to smallholder farmers’ organizations, aggregators and agro-processors. However, in order to further strengthen the technical capacities of farmers’ organizations and agribusinesses that are involved with vegetable and cassava production, aggregation and marketing services, CNFA/LADA seeks to engage the services of a reputable international vegetable crop expert to address the production, postharvest handling, and marketing needs of these enterprises. Due to the global travel restrictions into the foreseeable future, the vegetable crop expert will develop training and technical assistance materials appropriate for smallholder Liberian farmers and Ministry of Agriculture personnel. The focus will be on proper postharvest handling and loss management of the commercially important vegetable crops in Liberia. The expert is expected to have strong technical skills in vegetable value chain development with specific emphasis on production, aggregation and marketing of high-value vegetable varieties for both domestic and international markets.
To facilitate LADA’s goals, the vegetable crop expert will work with CNFA to use practical and effective ways to get the required tasks completed. It is generally understood that the production and marketing of high-value vegetables varieties including tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, okra, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, strain beans and other leafy vegetables in Liberia is seriously affected by multitude of constraints. Some of the key constraints include but not limited to excessive rain fall during 5-6 months of the year; lack of controlled production system using rain shelters and appropriate irrigation scheme; as well as limited access to quality seeds and appropriate agronomic practices that are required for year-round production of high-value exotic vegetables that are locally adaptable. Additionally, the limited knowledge of vegetable producers’ organizations and aggregators on appropriate post-harvest handling and loss prevention techniques couple with their inability to access high-value markets for their produce due to food safety issues are also key factors hindering the development of the vegetable value chain in Liberia. These challenges over the years continue to negatively impact quality production, aggregation and marketing of high volume of quality vegetables to meet domestic and international market demands. Therefore, , a reputable international vegetable crop expert is needed to further address these gaps in order for CNFA/LADA and its partners to positively transform the vegetable value chain into a viable and sustainable agricultural sub-sector in Liberia.
Objective of Scope:
High amounts of postharvest losses of horticultural crops are significant constraint to smallholder producers in their ability to provide domestic and regional export markets with consistent supplies of high-quality vegetable products.
The objective of the assignment will be to develop training and technical assistance materials on postharvest handling and loss management of vegetable crops for smallholder producers and Ministry of Agriculture extension personnel. The training materials will help reduce the severity of postharvest losses of perishable vegetable crops, while extending their market life and nutritional quality. A long-term benefit of the training materials is to strengthen food security in Liberia and expand market opportunities for smallholder vegetable farmers through improved postharvest handling and management practices.
Proposed Performance Activities:
Detailed training and technical assistance on postharvest handling and loss management of vegetable crops of commercial importance to Liberia will be provided. The delivery mechanisms will include a combination of electronic and long-distance formats, including video conferencing of training and technical assistance materials, Power Point presentations, and electronically transmitted crop-specific postharvest technical guides and manuals.
The training and technical assistance program activities will educate the Liberian stakeholders on numerous aspects of postharvest handling and management of vegetable crops. The training topics will include crop specific harvesting recommendations, product preparation for market, grading and sorting, waxing, packing and packaging materials, decay control, product cooling, storage, food safety requirements, transportation, phytosanitary control measures, and marketing. The technical information will be tailored to smallholder producers and Ministry of Agriculture extension personnel. The prepared materials will also be used by extension personnel in future outreach training programs on proper product postharvest handling practices.
The location of the preparation and delivery of the training and technical assistance activities will be in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A series of long-distance training/technical assistance sessions along with preparation of individual crop specific written guides and Power Point presentations will be provided. This information will cover all aspects of the postharvest handling of the commercially important vegetable crops in Liberia. The training sessions will be conducted via an appropriate long-distance electronic transmission format (e.g. Teams, Zoom, Skype, etc.).
Examples of training and technical assistance materials include crop specific postharvest handling guides, Power Point presentations, and video conferencing for the following commercially important Liberian vegetables and root/tuber crops:
· Tomato, bell pepper, eggplant, cucumber, lettuce, squash,collard greens, okra, watermelon, cabbage, carrot, green onion/shallot, green beans, and cassava/sweet potato.
Examples of practical postharvest preservation techniques that will be demonstrated include the application of food-grade wax to extend the market life of cassava and sweet potato, shrink-wrap packaging technology to add value and extend the market life of vegetable crops, and low cost cooling technologies to extend the market life and nutritional quality of vegetables. In addition, training/technical guides on proper sanitation practices during harvest, handling, and marketing will be prepared to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
Written Guides and Power Point presentations
Prepare well-illustrated training/technical guides and Power Point presentations for smallholder Liberian farmers and Ministry of Agriculture extension personnel on the following commercially important Liberian vegetable crops:
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Tomatoes
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Cabbage
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Lettuce
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Okra
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Cucumber
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Carrot
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Bell Pepper
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Squash
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Green Beans
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Collard Greens
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Green Onions/Shallots
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Eggplant
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Watermelon
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Cassava
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Sweet Potatoes
· Postharvest Handling and Loss Management of Cassava and Sweet Potato Leaves
· Postharvest Wax Application to Extend Cassava Market Life
· Shrink Wrap Film Packaging of Vegetable Crops for Value Addition and Market Life Extension
· Low Cost Cooling Technologies to Extend the Market Life of Liberian Vegetable Crops
· Practices to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 during Harvest of Vegetable Crops
· Postharvest Sanitation Practices to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 during Packing of Vegetable Crops
· Practices to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 in Vegetable Markets
A series of video conferences/webinars will be held covering the proper postharvest handling of each of the commercially important vegetable crops in Liberia.
In addition, demonstration presentations will be provided on the application of food-grade wax to extend the market life of cassava and sweet potato, shrink-wrap packaging technology to add value and extend the market life of vegetable crops, and low cost cooling technologies to extend the market life and nutritional quality of vegetables.
Also, training/technical guides on proper sanitation practices during harvest, handling, and marketing will be prepared to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
Level of Effort: 15 business days from April 15- May 31, 2020.
- advanced degree in the field of food sciences or horticulture;
- Extensive experience of working in vegetables and Cassava sectors in Liberia or West Africa;
- Ability to provide on-line trainings in multi-cultural setting with different groups;
- Extensive experience in the field of shrink wrap technology for vegetables and post-harvest technical skills;
- More than 15 years of professional practical experience working in the field of horticulture and 5 years in field of food sciences;
- Requisite prior experience of working at senior level consulting assignments with USAID
- Experience in developing countries on designing and development of food processing facilities, horticultural projects. Previous experience in Liberia is a plus.
- Excellent English writing skills and oral fluency.
Deadline for submission of application: 13 APRIL 2020 at 4:00 P. M. HOWEVER, APPLICATIONS WILL BE EVALUATED ON A ROLLING BASIS AND THE POSITION COULD BE FILLED IN PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE.
Applicants within Monrovia and its environs may apply in the following manner: Application should be submitted in hard copy addressed to the Human Resources Department, CNFA/USAID – LADA Program, Tubman Boulevard, Congo town (Behind Cuttington Graduate School), Monrovia, Liberia. Please indicate on the back of the envelope: “INTERNATIONAL PRODUCT SHRINK WRAP SPECIALIST”.
Applicants outside of Monrovia & within Monrovia may use the following email address to send in their applications:
email@example.com. These applications should include the position title: “INTERNATIONAL PRODUCT SHRINK WRAP SPECIALIST” in the subject line.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or protected veteran status.
CNFA takes affirmative action in support of its policy to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.
Only those candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.