Team: Programs | Commitment: Volunteer | Location: Egypt

Sweet Potato Post-Harvest Volunteer

Assignment Location:

Minia and Bani Suef  



Post-Harvest (Curing) for Sweet Potatoes


June 2017


Improve farmer’s technical knowledge and practical applications for post-harvest handling and technologies, specifically relate to curing, of sweet potatoes in Upper Egypt.

Host Background:

Sweet potatoes are mainly grown in the governorates of Minia and Bani Suef. The volunteer will be based out of the FAS project office located in Minia with visits to sweet potato farmers in the surrounding area. 

Issue Description:

The Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support project (FAS) works to increase agriculture-related incomes of smallholder farmer in Upper Egypt using a market-driven approach that facilitate sustaintable, pro-poor value chain development and helps smallholders increase access to domestic and export markets. This market-driven approach is support by four interrelated components:

1. Improved on-farm production

2. More efficient post-harvest processes

3. Improved marketing of agriculture crops and products

4. Improved nutrition status, especially for women and children

Sweet potatoes are one of the key vegetable value chains in Upper Egypt that are targetted by FAS. It is widely grown in the governorates of Assiut, Aswan, Beni Suef, Menia, and Sohag of Upper Egypt. Due to Upper Egypt having both an ideal climate and soil for sweet potatoes, there are many opportunities for smallholder farmers to vertically integrate themselves into the sweet potato value chain by engaging in better production and post-harvest processes, most especially curing. However, there is a lack of both technical knowledge and infrastructure available to smallholder farmers that allow them to take advantage of simple post-harvest techniques that can increase the shelf life and profitability of their produce.  

The host therefore has requested for a volunteer to train FAS staff in post-harvest techniques that can increase the profitability and quality of sweet potatoes, mostly importantly related to curing. The volunteer will visit farmer fields that grow sweet potatoes to assess the current capacity and knowledge of farmers as well as identify any existing infrastructure that can be used for sweet potato curing. Once the volunteer has assessed the operating environment, they will develop a training plan that addresses relevant post-harvest handling techniques that farmers can use to increase the quality and production of their harvests and work with the FAS technical team to put together a training regimen for future trainings for additional farmer groups. These trainings should focus on producing sweet potatoes that are export quality to markets in the EU and Arab Gulf.

Desired Outcomes and Impacts:

Desired outcomes: Improved technical knowledge of sweet potato post-harvest handling techniques and technologies for both farmer associations trained and FAS technical staff

Desired impacts: Increase in the quality and production of smallholder farmers’ sweet potato harvest through the utilization of post-harvest techniques, including curing.


While in Minia, volunteers stay at the Grand Aton hotel which is located close to several food options and easy transport to the FAS office via taxi.

Volunteer Preparation:

The month of  June is the spring season in Egypt. Volunteers are encouraged therefore to bring some clothes for warm weather.


CNFA volunteer assignments require some pre-departure preparation by the volunteer, since time in country is limited. Please consult with your CNFA program officer or field staff for any information or assistance you need to properly prepare for your assignment. Needed materials can be discussed with in-country staff, via email, prior to departure.

The volunteer will have full access to an FAS laptop computer, flip-chart stand, and other office equipment. Please inform FAS staff if training will require additional resources.

The use of slides, videos, overheads, PowerPoint presentations and hands-on activities to emphasize main points are strongly recommended during your assignment.


CNFA requests each volunteer to complete outreach activities after returning from an assignment.  Volunteer outreach helps foster cultural understanding and spreads the word about U.S. international development efforts. Outreach activities include any conversations you have about your project, newspaper articles, presentations, social media posts, or other events.  Please keep this in mind during your project, and ensure that you are taking notes to correspond with photographs, meetings, or notable activities.  Your Washington DC coordinator will follow up with you both during debriefing and again several months after your assignment is completed to get an update of your outreach efforts.

*Please download the full description for a complete itinerary and project contacts.

Desired Qualifications of Volunteer

  • Experienced managing post-harvest practices for sweet potatoes, specifically with utilizing and managing curing room technology
  • Extensive practical experience managing sweet potato farms
  • Knowledge of post-harvest techniques and technologies for sweet potatoes
  • Knowledge of private sector markets for sweet potatoes in Egypt, Arab Gulf, and Europe preferred
  • Patience and positive attitude when working with local Egyptian farmers
  • Must be citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.


  • A Sweet Potato Post-Harvest Needs Assessment Report
  • Sweet Potato Post-Harvest Training Curriculum
  • CNFA’s Training Beneficiaries Record, Volunteer Value Reporting System Survey, and Trip Report. These documents must be completed no later than a week after assignment and preferably before the last day on assignment. 

Download full description