Team: Programs | Commitment: Volunteer | Location: Aswan, Egypt

Volunteer: Mango Harvest Management

Assignment

Maturity indices, harvest, handling and post-harvest management for mangoes

Dates

May 2017

Objectives

Improve farmer’s technical knowledge and practical applications for higher quality and reduced losses of mangoes in Upper Egypt

Host Background

Mangoes are one of the value chains that has great potential and impact on improving incomes of small farmers in Upper Egypt as identified by the Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support project (FAS). According to the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) 2014 statistics, mangoes occupies 22,874 feddans (23,743 acres) in the governorates of Beni Suef, Sohag, Assuit, Menia, Aswan, Luxor, and Qena. The Aswan governorate produces the largest amount of mangoes with 10,633 feddans (11,037 acres) of groves. Small farmers need training on harvest, handling and post-harvest in order to improve quality of their produce, which will result in an increase in smallholder farmers’ incomes. Mango groves are generally located in the Wady Elnokra, Wady Elsaaida, Nasser Alnoba, and Edfu districts in the Aswan governorate. In each of these regions, there are mango famer groups identified by the FAS agronomy team and Technical Advisor for Associations who will benefit from different project activities.

Issue Description

FAS works to increase agriculture-related incomes of smallholder farmer in Upper Egypt using a market-driven approach that facilitate sustainable, 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

 

Mangoes are one of the key fruit value chains in Upper Egypt that are targeted by FAS. There are a substantial number of groves throughout the area and there are numerous opportunities for smallholder farmers to vertically integrate themselves into the mango value chain by engaging in better production and post-harvest processes, as well as processing of mangoes for juice and freezing. However, mango trees in Egypt are subject to numerous shortcomings in orchard establishment and agriculture practices such as poor training, pruning, and irrigation that hinders the profitability of this value chain and limits the productivity of smallholders. One key example that is common are trees with 15-20 meter high canopies that reduces the crop and decreases the quality of fruits. Local farmers’ knowledge of deciding the best stage to harvest and management practices of harvest and handling are limited and management plans generally do not exist. Farmers do not have the technical knowledge to identify common post-harvest treatments as well as sorting, grading, and packing that are required for better marketing opportunities which will play an important role in increasing their incomes and provide job opportunities.

 

The host therefore has requested for a volunteer to train them in identifying common practices to improve harvest and handling of mangoes in Upper Egypt as well as the most effective treatments and measures to enhance their effects. The volunteer will visit farmer mango groves to assess the current needs and conduct trainings with farmer organizations on these topics, as well as work with the FAS technical team to put together a training regimen for future trainings for additional farmer groups. 

Deliverables

CNFA’s Training Beneficiaries Record, Mango Training Curriculum, 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. 

Desired Outcomes

Improved technical knowledge of fruit maturity indices, harvest and handling management for both farmer associations trained and FAS technical staff

Desired Impacts

Increase in smallholder farmers’ ability to improve fruit quality and reduce losses

Accommodations

While in Aswan, volunteers stay at the Helnan Hotel. This is located on the east bank of the Nile in Aswan and located close to several food options and easy transport to the FAS office via taxi.

Outreach

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.

For full assignment itinerary and project contacts, please download the full description at the bottom of this job posting.

Desired Qualifications of Volunteer

  • Experienced managing maturity indices, harvest and handling in fruit trees, especially mango
  • Extensive practical experience managing fruit trees, especially mango
  • Knowledge of common postharvest requirements for fruit trees
  • Patience and positive attitude when working with local Egyptian farmers
  • Must be citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

Volunteer Preparation

  • The month of May 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 be equipped with local cell phone for easy communication with FAS team in Egypt.
  • 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 videos, PowerPoint presentations and hands-on activities to emphasize main points are strongly recommended during your assignment.

Download full description