ACDI/VOCA

  • Post-Harvest Handling Specialist, Kyrgyzstan

    Job Location
    KG-Bishkek
    Type
    Short-term
  • Overview

    Since 1963 and in 147 countries, ACDI/VOCA has empowered people in developing and transitional nations to succeed in the global economy. Based in Washington, D.C., ACDI/VOCA is a nonprofit international development organization that designs and delivers technical and management solutions in agriculture, economic growth, and resilience to promote economic prosperity and social inclusion.

     

    Post-Harvest Handling Specialist, Kyrgyzstan

     

    ACDI/VOCA is seeking a Post-Harvest Handling Specialist for the USAID funded Agro Horizon Project (AHoP). Many farmers in Agro Horizon’s target zones grow stone and pome fruit (apricots, apples, peaches, cherries, plums etc.). Up to 15% of the yield is processed, around 70% is sold fresh in domestic as well as Russian and Kazakhstan markets, immediately after harvesting (or after storing). Agro Horizon supported several fruit cold storage and processing facilities which have become steady markets for smallholder farmers. However, still significant amount of fruits is left unsold because of seasonal oversupplies, and, to a larger extent, blemishes, deterioration and losses caused by improper post-harvest handling (PHH). In order to improve the quality of the products in cold storage, it is vital that the products go into storage in the best possible condition. Improper PHH and cold storing cause further losses when the fruits are stored due to the rapid spread of pathogens which attack the fruits particularly where the protective layer of the fruits skin has been damaged. To address the gaps in PHH, the Project is seeking a short-term expert with relevant expertise. It is expected that assistance provided in this field will lead to improved quality of the fruits sold fresh or following cold storage. Holding fresh product in top quality enables the farmers to release the product to the market at a rate which does not impact negatively market prices.

     

    Purpose of the assignment

    The purpose of this assignment is to provide technical assistance and training to farmers, tree care service providers, and cold storages involved in cold storage of the main fruits (apples, apricots, cherries and others). The expert will work with the selected beneficiaries to improve their post-harvest and storage practices and help them improve product quality, which will lead to better product shelf life and higher incomes. The expert will provide training on PHH or fruits and vegetable to a local service provider who could be contracted to provide ongoing training to farmers and cold store owners.

    Responsibilities

    Timing and Level of Effort

    Total LOE is estimated at up to 55 business days, including assessment, training preparation and is expected to take place between April and July 2019. The consultant is expected to undertake trips and field visits.

     

    Specific tasks:

    1. Situation assessment: Visit orchards and cold storages to observe common harvest and PHH methods, review current practices and opportunities and limitations for improved fresh fruit PHH practices and storage;
    2. Design an evaluation form to accurately capture the gaps in the farmer and fresh fruit trader’s knowledge of PHH;
    3. Provide multiple hands-on workshops or consultations to interested fresh F&V value chain participants on methods of reducing quality losses through better PHH techniques prior to cooling and storage of products:
      • Methods of handling during and after harvest to prevent surface abrasions and bruising;
      • Determination of optimal maturity times for fruits in the AHoP area of influence;
      • Controlling insects, mold, plant diseases, and rot;
      • Low tech equipment to reduce product temperature fluctuations, limit rates of plant respiration, stop water losses and promote ventilation;
      • The importance of sanitation in the field and during subsequent handling;
    1. Identify other potential opportunities and help establish priorities in participating PO’s for follow up.

    Deliverables

    • Within the first week of the assignment, draft plan for field visits to view orchards and packhouses in the Jalalabad and Batken oblasts;
    • Design appropriate Training program for classroom and practical trainings of farmer groups and fresh fruit value chain actors;
    • Provide all AHoP field documentation to the Agricultural Productivity Manager on a weekly basis. Documents include: Attendance sheets, evaluation forms, and photos of trainings;
    • Progress reports on the monthly basis and final report of activities including specific technical assistance provided with results/impact and recommendations (lessons learned).

    Qualifications

    • University degree in agriculture and/or food technology is a must; ideally, a post-graduate degree in agriculture and/or food technology with traceable references and practical experience of PHH and introductory knowledge of cold chain management;
    • At least 10 years of experience in the PHH of fruits with a track record of proven successes in improving their handling, cooling, and storage;
    • Excellent knowledge of international product standards and best practices;
    • Extensive experience in providing advice and trainings on PHH;
    • Understanding the market demand for fresh F&V will be an advantage;
    • Excellent analytical, communication, presentation and facilitation skills;
    • Good written and oral communication skills (English);

    Please apply by submitting an email with your CV to: JoinKyrgyzstan@joinav.org. No phone calls please. Only those candidates considered for an interview will be contacted. ACDI/VOCA is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities and people from diverse groups are encouraged to apply.

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