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All qualified applicants are encouraged to send their updated CVs at recruitment@pakistan-amd.org with the consultancy title "Seedless Watermelon Crop Husbandry Specialist – Punjab" in subject line. 

CNFA-AMD Project

US-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development

SCOPE OF WORK

Project Name

CNFA-AMD  / Project Number AID-391-C-15-00003

Consultancy Assignment

Support to HVOSV

Consultant Title

Seedless Watermelon Crop Husbandry Specialist – Punjab

Reports to

Chief Technical Advisor – AMD

Place of Performance

The project selected area for seedless watermelons in Punjab

Est. Period of Performance

120 Working Days LOE

 

Project Description:

The U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) activity in Pakistan is a USAID funded activity implemented by CNFA with the goal of supporting the development of Pakistan’s commercial agriculture, particularly through improving the ability of Pakistan’s agriculture and livestock sectors to meet both international and domestic demand and requirements in targeted product lines in citrus, mango, high value/off-season vegetables and livestock. AMD envisions transforming the four targeted product lines into efficient, private sector-led value chains that deliver competitive products to domestic and export markets. AMD’s targeted training, matching grants, and technical assistance will leverage private sector investment and encourage innovation. Together, these approaches will support upgrading, streamline supply chains, optimize profit margins, increase participation of women entrepreneurs, and ultimately make Pakistani mango, citrus, meat and HV/OSV more profitable and more competitive.

 

Background Information:

Over 35 kinds of vegetables are grown in various ecological zones in Pakistan. At the moment Pakistan is exporting very limited number and quantity of vegetables mainly to GCC, some European countries, and neighboring Afghanistan. Watermelon is cultivated throughout Pakistan mostly for domestic consumption where the soil and climatic conditions are favorable for its cultivation. It prefers sandy loam soils with good drainage and a soil pH of 7.5 to 8. It cannot tolerate extremes of temperatures; low temperature affects its growth while severe higher temperatures affect the pollination process resulting in reduced yields.

Local supply of watermelons starts in April and continues till September from different areas of Pakistan. It’s high in demand during summer season leading to appreciable profit margins for farmers, middleman and traders.

Seedless watermelons are more difficult to grow as they require much higher levels of inputs and managerial skill, but in terms of prices, they can command a premium of up to 200% over the seeded varieties. Pakistani watermelon production calendar synchronizes well with the peak demand season in Europe which has experienced very strong growth in imports, indicating increasing demand from the watermelon producing countries which include China, Turkey, Iran, USA, Brazil, and Albania etc. In the European market, Spain is also a major exporter. Pakistan’s easy access to GCC provides a competitive advantage for export of seedless watermelons to GCC countries. With the operationalization of Gwadar port and CPEC, exports to Europe through sea are also competitive for Pakistani producers. Additionally, at the moment no SPS requirements are in place for export of watermelons to EU, making it an easily exportable commodity. The value of watermelon imports in the EU last year (2014-15) was €485.78 million

However, despite having favorable agro-climatic conditions for the cultivation of seedless watermelon which has high demand in international markets and can lead to higher profit margins, no or very limited effort has been made to go for seedless watermelon in Pakistan. The primary reasons being continued unavailability of seeds of seedless watermelon and availability of production technology at the local level.

AMD project, in line with its objective of innovation, intends to introduce commercial production of seedless watermelons for high-end markets, working with Pakistani private sector investors on a limited scale for trial production. The initial areas for trial production are intended to be in Punjab (Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Lohdran region).


Objective of the Technical Assistance

The technical assistance (TA) provided by the local STTA is aimed at providing the technical oversight for crop husbandry of the seedless watermelons to the selected farmers from land selection & preparation till harvesting and marketing of the produce. The local STTA will work closely with the ISTTA to design a complete package of technology for seedless watermelon production for the selected area/s to augment well within the existing cropping system with increased profit margins.

 

Assignment Scope:

The STTA tasks will include but not be limited to:

  1. Background reading of AMD Work Plan for HVOSV and published studies on watermelon and seedless watermelons’ crop husbandry, with a comparative analysis with other countries of the similar agro-climate.
  2. Support ISTTA in designing complete crop husbandry protocols including harvest and post-harvest practices for seedless watermelons.
  3. Provide regular guidance to the selected farmers.
  4. Day to day vigilance of crop.
  5. Provide production economics to AMD and the selected farmers
  6. Assist ISTTA in designing a training program for the seedless watermelon farmers; if needed.
  7. Regularly record data on various agronomic crop parameters for these trials.
  8. Identify better-paying markets for B&C category of seedless watermelon locally.
  9. Any other tasks assigned by the COP or Chief Technical Advisor relating to design and development of the seedless watermelon production interventions.

 

Deliverables:

      i.        A monthly detailed work plan to be submitted within the first two working days of each month of this consultancy.

     ii.        Complete Crop husbandry protocols for each selected seedless watermelon farm.

    iii.        Comparative analysis of Pakistan’s agro-climate and market viz a viz other seedless watermelon producing/exporting countries.

   iv.        Production economics of the seedless watermelon trails

    v.        Monthly report on the technical assistance provided to the selected seedless watermelon farmers

   vi.        Monthly report on the Agronomic data of trials

  vii.        Submit a monthly and final detailed report with all of the above-cited deliverables, recommendations and future course of action.

 

Estimated level of effort (LOE) for the assignment:

120 Days LOE

Months/Weeks

M1

M2

M3

M4

M5

Activity

 

 

 

 

 

Background review,

         

Work plan development for the assignment

         

Seedless watermelon Crop husbandry protocols

         

Comparative analysis of Pakistan’s agro climate and market viz a viz other seedless watermelon producing/exporting countries.

 

 

 

   

Production economics of seedless watermelons

   

 

 

 

Training program designing

         

Crop Agronomic data recording

         

On the farm guidance to the farmers

         

Total STTA days

       

120

 

 Timing of the Assignment:

The STTA assignment will commence in March 2018 and end in December 2018.

 

Qualifications:

The local consultant should have:

  • A university degree in the field of agriculture;
  • Practical knowledge of watermelons crop husbandry
  • Hands on knowledge of Pakistani fresh vegetables and their period of production.
  • Extensive experience of having worked with commercial vegetable growers
  • Knowledge of Pakistan agriculture sector will be an added advantage;
  • More than 10 years of professional, practical experience of working in the field of commercial horticulture production.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team;
  • Documented excellent writing skills in English
  • Oral fluency in English; knowledge of local language will be an added advantage
  • Preference will be given to the applicants from the same locality.




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