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.