US-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development
SCOPE OF WORK
CNFA-AMD / Project Number AID-391-C-15-00003
Support to HVOSV
Seedless Watermelon Crop Husbandry Specialist – Punjab
Chief Technical Advisor – AMD
Place of Performance
The project selected area for seedless watermelons in Punjab
Est. Period of Performance
120 Working Days LOE
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.
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.
The STTA tasks will include but not be limited to:
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
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
Timing of the Assignment:
The STTA assignment will commence in March 2018 and end in December 2018.
The local consultant should have:
All qualified applicants are encouraged to send their updated CVs at email@example.com with the consultancy title "Seedless Watermelon Crop Husbandry Specialist – Punjab" in subject line.