Apricot Drying Expert STTA - Afghanistan Regional Agriculture Development Program – East

  • Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 23 July 2020
  • Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Closing on 14 August 2020
  • Current
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Job Description

SCOPE OF WORK Regional Agriculture Development Program – East (RADP-E)

Apricot Drying Expert, STTA

Period of Performance

o/a August 1,2020

o/a September 15, 2020

Maximum Level of Effort

30 workdays

Base of Operations

Kabul, Afghanistan

reports to

Chief of Party

Project Background:

The Regional Agriculture Development Program – East (RADP-E) aims to expand sustainable agriculture-led economic growth in eastern Afghanistan. The Program provides technical services to the private sector and producers in order to increase the competitiveness of selected value chains, ensuring increased sales of agricultural goods and services in the selected value chains. RADP-East leads the transformation to growth-oriented agricultural markets where knowledge and innovation continue to flow into the marketplace from the private sector.


The purpose of this consultancy is to introduce apricot drying techniques for sulfured and non-sulfured apricots that result in products that meet the requirements of international markets in terms of color, texture, and consistency. Following this assignment, RADP-East will be able to better support the apricot processors either through activities or upgrading grants to increase their production capacity, improve quality, and maintain consistency of their products.

This STTA is planned for 30 workdays and will tentatively start in August 2020. Based on the scope of work, the consultant will develop a detailed pre-visit plan before arriving in Kabul. At the initial stages of the assignment, the consultant will work in close collaboration with the Apricot VC team, a comprehensive assessment of up to 15 apricot processors in Kabul. Additionally, s/he will develop training material for capacity building of the apricot processors and provide recommendations for the RADP-East team to increase support to RADP-East grantees.


During his/her assignment, the consultant will carry out the following tasks:

  • Assess current drying techniques of at least 15 medium and large apricot processors/traders to understand their current processing practices including the equipment delivered to them by RADP-East (6 days);
  • Develop an analytical report based on the assessment and provide recommendations that are based on existing varieties, local climate, harvest calendar, and requirements of target markets (2 days);
  • Provide expert advice to grantees on RADP-East delivered dryers and recommend proper techniques to improve the quality of dried apricots (1 day);
  • Identify training, upgrading, or critical recommendations needed for the assessed apricot processors (1 day);
  • Develop training material needed based on the result of the assessment and submit to RADP-East management for review and approval (4 days);
  • Provide theoretical and practical training in proper apricot drying through traditional sun drying and solar drying techniques for a minimum of 15 apricot processors; the topics will include but are not limited to the following (10 days including observation of dried apricots from practical sessions):
    • Proper Apricot harvesting, sorting and transporting for drying purposes.
    • Appropriate process to ensure that the drying process is using proper drying equipment and sun-drying yields high quality dried apricots that meet international market expectations.
    • Run an experiment with sulfured and non-sulfured apricot for drying in traditional sun-dried methods.
    • How to use a safe level of sulfur application and techniques while drying apricot.
    • Sun-drying processes with the application of sulfur preservative.
    • Provide guidance on establishing low-cost sulfur rooms for apricot treatment with sulfur.
    • Recommend proper apricot varieties to be dried through sun or solar.
    • Run an experiment with sulfured and non-sulfured apricot for drying in solar dryers.
    • Provide international market standards and specifications for dried sulfured and non-sulfured apricot.
    • Proper storage of dried apricot to extend shelf life.
  • Provide recommendations on proper drying equipment that is used in leading apricot processing countries to the RADP-East team and participants (1 day);
  • Provide a completion report (1day); and,
  • Travel and Visas (3 days).


  • A concise report (10-15 pages), detailing activities and accomplishments during this consultancy period, including:
  • Develop a pre-visit Action Plan: The Plan will cover in detail the consultant’s action plan for the duration of his/her mission in Kabul. The consultant is expected to send his/her action plan to the COP two days prior to his arrival in Kabul. This plan will be reviewed by the COP before approval.
  • Compile training materials for the above-mentioned trainings.
  • Provide recommendations on appropriate apricot drying equipment
  • Develop assessment report on the 15 apricot processors with clear content to be used for further planning by RADP-East.
  • Detailed discussion session with the value chain team/apricot value chain to review the results of the assignment and the techniques for duplicating the methodology for 15 processors to other apricot processors.
  • Comprehensive recommendations that include clear methodologies for the improvement of mentioned factors under responsibilities section of this scope of work.
  • The Consultant will also conduct an end of assi g nment de-briefing with RAD P -E management and potentially USA I D, highli ghti ng the r esults a chieved in the consultancy, as well as re comm end further foll o w -on activities.
  • STTA Report for USAID: a (3-5 page) high-level report detailing activities, meetings, accomplishments, and restraints during the consultancy period. Must be submitted within 10 days of completing STTA. Template will be provided.


  • The candidate should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, food nutrition, food technology, or equivalent subjects from an accredited university.
  • The applicant should have a minimum of eight years of experience in fruit drying/processing, food processing sector, particular experience in drying apricot.
  • Prior experience in Afghanistan or the region, or in settings with similar developmental challenges;
  • Value Chain development experience.
  • Strong technical presentation and writing skills in the English language.

Conditions of Work Requirements:

Work and living facilities are in high security zones with frequent security drills and protocols and limited access to medical facilities. General work environment and living quarters require the ability to walk numerous flights of stairs on a daily basis. Security protocols require the individual in this position to be able to quickly climb multiple flights of stairs while wearing 30 lbs. of personal protective equipment, walk swiftly or run across uneven terrain without assistance, and enter and exit project vehicles without assistance.

About the Organization

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