Expert on cultivation of tomatoes and other vegetables, Agro Horizon Projeckt, USAID

Scope of Work

Short Term Technical Assistance

Assistance to vegetable processing companies in development of supply base

February – July 2018

Consultant Title:              Expert on cultivation of tomatoes and other vegetables

Project name:                   USAID Agro Horizon Project

Location:                             Osh and Jalal Abad oblasts of the Kyrgyz Republic

Timeframe:                        February 2018 – July 2018

Level of effort:                 45 business days divided into three visits to KR


The USAID Agro Horizon Project (the Project) promotes economic growth by increasing productivity, employment in the agricultural sector, especially for women and youth, while improving the availability of nutritious foods and increasing the market share of the targeted crops in both domestic and foreign markets. The Agro Horizon Project is a key component of USAID Kyrgyz Republic’s overall economic development program designed to accelerate diversified and equitable economic growth in Kyrgyz Republic.
The geographic focus areas of Agro Horizon include Osh, Batken, Jalalabad and the Naryn oblasts. However, Project engages actors in other locations that have market links to production in the target regions or the potential to strengthen competitiveness of the entire value chain for domestic or regional markets. Project has identified dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables value chains as its target value chains (VC) for market potential and opportunities for engaging smallholder farmers. Project’s programming employs a market systems approach that is market-driven, private sector led, and promotes inclusive value chains development.
To sustainably reduce poverty and promote agricultural economic growth, Agro Horizon will:
1. Increase productivity of agricultural producers and link them to markets (Task 1)
2. Increase productivity and markets for agribusinesses (Task 2)
3. Improve enabling environment for agriculture sector growth (Task 3)
4. Improve nutritional status of women and children in focus areas (Task 4)
The Project’s programming employs a market systems approach that is market-driven, private sector led, and promotes inclusive value chains development. The Project is entering its third year with a Work Plan that details support to partner SMEs operating in target value chains in development of their supply base, upgrading their facilities and equipment, adoption of quality and food safety management systems, and marketing of processed products.
In 2017 the Project supported three fruits and vegetable processing companies in Jalalabad oblast, Farmer`s Organic Garden (FOG) and Abdumalik Ata in Suzak rayon and Concept Master in Nooken rayon. The companies purchased and installed new vegetable processing equipment to increase their processing capacity and quality.
However, in 2017, the partners faced problems with raw material supply because the fresh market prices were so high that only few farmers were willing to deliver vegetables to processors. Calculations on tomato production and market demand in the area show that the volume of tomatoes produced is low in comparison to what markets can absorb and so the processing companies will likely continue to struggle with raw material supply if production is not increased.

Purpose of Assignment

The purpose of the assignment is to provide technical assistance to Farmer`s Organic Garden, other vegetable processing companies in development of their tomato and other vegetable supply base, and to ensure that their agronomists, supplier farmers, and concerned specialists of agricultural extension organisations have the relevant new technologies to achieve high yields and the quality required by the processing companies to harvest at least 100 t/ha of tomatoes.  The consultant will coach extension workers to improve their extension delivery of new technologies introduced in the course of the assignment.

Specific Tasks

Before travelling
  1. Advise on suitable vegetable varieties that satisfy the requirements of processing partners and increase incomes of farmers
  2. Advise on pre-sowing testing of soil, water and seeds by the partner
  1. Determine constraints of the local vegetable production systems to achieving 100 t and more yield per ha
  2. Cooperate closely with FOG in organising production of tomatoes and other vegetables on land rented by FOG, including:
    1. Define quality and quantity requirement for tomato and other vegetables
    2. Help to carry out analysis of soil, climatic conditions, current practices of irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, protection means and machinery use
    3. Provide recommendations on soil preparation, irrigation, use of seeds, fertilizers, and protection means; develop production blueprints (technological cards)
    4. Provide guidance to FOG staff and outgrowers and supervise works on cultivation of seedlings of tomatoes in greenhouses and low plastic tunnels
    5. Provide guidance and supervise works on soil preparation, planting, fertilization, crop protection and irrigation, according to seasonal requirements
    6. Provide guidance and supervise works on harvesting, post-harvest handling and delivery of harvest for processing
    7. Provide instructions on record keeping of production expenses, harvesting, delivery to processors and other buyers and prices received
    8. Carry out a preliminary economic analysis of vegetable crops based on production expenses, first harvest and delivery and approbation of yield expected at the time of completion of the assignment
  3. Assess the supply chain organisation and vegetable production practices of FOG (apart from the land to be rented) and supplier farmers of other processing partners and provide suggestions and guidance on improvements
  4. Build capacity of FOG’s relevant staff and outgrowers on intensive vegetable production by cconducting trainings, demonstrations, and coaching. Preliminary topics of the capacity building activities: recommended practices on farmer-to-buyer links and outgrowing, sourcing and supply chain management for processors, intensive production of vegetables, soil fertility and crop protection management.
  5. Provide training and coaching to personnel of the other processing partners and relevant agricultural extension specialists in the same topics as with FOG


  • Brief report on constraints preventing yields to reach at least 100 t/ha and provide recommendation to overcome these
  • Analysis of results of tests of soil, water and seeds
  • Recommendations on soil preparation, irrigation, types and usage rates of seeds, fertilizers, and protection means
  • Blueprints for production (technological cards) of tomato and other vegetables
  • Programs, handouts, presentations, and other materials used in capacity building activities
  • Weekly progress reports on activities implemented, production and sales/deliveries by producers
  • Final report, which includes analysis of vegetable crops, expected yield, preliminary volumes and value of raw materials supplied for processing, and preliminary gross margin calculation, weaknesses in the prevailing supply chains and production practices, recommendations to be adopted by FOG, its outgrowers and other concerned in future.

Qualification requirements

  • At least bachelor’s degree or equivalent in agriculture or other relevant areas
  • Good knowledge of up-to-date vegetable growing technologies
  • Familiarity with quality and food safety requirements in relation to vegetable production for processing
  • Minimum 10 years of hands-on experience in intensive vegetable production, seedling production and yield improvement
  • Experience in provision of technical assistance to farmers and/or local agricultural specialists is an asset
  • Successful track record of increasing yield or provision of assistance to farmers that lead to increased yield and gross margin
  • Strong analytical & troubleshooting skills
  • Strong written & verbal communication skills in Kyrgyz or Russian
  • Good command of English is an asset

Timing and LOE 

This assignment will require approximately 45 business days and be implemented in three trips to Kyrgyzstan. The first trip will take place in early February (10 days, starting seedling production), the second in April (15 days; transplantation of season to field) and the third in May/June (20 days; mid growing season). The STTA will be working at the production sites of the processing companies being assisted in Jalalabad oblast.
Note that the assignment will not cover the complete vegetable production season, because the project activities end in June 2018, while the vegetable crops last until August – October 2018, depending on the planting time and the varieties.