Team: Programs | Commitment: Consultant | Location: Pakistan

Seedless Watermelon Production and processing Specialist

CNFA-AMD Project

US-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development



Project Name

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

Consultancy Assignment

Practical Guidance on Pre and Postharvest management of Seedless Watermelon

Consultant Title

Seedless Watermelon Production and processing Specialist

Reports to

Chief Technical Advisor – AMD

Place of Performance

Lahore, Pakistan with likely travel to Faisalabad, sargodha and Karachi to visit producers, packers and exporters.


21 working days (including travel days)


Project Description:

US-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 vegetable 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.


Objectives of Technical Assistance:

Seedless watermelons are gaining in popularity as both their seeds and the mature melons become more available in international market. These melons have excellent flavor and good disease resistance. They ship well due to a good thick rind. The seedless watermelons may also have a longer shelf life than standard varieties. Since there are no seeds the melons are slow to come overripe and the yields are good comparable to other watermelon varieties. The convenience of seedless watermelons makes them particularly attractive to restaurants and other food establishments


The cultivation of seedless watermelon worldwide is a relatively new industry and is developing into an expanding market and buyers are willing to pay a premium price for a premium product.

The production of seeded varieties of water melons has been a practice in Pakistan for a long time and this product is accepted into the market place readily. The aim of this project is to promote the cultivation of what is generally accepted as a premium product and enable the farmers to have access to the higher end market and to maximize returns.


The change from traditional varieties of watermelons to the seedless varieties will need some changes as the associated costs of production necessitate an increase in returns. There needs to be more care and attention paid to the crop to ensure that the fruit achieve the high quality that the buyers of premium fruit demand.


The international STTA will provide onsite technical guidance and supervision in designated fields, for the production of a quality product, chalk out all the SOPs related to quality production of seedless watermelon. He will also guide exporters for making trial shipments by using established and tested grading standards packaging material, size stowage in containers, temperature humidity required etc. ISTTA is also required to give a detailed post-harvest handling manual of seedless watermelon. The SOP’s will include guidelines from harvesting to post-harvest handling and extending the shelf life of products in reefer containers or under cold chain.

Assignment Scope:


Obtain necessary supplies and conduct demonstration and training workshop on production of seedless watermelon. Develop protocols related to following practices:-


1.)    Seeds Selection.

2.)    Nursery Raising.

3.)    Land Preparation.

4.)    Transplantation.

5.)    Fertilization.

6.)    Irrigation.

7.)    Pest Management.

8.)    Harvesting.

9.)    Grading.


Transportation (Sea Shipment)



Expected Outcomes:

The STTA’s tasks will include but not be limited to:



§  Coordinate with AMD program team for development of work plan, field activities and strategies;

§  Work with AMD Director Value Chain, Snr. Value Chain Specialist  and local STTA to specify the time lines, field transportation and conducting workshops and training sessions.

§  Coordinate with AMD staff in developing SOPs/Mannual/ Guidelines for the production of good quality seedless watermelon.

§  Develop an in-term and final report with recommendations on the production and post harvest handling of seedless watermelon.

§  Document grading standards as per the demand of international market.

§  Guide lines for the ideal packaging material, stacking methodology.

§  Stowage factors, to accommodate maximum quantity in 40` reefer container.

§  Identify the markets (High end retail market) for seedless watermelon.

§  Coordinate and work closely with STTA and financial analyst to chalkout cost economics and identify margins of farmer and exporter. Viability should be an integral part of the report.

§  Any other tasks assigned by the COP and CTA relating to the production, postharvest and trial shipment of seedless watermelon.


·         Develop a detailed work plan to execute the assignment within 2 days of assignment commencements;

·         Submit a written report on production, postharvest and trial shipment.

·         Submit a weekly report on the assignment to COP or his designee;

·         Submit final report on technical assistance with power point presentation;

·         Identify potential market for Pakistani seedless watermelon according to the quality of product.

·         A written report on recommendations of further improvement of the product quality.

·          Any other task assigned by CTA or AMD technical team.

Estimated level of effort (LOE) for the assignment:

2 visits of 14 Working days; 19 working days in Pakistan including local travel days, and 2 days for report writing and presentation.




Week 1:

International travel 1day


Background reading Work plan development 2 days


Field visit and discussion with exporter, processor and traders for the use of plastic film for PH processing-Punjab 3 days


 Week 2 

Onsite demonstration for specific GAP for SLWM 3 days


Week 3

Report writing and presentation 2 days


Deliver presentation to AMD staff 1 day


Week 4

Submission of final report 1day

Travel back to home country 1 day


Timing of the Assignment:


The consultant will commence working on this assignment on or about November 30, 2017




The consultants should have:

§  5-10 years’ experience of having worked with commercial agriculture traders or exporters as well as other players in the HV/OSV;

§  Sound knowledge of cold chain and Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) in processing agricultural products and maintaining quality standards;

§  Prior experience of working as a consultant with USAID or donor funded projects in Pakistan with Good Agriculture Practices, SPS, Post-harvest handling of fresh produce, pre-cooling, cold storage and international marketing;

§  Documented excellent writing skills in English;

§  Good know how of financial modeling of a crop.

§  Excellent market knowledge.

§  Oral fluency in English