Kenya: Consultant – Postharvest

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Organization: International Potato Center
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 04 May 2018

The International Potato Center (CIP) leads the roots crops component under the Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) program with financial support from Feed the Future (FtF) of the United State of America International Development (USAID). Under the roots crops component, interventions to develop potato value chain aim to improve market linkages through supporting cooperative development and farmers to improve production and quality. Postharvest storage is key to developing sustainable and consistent markets by enabling cooperatives and their farming members to supply potato over long periods of time avoiding harvest gluts and market scarcities.

The Assignment: Working in close collaboration with county governments, CIP supports potato marketing cooperatives to develop into functioning businesses through collective marketing of members’ potatoes. Postharvest storage presumably improves market access and profits by consistently providing markets with potato regardless of harvest gluts and scarcities, and taking advantage of higher prices during scarcities. However, the socio-economic feasibility of varying types of storage units is not clear. Thus, under AVCD, CIP is seeking a consultant to assess socio-economic feasibility of differing types of storage units targeting differing profiles of user:

  • Small-scale individual household storage usually 4 to 10 tonne capacity, relies on managing ambient conditions to improve storage conditions giving moderate control of temperature and relative humidity;
  • Ambient storage, normally 50 to 100 tonne capacity, relies on managing ambient conditions to improve storage conditions giving moderate control of temperature and relative humidity;
  • Cold storage, 500 to 1000 tonne capacity, using power to maintain temperature and relative humidity at a pre-determined level.

The Consultant will be responsible is to assess the economics of each storage type addressing all costs associated with each storage type, including direct costs and indirect costs, such as potential loss of stored commodity.

Considering each storage type, the study is to elaborate on:

  • Economic feasibility and profit margins at specific time intervals of storage, identifying the assumptions and risks;
  • Management models for ambient and cold stores considering group dynamics, differing types of storage services (i.e. warehouse receipts, farmer sells to cooperative who then manages sales and risks), and distribution and utilization of storage returns;
  • Feasibility of household and ambient storage for storing marketable quantities of potato considering that a 50 tonne storage unit is sufficient for 2 ha of potato production.

The successful Consultant will have:

  • MSc or PhD in agricultural economics, postharvest or related sciences;
  • In depth knowledge of the technical and economic aspects of postharvest storage including ambient and cold storage;
  • Proven experience conducting storage feasibility studies and completing the accompanying report;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills.

Conditions: The employment contract will be for one month to complete the study. While this is largely a desk assignment, some field travel within Kenya may be required.

How to apply:

Applicants should apply through CIP’s Job Opportunities website (, including a 1-page cover letter summarizing their relevance to this position and a bid as outlined below. Deadline to apply is 4th May, 2018. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The Applicant is to submit a CV clearly demonstrating experience in socio-economics of ambient (off the grid) and cold (on the grid) postharvest storage at varying scales of perishable commodities and storage management models. The bid is also to indicate the daily rate to conduct any necessary field travel and prepare the report.

CIP does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). CIP also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at

CIP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women and professionals are particularly encouraged to apply

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