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Saffron Agronomist - USAID Afghanistan Value Chains – High Value Crops

Location: Asia
Location: Afghanistan
Job Code: 5417



Saffron Agronomy Specialist


Proposed Personnel:                  

Level of effort:                          51 Total LOE days (12 LOE days in country including travel & 39 Remote LOE days)

Period of Performance:           TBC

Base of Operations:                    Remote + 1 trip to Afghanistan



Afghanistan Value Chains – High Value Crops (AVC-HVC) is a market-oriented project that operates throughout the country, with regional offices in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar. AVCHVC promotes sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, in line with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock's National Comprehensive Agricultural Development Priority Program. Afghanistan’s high value crops sector contributes significantly to the country’s economic growth and employment.

Building on past U.S. Government investments in agriculture, AVC-HVC represents USAID’s shift towards private-sector and agriculture-led economic growth by building the capacity of individual high value crop-related enterprises to be profitable and competitive. The activity provides the enterprises with business development services and advice, driving profits and employment in a sector that supports approximately 80 percent of the Afghan population.   

Objectives and tasks

The purpose of this assignment will be to profile the selection of saffron mutants with commercial potential and to produce a corresponding saffron production crop management manual. The saffron specialist will deploy their expertise in saffron to engage in the following tasks:

  • Develop methodology to identify and test different sources of saffron corms with potential for different genomic levels
  • Develop process for collecting saffron corms from selected agro-ecosystems
  • Design and execute an experiment to assess the eco-physiological growth parameters of different saffron ecotypes
  • Develop methodology for planting irrigation and crop management of select saffron corms
  • Develop a data collection protocol
  • Develop final report with AVC-HVC agronomists that interprets and analyzes findings and collected data



Below are the deliverables that the Specialist will complete and the anticipated number of days to complete each.













Illustrate diffe r e nt      sou rces of saf f ron cor ms


P repare a methodology to find diffe r ent sourc es of saffron corms that potentially can be diff erent in genomic levels (mut ants, cultivars etc.).



Short Re port



8 days




Corm selection


P repare a protocol to coll ect the sa ffron c orms from the selected agro-e cosyst ems.

Fact sheet


6 days








Design an exp erim e nt

Design a trial to assess the ec o -physiologic al growth parameters of different s affron corms. For this section, the consult ant will prepare an experiment al design and instruction to establish the experimental units. Based on the ecologic al conditions, different tre a tment will be added to the trial. The rese a r ch site will serve as a demonstr ation site.

Fact sheet






14 days




Planting Method

P repare a methodology for planting, irrigation a nd crop management during the growth season.

Fact sheet


5 days






P repare a protocol to coll ect data.

Fact sheet & data sheets


3 days




Re port


W ork with AVC agronomists to int erpret the coll ected r esults and help them to make a r eport.

Final re port


10 days



AVC-HVC will make available a local Saffron Specialist to implement the activities in collaboration with the consultant.   AVC-HVC will also make available the land, agricultural inputs and materials for the establishment of the evaluation plots.


The Specialist will report to the project COP.



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 requires 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.

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