Target Countries: Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an African led alliance mainly focusing on small-scale farming communities across the continent. AGRA’s vision is that Africa can feed itself and the world. We are dedicated to changing the reality of agriculture in Africa, from a solitary struggle to survive, to as a business that thrives. AGRA with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has developed a project dubbed “Improved delivery of seed & soil fertility technologies to smallholder farmers (IDSST)” whose overall goal is to increase smallholder farmer crop productivity in Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique. The project will address the challenge of linking new crop varieties and improved soil fertility management research outputs to smallholder beneficiaries of IFAD-supported projects in Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique. The objective is to improve delivery of improved seed and soil fertility technologies to smallholder farmers.

The expected outcomes of the project are:

  • Strengthened capacities of NARIs and rural agro-dealers to support IFAD-loan programs
  • Increased adoption of improved seed & soil fertility technologies by smallholder
  • Documented and disseminated lessons and recommended solutions for scaling up

Program Components

The IDSST project has the following expected outcomes:

  1. Strengthened capacities of NARIs and rural agro-dealers to support IFAD-loan program; AGRA will support IFAD country teams and Project Coordination Units (PCUs) to work with
    NARIs of Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique in conducting adaptive research for improved crop varieties and soil technologies and crop management demonstrations.
  2. Increased adoption of improved seed & soil fertility technologies by smallholder farmers;AGRA will support and strengthen the capacity of public and private enterprises to improve
    seed production systems. Provision of high quality seed will be an important component of
    the proposed project. Standards for quality seed, such as cultivar purity, germination
    capacity and moisture content, have been developed by the National Plant Protection Offices
    To promote adoption of improved seed and soil fertility improving technologies, extension services will be strengthened to promote improved inputs, good agronomy and appropriate soil fertility technologies such as use of blended fertilizers, use of lime in acid soils, integrated soil fertility management practices, conservation agriculture and water harvesting techniques.
  3. Documented and disseminated lessons learned and recommended solutions for scaling
    The proposed project will document and disseminate the outcomes of the sub-grants and the lessons learned. These will include farmer uptake of new technologies as a result of the
    interventions from the sub-grants and the lessons learnt in linking IFAD-supported loan projects with research outputs/solutions.

Purpose of the Terms of Reference

The purpose of this Terms of Reference (TOR) is to seek the services of a consultant (preferably a consulting firm) to undertake the baseline study for the program in the target countries, Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Objective and scope of the Baseline Survey

The objective of the baseline survey is to establish the levels of the indicators selected to measure progress and performance towards the achievement of program goal, objectives and outcomes. Some of the baseline values will need to be validated through a review of secondary data while some of the indicators need to be determined through key informant’s interviews. The baseline study will provide AGRA with an information base against which it will monitor the success of its sub-grants intended to support IFAD supported interventions. AGRA plans to conduct a Baseline study in order to provide an information base against which to monitor and assess progress and effectiveness during and after implementation of the IFAD supported interventions. The baseline study shall be closely linked with the monitoring plan so that the baseline data collected can be referred to during ongoing monitoring and end-term reviews, and for any subsequent evaluations. Secondary data sources will be used in establishing baseline status of the key performance indicators. The secondary data will include data from AGRA’s ongoing investment in the target countries and other credible sources of data including research institutions, Institutions of Higher Learning, Ministries of Agriculture and International Development Agencies (official statistics,
published information etc.)
The IDSST project results framework has the list of the project outcome and output indicators. The baseline will focus on reporting values of goal & outcome level indicators.
The following indicators will be investigated per country to come up with the baseline values using secondary data:

  • Average volume of fertilizer sold by trained agro-dealers in the project target area
  • Average fertilizer use in target countries
  • Percentage of persons/households reporting adoption of new/improved inputs, technologies or practices
  • Average yield of focus crops in target countries
  • Prevalence of severe wasting (weight for height) of children under 5 of age
  • Household dietary diversity index
  • % percentage reduction of people living on less than $1.25/day (poverty headcount)

The second objective of the baseline survey will be to assess the capacities of NARI’s to
deliver input technologies. This will be conducted through desk reviews and key informant interviews with respective NARI’s in the target geographies. The consultants will be expected to coordinate with AGRA in-country staff as they collect data from NARI’s within the target geographies on the constraints of input delivery. The baseline survey will access the NARI’s level of capacity – human and infrastructure and identify the key constraints that will affect NARI’s capability to deliver on project objectives. The survey will also guide the development of a monitoring approach to track the indicators on the logical framework once project activities start.

Key Milestones, Deliverables, and Time Frame

The Consultant will have access to background project documents and will work in consultation with key program staff in AGRA. Consultants will also consult with other in- country partners that work with NARI’s and agro dealers to determine the schedule of work, key outputs and support services needed.

  1. Inception Report – The consultant will be expected to provide an inception report one week after signing of contract with updated work plan, key informant interview tools, team members and assigned roles and responsibilities, resource requirements and any other information that might be required to ensure successful delivery of the outputs of the assignment.
  2. Draft Report – A draft report will be expected from the consultant 4 weeks after
    signing the contract.
  3. Final Report – A final report will be expected 6 weeks after contract signing.


Report Format:

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

A.1 Brief study description and context
A.2 Purpose and expected use of the results
A.3 Objectives of the study
A.4 Study methodology
A.5 Summary of findings and results
A.6 Summary of lessons learned and recommendations for any similar exercise in the future
A.8 Limitations of the study


B. Main Report

B.1 Background
B.2 Objectives of the study
B.5 Study design and methodology B.6 Composition of the study team B.7 Project context and description
B.8 Study findings:
B.9 Conclusions
B.10 Study Lessons and Recommendations
B.11 Limitations of the study


C. Annexes

Annex 1: Work Schedule
Annex 2: List of individuals contacted and sources of data used
Annex 3: List of documents reviewed


D. Time Frame: The assignment is to be completed within a 6 week period from date of contract award.



Consultant will submit a budget breakdown. The budget presented should include fees, travel and subsistence, reproduction charges, and unit costs should be calculated as a per day tariff (e.g. fees). Payments will be made as per the following schedule:

  1. 40% of total payment upon submission and approval of the inception report
  2. 30% of total payment upon submission and approval of the draft report
  3. 30% upon submission and approval of final report (as specified in this TOR)


Specifications of the Consultant Team

The Consultant will be selected on the basis of their proven experience, qualifications and ability to deliver a quality product in a timely and efficient manner. Minimum qualifications and experience of the Consultant will include:

  • MSc in Agricultural Sciences, Social Sciences, or related field and at least 8 years of
    relevant experience;
  • Proven track record in conducting agriculture related studies;
  • Proven knowledge in monitoring and evaluation
  • Demonstrable analytical skills;
  • Past related experience in target countries and
  • Excellent English communication skills.

Management Arrangement

The Consultant will report to AGRA Monitoring Unit and work closely with the M&E program officer supporting the IDSST project. Any clarifications needed on this project should be addressed to Nyasha Mhosva by email on Nmhosva@agra.org

Proposal Submission

Interested institutions should submit by email their technical and financial proposals by 5.00pm Nairobi time by September 6th , 2017 to procurement@agra.org The e-mail subject for proposal submission should be IDSST Baseline study.

All questions related to this procurement should be addressed to procurement@agra.org with the title: IDSST-Baseline Survey. Only consulting teams or organizations whose proposals qualify will be contacted for budget negotiations by AGRA Procurement Committee. AGRA will negotiate the contract with the team/organization selected, after obtaining a satisfactory agreement on the terms and conditions of the contract, including the budget at a reasonable cost.