BASELINE STUDY FOR REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PULSES VALUE CHAIN IN EMBU AND KIAMBU

Synopsis of the Request for Proposal (Consultant Firm)

Solicitation Reference No. RFP/0035-PDI/2020
Title of Solicitation Baseline study for Regenerative Agriculture through the Development of the Pulses Value Chain in Embu and Kiambu Counties
Issuing Office & Address Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Website: www.agra.org
Point of contact for clarifications, questions and ammendments AGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Email Address for submission of Proposals/ Quotes AGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Solicitation Issue Date February 7, 2020 East African Time.
Deadline for submission questions and clarifications February 12, 2020 12:00 Noon, East African Time.
Deadline for Answering questions and clarifications February 14, 2020 Local, East African Time. (Answers will be provided on a rolling basis)
Deadline for Submission of Proposals February 23, 2020 12:00 AM Midnight, East African Time. Please include the subject line “RFP/0035-PDI/2020 Baseline Study for Regenerative Agriculture” of the email
Anticipated Award Type CONSULTANCY AGREEMENT
Submission and Evaluation Criteria Bidder Must provide the below listed information   Mandatory Eligibility Requirement   Evaluation Criteria   Weightage Technical Proposal will be weighted out of 70%Financial Proposal will be weighted out of 30%   NB. Only bidders who score above 70% of the technical score will be apparaised for financial review.  

TERMS OF REFERENCE (TOR)- ANNEX A

1.       Overview

1.1 About AGRA Kenya

Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. In Kenya, AGRA aims at catalyzing and sustaining an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation to increase Incomes and improve Food Security for 627,118, farming households through strategic country support and government engagement coupled with a set of targeted catalytic downstream and systemic investments made through its alliance of partners. To achieve its ambitious goal, AGRA is focusing on the following strategic interventions:

  • Support to the central and county governments in planning, coordination and implementation and creation of a private sector enabling environment: Partnering with both levels of Government in review and implementation of the agriculture sector strategy with the view of identifying and operationalizing flagship projects that will drive sector growth and strengthen sector coordination and delivery.
  • Scaling up system and farmer level initiatives in four (Maize, beans, Potato’s and Pulses) selected priority value chains selected due to their strategic importance for food security, nutrition and income growth.
  • AGRA is also promoting the adoption of climate smart technologies. AGRA is prioritizing resilience building of food systems at both farmer and institutional level through the promotion of climate adaptation and mitigation interventions; and the promotion of a landscape approach in agriculture to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystem services that are crucial for human wellbeing. Gender and youth are key priorities for AGRA in Kenya.

2. Background of Assignment

AGRA seeks the services of a Consulting firm to conduct a baseline study for “Regenerative agriculture through the development of the pulses value chain” project

The project aims to build the business case for regenerative agriculture in smallholder farming systems. This is part of AGRA strategy to contribute to a resilient- agriculture transformation in Africa. The project builds on AGRA’s years of developing and promoting productivity-enhancing technologies in Kenya and other African countries.

The project will promote regenerative practices at farm and landscape levels. Through an elaborate learning agenda, this activity will generate evidence on institutional arrangements, farmers’ services and market architecture required to develop a smallholder farming system that is: profitable, secures food and nutrition requirements, and maintains the health of soils and other ecological systems The project will be implemented in Embu and Makueni counties in Kenya. Embu County is a high agriculture potential area but depletion of soil nutrition is limiting productivity, while Makueni County is a semi-arid area. Implementation will be through extensive collaboration with Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and County Governments.

This project will focus on generating lessons, identification of critical success factors, risks and development of a roadmap for implementation of regenerative agriculture at scale. This project will support development of institutional arrangements for village-based advisors (VBAs) to enhance effectiveness and linkages with other services such as finance.

2.1 Project’s Theory of Change

The project seeks to address the overall problem of food insecurity while at the same time develop local capacities for the implementation of regenerative agriculture practices as an adaptation and mitigation measure. The project seeks to support the strengthening of community level extension services – the Village-based Advisors – through whom regenerative agriculture practices will be promoted. The project will support end-to-end value chain processes that builds the capacities of private sector-led extension services, farmers, other value chain actors in the use and application of high yielding inputs and connections to output markets. The VBA approach will target the youth and women as part of its inclusion strategy.

The project targets to work with at least 200 VBA that will reach 20,000 farmers across the two counties. The selected VBAs will be linked to input and output private sector actors to facilitate interaction and business transactions upon which the VBA model is anchored. The project will work with local farmer groups, county governments and private sector input and output market stakeholders to promote inter/mixed cropping practices of legumes, cover crop usage, and organic manure usage.

2.2 Baseline Target Audiences:

The baseline is intended for the different categories of target beneficiaries of the project – the project managers, local county administration, smallholder farmers, VBA’s, input suppliers and county extension services, grantees to the project.

2.3 Objectives of the assignment:

AGRA is seeking to contract a consultant to undertake a comprehensive baseline setting of the Regenerative agriculture through the development of the pulses value chain” project to inform AGRA and its stakeholders on the baseline status for the stated indicators aligned with the project goal, objectives and outcomes. In addition, identify critical strategies necessary for project performance.

3. Methodology

The consultant is expected to employ a variety of data collection and analysis techniques for both quantitative and qualitative data to ensure a comprehensive baseline setting exercise.  This will include but not limited to: 

  • Document and systems review:  Review of existing documentation, project document, national data on thematic issues being addressed on the project, project partners’ reports, M&E data, etc. 
  • Focus Group Discussions: With smallholder farmers and other value chain actors targeted by the project.
  • Key Informant Interviews:  Farmers, VBA, Country governments, Input suppliers, etc.
  • Primary quantitative data using structured questionnaires. The Consultant will be expected to design and administer a structured questionnaire to the various primary stakeholders of the project. A representative sample must be calculated to ensure that the baseline will cover a representative sample. 

4. Scope of Work

This baseline study will cover the counties of Embu and Makueni work will be forty five (45) working days that will include preparation, development of the survey tools, pre-testing and reviewing of the tools, actual field work, data analysis, draft report writing and dissemination to stakeholders and reviewing of final report.  The baseline will seek to get baseline values following performance indicators will be tracked at each project level.

Outcome 1: Enhanced extension services through a sustainable VBA business model

  • Outcome indicator 1.1: Percent of [target] farmers accessing agricultural advisory extension support services through VBA’s (Annual verification, disaggregated by gender and type of extension service)
  • Outcome Indicator 1.2: Number of VBAs that develop and are implementing a sustainable business model […as they deliver extension services to farmers] (Annual verification, disaggregated by gender and country)
  • Output 1:  Number of VBAs providing extension services to farmers (Quarterly/semi-annual verification, disaggregated by gender)
  • Output 2: Number of extension services [products] provided by VBA’s (Quarterly/semi-annual verification, disaggregated by type of extension services i.e., mother [baby] demos – type of crops used for demos; types of regenerative practices promoted in the demos, field days)
  • Output 3: Number of VBAs trained. (Quarterly verification, disaggregated by gender/by content of training)

Outcome 1: Qualitative questions:  What are the key success factors that VBAs to set up and operate a sustainable model for provision of extension services and their own commercial services/business for self-sustenance? What is the level of farmer satisfaction with extension services on regenerative agriculture? How are the VBA services improving the agricultural practices and access to inputs and output markets for smallholder farmers? [What practices are being adopted? What is the connection with input markets/and output market development?

Outcome 2: Increased application of climate smart agricultural technologies and practices

  • Outcome 2.1: Number of smallholder farmers who are applying/adopting regenerative agriculture practices (Annual verification, disaggregated by gender)
  • Outcome 2.2: Number of hectares under improved technologies or management practices (Annual verification, disaggregated by type of technology)
  • Output 1: Number of farmers who are participating in [VBA] extension services promoted by the project. (Quarterly verification, disaggregated by gender and county)

Outcome 2: Qualitative questions: What factors contribute to farmer’s participation of [VBA regenerative] extension services promoted by the project and what factors are contributing to farmers adopting regenerative agricultural practices?  Which regenerative practices are being adopted the most? What demonstrated value/benefit is coming out of the application of regenerative practices [yields? economic value? environmental/ecosystem services benefits? soil health? labour gains?]

Outcome 3: Increased knowledge and awareness of regenerative agricultural practices among famers and stakeholders

  • Outcome Indicator 3.1: Number of regenerative practices adopted and being delivered in extension services to farmers at county level. (Annual measurement, disaggregated by type of extension services)
  • Outcome Indicator 3.2: Number of institutional capacities/changes made at county and or local farmer organisation level to support the instruction and promotion of regenerative agriculture practices. Annual measurement, disaggregated by county)
  • Output 1: Number of cases documented and disseminated that demonstrate sustainable regenerative approaches (Semi-annual verification)
  • Output 2: Number of advocacy convening’s/meetings with stakeholders to showcase the business case for regenerative approach (semi-annual verification)

Outcome 3 Qualitative questions:  What are the factors that contribute to county government embracing regenerative agriculture practices? What initiatives at the institutional level have been introduced/strengthened by county governments to support regenerative practices in agriculture?

5. Expected Deliverables

The consultant will provide the following deliverables to project management in a timely manner: 

  • Inception Report:  The consultant is expected to submit a detailed report on how the baseline setting of the project will be carried out from his/her point of view. The report will outline the detailed description of their methodology and tools, expected output, format of final report and a budget breakdown of costs and detailed work plan for the entire exercise. The draft interview guides will be submitted for review at this stage.
  • Preliminary Report and Presentation of findings:  A stakeholders’ meeting comprising of implement grantees, AGRA and other stakeholders. At the end of the meeting, a report incorporating comments by stakeholders from the meeting will be submitted by the consultant.
  • Final Report:  This will entail a detailed report of the Project baseline setting that incorporates feedback from AGRA and partners. The report should clearly show both the consortium and country specific baseline status as per the project indicators highlighted in table 1.

6. Timeline

The project baseline setting is estimated to commence in March 2020 and should be completed within a maximum period of 45 days. The consultant is expected to suggest how long/number of days it would take them to undertake the assignment.

7. Budget:

The consultant will need to prepare a budget that includes professional fees and reimbursable costs for logistics and travels and all applicable taxes.

8. Payment term

  • 20% upon submission of an approved inception report to AGRA
  • 50% upon submission of the draft report on the feasibility study and after a presenting the findings to a panel of experts and operators in the food processing and marketing industry
  • 30% upon submission of the final report (that incorporates views from the processing industry experts)

Download the full TOR here

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