EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI): REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PULSES VALUE CHAIN

  1. SYNOPSIS OF THE EOI
EOI No. EOI/ KE/02/2019  
Issue date Monday, February 3, 2020  
Title Regenerative agriculture through the development of the pulses value chain
Issuing organization Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Head office: West End Towers, 4th Floor
Kanjata Road, off Muthangari Drive, Off Waiyaki Way
P.O. Box 66773 Westlands, 00800 Nairobi, Kenya  
Email address for submission of questions The email address rfcn@agra.org  in the above synopsis is the sole point of contact at AGRA for any questions.  
Email address submission of grant concepts application We only accept email grant concept applications; no hard copies will be accepted. For grant application submissions the email address to use is rfcn@agra.org   
Deadline for Receipt of grant concept applications Friday, February 21, 2020 before 2359hours, Eastern Africa Time (EAT). 
Grant concepts review Estimated – February 25to 28, 2020.   
Notification of successful Grant concepts *Estimated – March 3, 2020
Development of Grant proposals (Technical and Financial) *Estimated – March 4-23, 2020. 
Review, Internal and external approval of Grant Proposals *Estimated: April 8 to 22, 2020
Fund Approval, Award and Inception meetings *Estimated: May 1-8, 2020

*The actual dates and needed documents will be communicated to the successful grantees by the AGRA’s Grants Unit.

1.0 Scope of Work

1.1 About AGRA

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 30 million 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:

  1. Increased staple crop productivity for smallholder farmers,
  2. Strengthened and expanded access to output markets,
  3. Increased capacity of smallholder farming households and agricultural systems to better prepare for and adapt to shocks and stresses, and
  4. Strengthened continental, regional and government multi-sectoral coordination and mutual accountability in the agriculture sector

Targeted interventions will address critical resource gaps to catalyze private and public sector investments in four staple crops value chains (Maize, beans, Potato’s and Pulses).

1.2 Kenya Strategy of AGRA

In Kenya, AGRAs ( 2017-2022) investments are made through the “Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA)” and other strategic partners to support the achievement of Kenya’s aspiration of 100% food and nutritional security in line with the President’s Big 4 agenda and the recently launched Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (2018-2028) that aims to help enhance large scale production, improve smallholder productivity and reduce the overall cost of food in the wider context of Malabo and CAADP commitments; and the Sustainable Development Goals

To achieve this and support Kenya’s, ambitious goals, 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 due to their strategic importance for food security, nutrition and income growth. In these value chains AGRA will seek to:
    • Unblock systemic issues around access to markets, inputs and finance, extension services and participation of women and youth in Agriculture
    • Expanded market access through value addition, structured trade, quality enhancement and aggregation
    • Address policy issues constraining private sector investment.
  • AGRA is also promoting the adoption of climate smart technologies. AGRA is also 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.

In Kenya, AGRA aims to transform the lives of 627,000 smallholder farmers

2.0   Scope for the Grant Concept Applications

On 1st November 2019, AGRA entered into an agreement with one of its strategic partners to execute a Project entitled “Regenerative agriculture through the development of the pulses value chain”.

The project aims to build up and support the development of a business case for regenerative agriculture in smallholder farming systems and settings. 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 is expected to 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 has high agriculture potential but suffers depletion of soil nutrition limiting productivity, while Makueni County is a semi-arid area. Implementation will be through extensive collaboration with the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and County Governments.

This project will focus on generating, documenting and dissemination of robust lessons, identification of critical success factors and risks and development of a roadmap for implementation of regenerative agriculture at scale. This project will support development of institutional arrangement for public-private extension services partnership (village-based advisors (VBAs)) to enhance professionalism and linkages with services such as finance and input and output markets. VBAs are community-selected farmers that create awareness and aggregate demand for agricultural technologies through demonstrations.

2.1 Project’s Theory of Change

The project seeks to address the overall problem of food insecurity while at the same time same develop local capacities for the implementation of regenerative agriculture practices. The project will support the strengthening of community level extension services – the Village-based Advisors – through whom regenerative agriculture practices will be promoted. Targeted communities will be introduced to crop diversification and intercropping practices that use leguminous crops as part of integrated soil fertility management. The project will support end-to-end value chain processes that builds the capacities of public-private partnership-led extension services, farmers, other value chain actor in the use and application of high yielding inputs and connections to output markets. The VBA extension approach will target the youth and women as part of its inclusion strategy.

The project targets to work with at least 200 VBA to 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 transaction 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.

Fully appreciative of the fact that greater benefit can be achieved through managing landscapes than individual small farm plots, the project will strengthen county and community level institutions for landscape resource management.

The Two-year project seeks to achieve increased knowledge and awareness of regenerative agricultural practices, a sustainable VBA business model, and increased adoption of climate smart agricultural technologies and practices. Therefore, we are inviting for expressions of interest, for an 18 months implementations period in three areas, from organisations/institutions:

  1. To implement the project in Makueni County (budget should not exceed USD 250,000[1] over 18 months to train 100 VBAs to reach 10,000 farmers)
  2. To implement the project in Embu County (budget should not exceed USD 250,000[2]over 18 months to train 100 VBAs to reach 10,000 farmers
  3. To provide technical backstopping on the key concepts of regenerative agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, (public-)private sector-led extension services, local (input & output) market development and develop knowledge products from the lessons learnt and information collected from in the two projects that will be implemented in Makueni and Embu Counties over a duration of 18 months (budget should not exceed USD 150,000).

[1] Amount is inclusive of all taxes, indirect cost. This should be considered the total award.

[2] [2] Amount is inclusive of all taxes, indirect cost. This should be considered the total award.

Applications will be reviewed for their proposed innovations in delivery systems, selection of targeted farmers, use of ICTs, youth and gender inclusion, stakeholder engagement, climate -smart agriculture, technologies and key technical capabilities. Generation of evidence-based knowledge is a key component of this initiative.

3.0 Interested Applicants Profile

The potential partners will include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Relevant departments/units of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and irrigation and other ministries, with respect to providing an enabling environment for input (seed, fertilizer) and output marketing, access to finance and development of trade and partnerships;
  • Institutions forming the national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), including KALRO and the universities;
  • Private sector operators of business along the entire seed, fertilizer and marketing value chain (such as private seed companies, contract seed farmers, providers of services e.g. mechanization, irrigation and postharvest management), agro-dealers, and farmers’ organizations; and
  • NGOs or private firms with technical expertise and/or provision of (public-) private extension services, training of trainers, knowledge management and other related consultancies.

NB: Organizations with capability can submit individual grant application. Organizations are also allowed to jointly submit grant applications. Where applicable after receipt of grant applications, AGRA has can ask for specific modifications to the project proposals and for the organizations to jointly implement the award.

AGRA therefore invites submission of grant applications from interested and qualified organizations operating in the agricultural value chain for projects that contribute regenerative agriculture through the development of the pulses value chain.

4.0 Period of Grant performance  

The maximum Grant period of performance is 18 months from the June 2020 to Novemberb2021. Each grant concept application should be contextualized given the solution being proposed.

5.0 Period Grant Applications will be accepted      

This request for grant concepts applications will remain open for a period of 14 calendar days, from February 7 to 21, 2020 before 23:59 hours Eastern Africa Time (EAT).  Interested organizations/ institutions must submit before the final deadline; Grant concept Applications made after the final deadline of February 21, 2020 will not be considered. Organizations wishing to respond to this expression of interest are invited to use the attached AGRA grant concept development documents.

6.0 Eligibility Requirements

Organizations contemplating submission of applications in response to this expression of interest (EOI) must determine whether they meet the following requirements to be eligible for AGRA grant award:

  1. Minimum of 5-7 years of demonstrable organization working experience in a combination of the following systems level areas; Regenerative Agriculture, Conservation Agriculture, Seed systems, Fertilizer systems, Market systems development, Agriculture and/or Development policy, Access to finance, Extension systems, Climate-smart Agriculture, Natural resources management in agriculture and partnerships.
  2. Demonstrable technical grasp and experience in climate resilient systems, market systems development, access to finance, SME development and business modeling
  3. Demonstrable working experience in programs supporting women and youth as stakeholders and use of ICTs in implementation activities.
  4. A team with experience working in ASAL areas (an added advantage) and with demonstrated experience in the development of the pulses value chains.
  5. The organization should hold a valid registration and presence in Kenya (and the counties of focus – an added advantage).
  6. Provide evidence of existing relationships working development of pulses value chains and climate resilient technologies in Kenya.
  7. Provide CV’s of key staff proposed for this assignment.

If an institution/organization meets the above eligibility criteria AGRA may request additional documentation to be submitted as part of the pre-award process.  Organizations are advised that any funds made available are subject to AGRA’s accountability and audit requirements.

7.0 How to Apply

If eligible and interested in this Expression of interest, please provide the following via email address, rfcn@agra.org before, Friday, February 21, 2020 before 23:59hours, Eastern Africa Time (EAT). 

  1. A copy of your organization’s registration certificate
  2. Detailed organization profile
  3. Grant Concept application (AGRA template provided) – stating area of interest (Makueni, Embu County or in Technical backstopping and knowledge management in the call for application and elaborate the methodology including how each of the tasks will be executed. Also detail;
    1. Past performance: Demonstrated evidence of undertaking at least three similar assignments done. The information shall include the legal name and address of the organization for which services were provided, a description of services provided and a current contact phone number and email address of a responsible and knowledgeable representative of the organization.
    1. Demonstrate availability of appropriate skills among staff in sufficient numbers and experience in Kenya and attach their CVs.

Annex 1: AGRA Grant concept template.

Download the AGRA Grant concept template.


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