Request for concept notes under the developing an integrated potato value chain in Tanzania





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. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.

After ten years of building a strong foundation, starting 2017, AGRA has rolled out a new 5-year strategy with an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level; strengthens input and output market systems; and puts government at the centre of the partnerships required to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at local and national levels

In Tanzania, AGRA aims at catalyzing and sustaining an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation to directly increase Incomes and improve Food Security for 1.5 million and indirectly impact another 2 million smallholder 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 seeks to contribute to four inter-related and interdependent objectives: 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 (Resilience), and 4) Strengthened continental, regional and government multi-sectoral coordination and mutual accountability in the agriculture sector.

AGRA is calling for concept notes to develop consortiums (partnerships) that will be built to develop and elevate the potato value chain to increase incomes for all value chain actors and improve food security in Tanzania.

With population growing and urbanization continuing to grow, feeding habits are rapidly changing in favor of easy-to-prepare foods such as chips. There is good potential for the growth of potato processing industry and good market access for both fresh and frozen potato chips in Tanzania. These opportunities can be brought to fruition through developing and integrated value chain by developing business partnerships in the value chain to build strong market linkages amongst stakeholders

ASDSP II has prioritized the following crop value chains for the first five years of ASDP II: rice, maize, cassava, potatoes, banana, coffee, cotton, oilseeds crops (sunflower, coconut, sesame, and palm oil), cashew, tea, sugarcane, and horticulture. By applying criteria of possibility for commercialization, availability of technology for improving productivity and profitability, and possibilities for scaling up and scaling out, the Potato crop has been identified as a priority value chain in the Southern Highland (Bimodal) Mbeya, Iringa, Njombe, Morogoro and with opportunities in the following Agro Ecological Zones:

  1. Centre Semi &arid-(Unimodal)- (Dodoma, Singida, Shinyanga, Tabora)
  2. Lake (unimodal/bimodal) – Mwanza, Kagera, Mara, Shinyanga, Geita, Simiyu)
  3. Northern Highland (Bimodal) –(Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Manyara)
  4. Eastern Coast-(Unimodal/bimodal)- Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Pwani, Mtwara, Lindi)
  5. West-SW Highland(Bimodal) Rukwa, Kigoma, Kagera (Karagwe, Misenyi, Ngara)

The increased surplus production and importation of processed potato products is a good indication of the need for the approach focused at supporting the improvement of efficiency in trading but most importantly putting a processor in the lead of market development for the sub-sector. Given the correlation between urbanization and increase in the consumption of potato products, and based on past increases of population (+3%), per-capita income (+7%), and urbanization (+5%) per year in Tanzania, the compound effect would be a rapid expansion in the volumes demanded to about 2.4 mil MT by 2025. As consumption is also increasing strongly in the neighboring countries and Tanzania has a large untapped potential for production, there is a good potential to expand the export of potatoes and/or its products.

Some companies have started to produce processed potato products to take advantage of the increasing demand for processed potatoes to supply the supermarket chains, catering service providers and hotels mushrooming in Dar-es-Salaam and major cities in Tanzania. Increasing investment in enterprises that specialize in processing, packaging, and selling of processed potatoes coupled with the creation of awareness on the use of these products would increase this demand and thus making the industry grow. This will increase the demand for quality seed potatoes and of the varieties that would increase efficiencies in processing. New seed varieties and production of quality seeds demanded for production of processed potatoes is of prime importance.

Why Consortiums

The consortium approach is proposed since it will be employed to efficiently link farmers to outputs and inputs markets. The basic structure has an “Anchor Firm” – in the form of a major trading and/or food processing company – with very good and proven linkages to national, regional (EAC), and global markets for the potatoes and/or processed products of potato. This approach is proposed since it will see:

  1. The value chain actors (VCA) in a strong business partnership with redefined relationships towards each other – with a collegial mindset rather that individualistic;
  2. All VCAs investing to expand their understanding of, and sharing knowledge about, the markets and demand dynamics;
  3. Recognition by all VCAs that they all have to make a profit while ensuring that the final price cannot exceed what the consumer is willing to pay;
  4. The VCAs negotiating and planning together how to capture more value and share it more equitably along the value chain for the benefit of all
  5. The VCAs acting in concert and seeking partnership with government and other development partners on public goods needed to improve the value chain performance

The consortium approach is also validated by ASDSP II, which for the purpose of focusing on required services in upstream and downstream production, will establish production clusters for selected strategic commodities as growth poles within each AEZ. The cluster approach will enhance delivery of essential services, exploitation of economies of scale, development of required infrastructure, bulking of produce, agro-processing, and reduction of transaction costs. A commodity cluster will be a coherent area comprising districts with a proven potential for that specific commodity as well as the presence of value chain actors (e.g., producers, traders, processors and service providers) meeting in a Multi-Stakeholder Innovation Platform (MSIP), and availability of basic market infrastructure.

Minimum standards

The consortium should meet the following criteria:

  1. MUST have an Anchor firm(s) that is in processing or marketing of potatoes
  2. MUST have a representation of partners across various parts of the value chain including financial institutions
  • MUST have a formal agreement indicating an intent to partner and the roles that each partner will play
  1. MUST indicate how they will partner with the government both National and regional
  2. MUST indicate how they will leverage on existing funding and or programs in the potato subsector


The CONCEPT NOTE will be written in English is required

Values / Guiding Principles:

  • Mission Alignment: Demonstrate consistency in upholding AGRA vision as outlined in the new strategy;
  • Professionalism: Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the potato value chain. Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results.
  • Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity: Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of agriculture in Tanzania. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating the difference in values and learning from other countries where the potato value chain is working.

Core Competencies:

  1. Work in Partnership: Demonstrate the ability to work in a diverse team of organizations with multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  2. Communicating and Information Sharing: Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication;
  • Self-management and Emotional Intelligence: the partnership should demonstrate that it can stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others;
  1. Conflict management: Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution;
  2. Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making


The output of this process will be that the AGRA – Tanzania Office will conduct a procurement process with the intent of entering into a long-term partnership for 3 years with a consortium to develop an integrated potato value chain that will lead to increased productivity and incomes for all value chain actors

Immediate outputs will include developing a full proposal with detailed interventions and budgets for a 3 year program under the overall supervision of the AGRA Tanzania Lead Program Officer and the direct supervision of the GST Head:

Eligibility criteria

  • The consortiums MUST demonstrate a partnership that addresses ALL issues along the value chain.
  • The Consortium MUST have private “Anchor Firms” in processing and or marketing of potatoes and potato products and or potato seed production. Involvement of other private inputs companies is also critical
  • The consortium MUST demonstrate that it has developed a robust approach that will lead to sustainable operation of the potato value chain without heavy dependence on donor funding. Leveraging funding from private companies and partners will be added advantage

Submission details

Interested consortiums must provide information indicating that they are qualified to sustainably develop and elevate the potato value chain in Tanzania

All submissions should be mailed to with the subject REF: TANZANIA/RFCN 1/2018

The CONCEPT NOTE and accompanying documents must be received by email on 2nd May 2018 at 1700 hrs, Tanzania Time clearly labeled “Concept Note for Developing Integrated Potato Value Chain.” CONCEPT NOTES received after the above deadline will not be considered.

CONCEPT NOTEs must be limited to a maximum of 10 MB, virus-free and no more than three email transmissions. They must be signed and in pdf format, free from any form of virus or corrupted contents, or the proposals shall be rejected.

CONCEPT NOTE from consortiums failing to provide the requested information will be disregarded. This CONCEPT NOTE does not entail any commitment on the part of AGRA, either financial or otherwise. AGRA reserve the right to accept or reject any or all CONCEPT NOTE without incurring any obligation to inform the affected applicant/s of the grounds.

Interested companies may obtain further information at the address with Subject TANZANIA/RFCN 1/2018. Inquiries may be submitted on or before 2nd May 2018 1700hrs (Tanzania Time).

Appraisal and selection process

Consortiums will be selected in accordance with the procedure set out in the AGRA Grants Management Policies & Procedures Manual.

The proposals will be evaluated through an open and competitive process. Shortlisted entities will be considered for the developing full proposal to develop and implement an integrated program.

Annex 1: Company/Organization Profile

Full Legal Name of Partner

(As per registration certificate)

Office Telephone Number(s)
E-mail Address
Web Address
Name of CEO
CEO Contacts, email, Phone number
Contact Person, Title
Contact Person, E-mail address
Contact Person, Phone number
Year organization was registered
Legal status of the organization
Registration Number
TAX ID Number
Organization’s mission statement/purpose and primary sectors of the organization’s operation
Governance Structures and Policies: (max 1,000 characters with spaces)
Proposed Roles and Responsibilities in the Consortium (Max 600 characters with spaces)
Short CV and Proof of Track Record with respect to the Proposed Roles and Responsibilities (max 2,000 characters with spaces)

We/I hereby certify that the information contained herein and attached hereto is complete and accurate to the best of our/my knowledge.

___________________________      _____________________      ___________________

Head of Organization/Institution                        Signature                                         Date

Annex 2 – Concept Note (CONCEPT NOTE)

Submitting a Concept Note (CONCEPT NOTE) is the first phase of the grant selection process. The CONCEPT NOTE should clearly and concisely explain the proposed grant activity’s relevance, purpose, objectives, activities and expected results in support of the objectives of the AGRA Vision and Mission as set forth in the new AGRA strategy. After evaluating CONCEPT NOTEs, the Country Team will invite organizations that submitted successful CONCEPT NOTEs to enter into a second phase of the competition by submitting a full grant application based on the concepts and technical approaches proposed in the CONCEPT NOTE.Additional information for this request for concept note is available here. All CONCEPT NOTEs must not exceed five pages and must be submitted in the following format:

1.     Proposed Grant Activity Details

Proposed Grant Activity Title:

Proposed Grant Duration:

Estimated funds requested from AGRA (in USD):

Applicant’s proposed cost share (in USD) (if applicable):

Total cost of the proposed Grant Activity (in USD):

Completed Company Profile of all consortium members and their role (Annex 1) detailing information as specified.

2.     Grant Activity Description and Problem Statement

Please describe the proposed grant activity and the main problems/issues that it will address.

3.     Relevance of the proposed Grant Activity to the Objectives of AGRA

Please explain how your proposed grant activity is in line with the objectives of AGRA as set forth in the AGRA strategy.

4.     Grant Activity Goal and Objectives

Please state the overall goal of the proposed grant activity. List the specific objectives of the grant activity that must be met in order to achieve the overall goal. It should be made clear how achieving the grant activity’s goal and objectives will contribute to addressing the issues/problems listed in Section 2 above.

5.     Proposed Tasks and Activities

Please list and briefly describe the illustrative activities that your consortium proposes to undertake to meet the objectives of the proposed grant activity.

6.     Expected Results

Please describe the expected results of the proposed grant activities and how they relate to the proposed grant activity goal and objectives. Please list anticipated and achievable results as measurable outcomes of the proposed grant activities. Each result should be directly linked to a specific objective.

7.     Past Experience

Please list your organization’s past experience implementing similar activities and or work in the potato value chain if it’s a private entity what activities is it involved in that relate to the potato crop.