Synopsis of the Request for Proposal (Individual Consultant)

Solicitation Reference No. RFP/0039/ REGIONAL FOOD TRADE/2020
Title of Solicitation Technical assistance to Regional Food trade unit in strengthening business case for proposed Interventions under market shaping window
Issuing Office & Address Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Website:
Point of contact for clarifications, questions and ammendments AGRA General Procurement,
Email Address for submission of Proposals/ Quotes AGRA General Procurement,
Solicitation Issue Date March 11th , 2020
Deadline for submission questions and clarifications March 17th , 2020
Deadline for Answering questions and clarifications March 20th, 2020 1700 hours, East African Time GMT +3.
Deadline for Submission of Quotations 1st April, 2020, 1700 hours, East African Time GMT +3.   Please include the subject line “RFP/0039/ REGIONAL FOOD TRADE/2020” in the email
Evaluation Criteria Bidder Must provide the below listed information:   Mandatory Eligibility Requirement Identification Documentations of Bidder (Valid Passport or National Identification certificate) Individual TAX Compliance certificates   Evaluation Criteria Total weight: 100%    

Terms of Reference – Annex A

Consultancy task: Technical assistance to Regional Food trade unit in strengthening business case for proposed Interventions under market shaping window


The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is a not-for-profit organization working with African governments, other donors, NGOs, the private sector and African farmers to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity and incomes of resource poor smallholder farmers in Africa. AGRA’s vision to catalyze inclusive agricultural transformation in Africa by contributing to reduction of poverty and increasing food security for 30 million smallholder households in Africa and supporting countries on a pathway to attain and sustain an agriculture transformation.

AGRA is implementing the Africa Food Trade and Resilience Programme that focus on promoting food trade into regional food markets through policy predictability and market systems development interventions. The Programme complements ongoing and pipeline interventions of AGRA in influencing policy reforms and strengthening of state capabilities to implement along whole value chains. This Programme targets countries in East, West, Southern Africa and the Sahel that are important to regional food trade in order to improve food security, generate more rural jobs, strengthen resilience, and increase income for farmers. The Programme’s four main outputs are: 

  1. Up to date market and political economy analysis of regional food trade situation and flows;
  2. More predictable, private sector friendly and climate friendly government interventions that reduce obstacles to regional food trade;
  3. Improved coordination and investment in regional food value chains, with commercial companies by supporting efficient engagements and service smallholders, based on actionable data-driven insights and advice; and
  4. More resilient farming practices, smallholder farmers accessing better services, new markets, advice and finance through integrating into the regional food value chains.

One initiative within AGRA’s strategy is the Africa Food Trade and Resilience Program, which focuses on promoting regional food trade and food markets through policy predictability and market systems development across 14 countries and beyond in East, West, Sahel and Southern Africa to improve food security, generate more rural jobs, strengthen climate resilience, and increase income for farmers.

The Africa Food Trade and Resilience Program will include two primary strategic components:

  1. Working with Government, business and civil society to stimulate Africa-specific solutions to improve the transparency and predictability of governments’ interventions to unlock investment and regional trade;
  2. Working directly with private companies that source, process, and trade food in the region, to maximize investment, coordination and benefits to smallholder farmers.

In each component, AGRA collaborates closely with strategic partners who have major programs in these areas, as well as work to identify and support relevant strategic regional initiatives, with a view to maximize learning, coordination and impact.


Under its market shaping window, the regional food trade and resilience programme will invest in technical assistance interventions as well as strategic initiatives with the aim of strengthening regional value chain coordination resulting into inclusive and resilient supply chains. The approach under this window is expected to assume a market systems path whereby interventions will be targeted at market failures (including policies and regulations) along value chains that have market potential and businesses that have a stake in the chain either through procurement, processing and trade of food commodities.

Below is a summary of some of the issues which result in market failures that make food commodities less competitive:

  • System level issues: Misaligned incentives between off-takers, trader intermediaries and smallholder producers. The current incentives for traders embedded in the system are purely economic with less regard for climatic, nutrition and inclusiveness.
  • Government level issues: Policy and political economy risks affecting grain trade, measures to deal with real and perceived or apparent food shortage that are not trade friendly such as export ban;
  • Farmer level issues: Shortages of input and post-harvest credit facilities, knowledge/capacity, access to inputs and output markets as well as technologies, which in concert with other factors keep productivity low.

Therefore, AGRA’s Regional Food Trade unit requests services of a qualified consultant to provide technical guidance to the team and quality control in the development of market systems projects under the programme.

Objectives of the Consultancy

The objective is to provide technical assistance to AGRA’s Regional Food trade Unit in the design and development of project proposals with a strong market systems development component.

Scope of Work

The consultant’s scope of work includes the following:

Primary understanding:

  • Understand AGRA’s grant/proposal approval process.
  • Wide experience of Market Systems Development and Markets for the Poor (M4P) programmes and projects.

Market Systems Analysis:

  • Propose approaches to improve the way agricultural market systems function, making them more effective, competitive, and participatory by including poor farmers and other disadvantaged groups.
  • Develop templates (including Requests for Proposals for grants) and checklists for conducting market systems analysis that informs the development of technical assistance and strategic initiative project proposals.

Proposal structuring:

  • Liaise with Regional Food Trade Unit staff to design proposal development templates for all three components of the Food Trade Programme: 1) Market shaping (including sub-templates for Structured Trade and Strategic Initiatives related sub-grants); 2) Policy predictability, and; 3) climate resilience.
  • Proposal development templates should provide a standardised structure, flow, logic and content. Guidance on content should include what type of analytics are required to develop a coherent, convincing and investable proposal. Clear exemplars of content should be developed and analytical tools shared.

Proposal Development exercise:

  • Critically review potential grant investment pipeline of Regional Food Trade Unit with a market systems development lens and suggest improvements.
  • Assist Regional Food Trade Unit Market staff in reviewing proposals submitted by AGRA’s pre-qualified external Consultants/Service providers in the development of food supply chains.

Assist Regional Food Trade Unit Policy staff in reviewing and structuring proposals aimed at addressing policy or regulatory related interventions that seek to build functional market systems for agri-food sector.

Deliverables and Timeframe

Deliverable Timeframe
Four Proposal development templates (structured trade, strategic initiative, policy predictability, and; climate resilience). 10 days
One Market systems analysis template and checklist. 2 days
Critical feedback, in Track Changes, on the development of market systems dimensions the Food Trade pipeline proposals; supported by discussions with key Regional Food Trade Unit staff as and when required. 30 days

All deliverables should be succinct but informative, and key points should be easily understandable to a wide range of AGRA team. Deliverables should be submitted in English.

The work will be conducted in total of 44 working days over a period of six months

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Qualification of the individual Consultant relevant to the assignment: [20%]
  2. Experience in carrying out similar assignments: [40%]
  3. Technical approach and methodology: [30%]
  4. Relevant experience in the region: 10%

Total weight: 100%

Qualification Requirements

The consultant is expected to have:

  1. Minimum 15 (fifteen) years’ experience in market shaping, trade policy and, ideally, climate resilience
  2. Minimum 8 (eight) years’ experience in designing and facilitating grants funding proposals for large international organizations
  3. Excellent communication and reporting skills in English
  4. Excellent administration, organizational and time management skills
  5. Excellent team work and participatory process skills
  6. Knowledge and experience of innovative, leading edge collaborative funding proposal writing and human capacitation facilitating the key principles and methods of winning proposals

Proposal Submission

Technical proposal:

Interested and qualified consultants are invited to submit their proposal(s) comprising of the following:

  1. An understanding of the consultancy requirements
  2. Delivery plan including description of methodology, preliminary session flow, and preliminary design of the activities, outputs and outcomes
  3. Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments along with three professional referees contacts
  4. Relevant services undertaken in the past three (5) years
  5. Registration and other relevant statutory documents

Financial proposal:

FINANCIAL PROPOSAL must be provided in the prescribed format, RFP ANNEX B, supported with a breakdown analysis and will provide the following information, but is not limited to:


  1. Brief Technical proposal, detailed CV and Financial Proposals must be submitted separately to by 1st April, 2020 at 1700 Hours East Africa Time (GMT +3).
  2. The subject of the email MUST read “RFP/0039/ REGIONAL FOOD TRADE/2020”. AGRA shall not be liable for not opening proposals that are submitted with a different subject.
  3. Technical and Financial proposals will need to be submitted as separate documents.
  4. Only financial proposal of the best candidate will be opened and negotiated.
  5. Neither technical nor financial proposals should exceed 10MB.
  6. The financial proposal MUST be password protected.
  7. The Financial proposals shall include all applicable taxes. If taxes are not mentioned in the financial proposal, AGRA shall consider them as included in the prices provided.