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RFP: A Consultancy to Support the Operationalization of Regulations in The Seed and Agrochemical Sector to Create an Enabling Environment for Business in Agriculture

Synopsis of the Request for Proposal (Individual Consultancy)

Solicitation Reference No.RFP/ 161/ RW /2021
Title of SolicitationA Consultancy to Support the Operationalization of Regulations in The Seed and Agrochemical Sector to Create an Enabling Environment for Business in Agriculture
Issuing Office & AddressAlliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Website: www.agra.org
Point of contact for clarifications, questions and ammendmentsAGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Email Address for submission of Proposals/ QuotesAGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Solicitation Issue DateNovember 3rd , 2021
Deadline for submission questions and clarificationsNovember 10th, 2021
Deadline for Answering questions and clarificationsNovember 12th, 2021
Deadline for Submission of ProposalsDecember 4th, 2021, 5.00PM, East African Time  
Please include the subject line “RFP-161-RW-2021” of the email
Type of consultantIndividual Consultants only are eligible to bid
Anticipated Award TypeCONSULTANCY AGREEMENT
Submission and Evaluation CriteriaBidder are encouraged to register as a vendor via the link provided below and provide the listed information in the submitted proposal: https://ekjd.fa.em2.oraclecloud.com/fscmUI/faces/PrcPosRegisterSupplier?prcBuId=300000001758868  

Mandatory  Pre-registration documents
1. Curriculum Vitae
2. Copy of ID/Passport

Mandatory Eligibility Requirement
– Detailed Curriculum Vitae including at least 3 referees
– Copy of academic certificate (s)
– Copy of your passport/national Identification Card
– Cover letter

Evaluation Criteria summary:
1. Relevant academic qualifications……………………………20%
2. Experience of the consultant………………………….50%
– Meet requirements as outlined under competencies 
– Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of       similar assignments carried out
3. Consultant’s understanding of the assignment, Proposed methodology & workplan………………………………30%

NB: Only the candidate with the best technical proposal equal or above 75% shall be considered for financial negotiations  

BACKGROUND

The Trade in Agriculture Safely and efficiently (TRASE) project and the Alliance for a Green revolution in Africa (AGRA) have established a joint venture with a view of supporting improved SPS compliance and promotion of trade in the agriculture sector. While AGRA will mainly focus on interventions related to improving the enabling business environment for the Agri-input subsector, TRASE will seek to improve SPS compliance through facilitating the operationalization of regulations that are aligned to the EAC SPS legal framework (EASLF).

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), in support of the implementation of the Fourth Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture in Rwanda (PSTA 4), has provided a grant to the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) to reform and operationalize policies and regulations related to agricultural inputs and markets so as to improve the Enabling Business Environment of Agriculture (EBA).  This is line with AGRA’s Inclusive Agricultural Transformation (IAT) agenda where it is stepping-up its policy engagement by supporting government-led reform of policies that are constraining agricultural development.

Trade of Agriculture Safety and Efficiency (TRASE)

Land O’Lakes International Development (Land O’Lakes) is implementing a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded 4.5-year Trade of Agriculture Safely and Efficiently in East Africa (TRASE) project. The project has partnered with East African Community (EAC) Partner states of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to address various bottlenecks resulting from the inefficient implementation of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures. The bottlenecks have resulted in some SPS measures impeding trade rather than promote it as envisaged.  The EAC recognized this and took important steps to improve SPS systems among Partner States including the adoption of the SPS Protocol, drafting of a regional SPS bill and a series of regulations, standard operating procedures and measures – commonly referred to as the EAC SPS Legal Framework (ESLF) – to harmonize regulatory systems across the region.  As part of TRASE support to the implementation of the ESLF, the project will facilitate the reviewing of regulations that affect access to good quality agri-inputs specifically agrochemicals.

To this end, AGRA is looking to support agricultural development through the increase of trade in Agricultural commodities by unblocking various challenges in the sector that maybe a result of gaps in the present legislation and seeks to recruit a consultant to facilitate the implementation of the key interventions in the Rwanda Agri-input sector as described in this ToR.

CONTEXT

A. Seed

An evaluation carried out by the World Bank found that for Rwanda to improve its Enabling Business in Agriculture in the agro-input sector, it was imperative that certain indicators be enhanced. The seed sector has been constrained due to a number of issues including; the lack of a publicly available list of protected varieties; the lack of an online catalogue of registered varieties; the lack of a catalogue to specify agro-ecological zones for planting; the absence of articles in the current seed regulations that should provide for a) the exemption of testing of imported plant varieties for breeding programs b) laboratory post-control tests for certified seed c) the updating of the plant variety catalogue once every growing season and d) the inclusion of punitive measures to address non-compliances to the regulations. It is hoped that addressing these gaps would not only improve the trading environment in the seed sector immensely, but it would go a long way in addressing trade barriers in the region.

B. Agrochemicals

On the other hand, counterfeit agrochemical products pose high risks to countries in the EAC, both in terms of agricultural productivity, environmental and health risks to the regions’ citizenry and in terms of access to International Markets. Records show how countries have lost lucrative international markets for agricultural produce as a result of contraventions to MRL limits.  The EAC harmonized pesticide registration measures will ease regional trade in approved pesticides while locking out counterfeits. For this to be achieved, it is important that the private sector is actively engaged in the ESLF domestication process. Awareness about the EAC harmonized registration measures and the approved pesticides amongst private sector operators, such as distributers, retailers, and producers will increase domestication and enforcement of the approved pesticide products. Private sector led campaigns will enhance the fight against illegal/counterfeit pesticide products. This activity will strengthen private sector advocacy for effective enforcement of the approved pesticides. In addition, private sector-led sanitization, trainings, and campaigns will increase the ability to identify illegal pesticide products as well as facilitate the removal of illegal/counterfeit products from the market.

PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE ASSIGNMENT

The technical expert supported by AGRA, will review the legal instruments on seeds and agrochemicals to align them to the guidelines developed under EAC and address the gaps under the EBA indicators as described by the World Bank, to improve the Enabling Business Environment of Agriculture score for Rwanda. 

The expert will work towards making the legal instruments more relevant to the trading community by;

  1. Reviewing and updating the seed regulations,
  2. Reviewing the current agrochemical list and registration procedures.  The expert will, after the review, hold validation seminars with the public and private sector before final copies of the documents (revised legal instruments) are submitted to MINAGRI for approval.  The expert is expected to address the following under the two sectors:
    • Scope of Activities in the Seed Sector
      • Update existing instruments and conditions to facilitate the registration of seed and plant varieties and establish procedures to guide their sustainable operations. Revised articles will provide for (under the EBA scores):
        • The list of protected varieties being publicly available.
        • Exemption of testing of imported plant varieties (apart from SPS) for breeding programs.
        • An online catalogue listing of registered varieties
        • The updating of the plant variety catalogue once every growing season.
        • A catalogue to specify agro-ecological zones for planting.
        • Laboratory post-control tests for certified seed.
      • Organise consultative and validation workshop to discuss reviewed regulations.
    • Scope of activities in the Agro-chemical sector
      • Draft the amendments required in the law and regulations. To provide for the following:
        • Registration of organic fertilizers before sale.
        • All labelling to appear in the local languages.
        • The prohibition of selling agrochemicals from opened bags.
        • Establishing penalties for illegal practices
      • Review approved pesticide lists and pesticide registration procedures.
      • Design mechanisms to deter prohibited practices related to seed and agrochemical regulations- punitive measures.
      • Develop materials for awareness creation.
      • Organize consultative and validation workshop to discuss reviewed regulations.
    • It should be noted that the consultants’ scope of activities will include and not be limited to: –
      • Setting up the relevant interviews or meetings with the various stakeholders;
      • Providing local information required by TRASE and AGRA, the competent authorities and various institutions; and
      • Liaising between TRASE, AGRA, the competent authorities and the various institutions.

DELIVERABLES

NoACTIVITY/DELIVERABLEESTIMATED DAYSRemarks
 Review and update existing regulations that affect seed value chain and Agrochemical regulations5 daysTo review regulations and to facilitate review of instruments.
 Key informant interviews with stakeholders from both the public and private sector5 daysConsultant to carry out key interviews
 Update existing instruments and conditions to facilitate the registration of seed and plant varieties and Agrochemicals. To establish procedures to guide their sustainable operations.Organise and facilitate a 4- day workshop to input changes into the Seed and Agrochemical regulations    After the initial review and updating of the regulations, the consultant will discuss the proposed changes with technicians in both areas (Seed and Agrochemicals) in two separate meetings of two days each.
 Validate developed documents for submission to MINAGRI1-day workshop for 30 participants- SEED   1-day workshop for 30 participants – AGROCHEMICALS    A wider stakeholder group including private sector actors- traders, regulators, farmers and others will be invited for a one-day workshop to validate the changes. Prepare & submit validation reports.
 Finalize drafts of the Seed and Agrochemical regulations2 daysThe consultant will develop final drafts for presentation and submission to MINAGRI Deliverables: Reviewed and updated Seed regulationsReviewed and updated Agrochemical regulations

LOCATION AND DURATION

This assignment will be carried out over a period of 3 months. The consultant shall be based in Kigali and shall develop a detailed operation schedule in consultation with TRASE and AGRA. 

QUALIFICATION AND SKILLS

  1. Education: Advanced university degree in Agriculture, Agriculture Economics, Agriculture policy Analysis, Agriculture Development or related field including seed technology, Agriculture input sciences etc.
  2. Experience: A minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience in agriculture in Rwanda and in-depth understanding of agricultural policy and regulatory reform issues and processes Rwanda. 
  3. Hands on experience in drafting agriculture policies, laws and regulations and should be familiar with Agriculture inputs laws and regulations in Rwanda and in the region.
  4. Familiarity with international standards in agriculture inputs including seeds, agro chemicals and mechanization.
  5. Communication Skills and Language Requirements: Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.  Knowledge of Kinyarwanda is of added advantage.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

The submitted proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:

#CriteriaScore
1Relevant academic qualifications20%
2Experience of the consultant Meet requirements as outlined under competenciesDetailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments carried out50%
3Consultant’s understanding of the assignment, Proposed methodology and workplan30%
 TOTAL100%

NB: Only the candidate with the best technical proposal equal or above 75% shall be considered for financial negotiations

REPORTING RESPONSIBILITIES

The consultant shall be accountable to the country managers of AGRA and TRASE.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS 

  1. Technical Proposal
    • Detailed Curriculum Vitae.
    • Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments carried out
    • Demonstration of possession of qualification and experience required.
    • Proposed methodology, work plan and understanding of the assignment.
  2. Financial Proposal 
    • The consultant shall provide a daily fee, number of days and total cost  for carrying out the assignment. Use the templates provided under Annex A, B & C for the financial proposal.
    • Reimbursable costs if applicable shall be quoted separately.  These will be reimbursed based on actual cost incurred.
    • All applicable taxes should be quoted separately. If the financial proposal is silent on taxes, AGRA shall assume that these are inclusive.
    • Prices must be quoted in USD ($).

GUIDELINES FOR PREPARATIONS AND SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS 

  1. The proposals SHALL be submitted to procurement@agra.org by the deadline indicated in the synopsis.
  2. The proposal and ALL Attachments submitted via email SHALL NOT exceed 10MB.
  3. The technical proposal shall not exceed 5 pages. CVs and other support documents may be attached as annexes.
  4. VALIDITY of the proposal shall be for a period of 90 days from the date of bid closure. 
  5. Financial proposal shall be sent as a separate attachment and MUST be password protected. The password shall be requested from the best technically qualified individual.

Download full RFP:
https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/RFP-161-RW-2021-A-Consultancy-to-Support-the-Operationalization-of-Regulations-in-The-Seed-and-Agrochemical-Sector-1.docx