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RFP: Technical Assistance to the Federal Government of Nigeria in Determining Optimal Stock Levels for the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) and Assessment of the Storage Infrastructure Capacity

Synopsis of the Request for Proposal (Consultancy Firms) 

Solicitation Reference No.RFP/152/HAPA/2021
Title of SolicitationTechnical Assistance to the Federal Government of Nigeria in Determining Optimal Stock Levels for the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) and Assessment of the Storage Infrastructure Capacity
Issuing Office & AddressAlliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Website: www.agra.org
Point of contact for clarifications, questions and amendmentsAGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Email Address for submission of Proposals/QuotesAGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Solicitation Issue DateOctober 4th, 2021
Deadline  for  Submission  of ProposalsOctober 25th, 2021, 5:00PM, East African Time.
Please include the subject line “RFP-152-HAPA-2021” of the email.
Type of ConsultantConsultancy Firm
Procurement methodQuality and Cost Based Selection  
WeightageTechnical proposal: 80% Financial proposal: 20%
Type of ContractLumpsum Contract
Submission and Evaluation CriteriaBidders are encouraged to register (if not already registered) as a vendor via the link provided below and submit the below mandatory requirements in their proposal: https://ekjd.fa.em2.oraclecloud.com/fscmUI/faces/PrcPosRegisterSupplier?prcBuId=300000001758868  

Mandatory Eligibility Requirements
1. Company profile.
2. Certificate of incorporation or certificate of registration.
3. Tax clearance certificate.
4. CVs of key personnel.

Evaluation Criteria
1. Company Profile/Organizational Capacity……………………………………….10%
2. Experience in carrying out similar assignments……………………………….30%
3. Proposed approach, methodology and workplan…………………………..20%
4. Experience and Qualification of key personnel ………………………………40%  

Total: …………………………………………………………………………………..100%  
NB. Only bidders with a technical score of 75% and above shall proceed to the financial evaluation stage

TERMS OF REFERENCE

BACKGROUND

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 productivity and incomes of resource-poor smallholder farmers in Africa. AGRA aims to ensure that smallholder farmers have what they need to succeed in their agricultural enterprises such as good seeds and healthy soils; access to markets, information, financing, storage, and transport; and policies that provide them with comprehensive support. Through developing Africa’s high-potential breadbasket areas, while also boosting farm productivity across more challenging environments, AGRA works to transform smallholder agriculture into a highly productive, efficient, sustainable, and competitive system, while protecting the environment.

AGRA’S current 5-year strategy aims to catalyze and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. Under this strategy, AGRA delivers through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at the farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems, and puts government at the centre to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at the national level.

In its quest to support agricultural transformation policies and other policy-related investments in Africa, AGRA with support from its partner, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), has created the Hub for Agricultural Policy Action (HAPA). The purpose of HAPA is to increase the use of evidence to inform decisions during policy implementation. HAPA’s delivery is designed as a two-way approach: the first is a service desk with the ability to respond quickly to requests for support dealing with policy constraints lasting from two to six months. The second approach is where HAPA may provide policy support of up to a year (considered medium-term support) to address complex policy challenges, guiding government and providing continuous advice-on-request through to the adoption of the policy. Currently, HAPA’s work targets the following countries: Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia.

CONTEXT AND RATIONALE

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in several disruptions being witnessed across various food supply chains. The impacts have been severe in West Africa where food systems are characterized by low production and productivity, weak infrastructure, the absence of good data and evidence coupled with high levels of policy unpredictability in food markets.  The health and lockdown response measures that many governments, including that of Nigeria, have put in place to contain the pandemic have further compounded the already severe food and nutrition crisis in Nigeria. The pandemic has exacerbated the food insecurity heightened by the continuous insurgency in the North East of Nigeria leading to millions of people being displaced from their ancestral homes with no access to any means of livelihood. Hence, reducing food insecurity and structural vulnerability of the population with social safety nets is critical. There is now a pressing need to strengthen the national instruments to timely support nations’ capacities to prevent and manage food crises, and thereby reduce the vulnerability of the poor, rural and urban populations.

Emerging evidence around the impact of the pandemic shows that there are three major shocks and disruptions namely trade policy shocks with countries indirectly changing their policy positions as they impose various pandemic containment measures which include border closures; a logistical disruption shock which limits the flow of food products along their value chains domestically, and within the region as a result of travel restrictions; and a supply/demand shock at many levels of the supply chain impacting the flow of farm produce and inputs regionally thereby heightening the risk of food insecurity and loss of livelihoods.

The disruptions on food systems have brought to the fore discussions on the role of Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) in reducing disruptions of food supply systems during crisis. Specifically, how countries determine the optimal stock levels of various food commodities in the food reserve structure of the country and having in place systems and seasonal calendars for stocking and drawdowns. Furthermore, such systems and calendars should be linked and work in tandem with broader economic and production models such as emergency forecasts and early warning systems. The chairman of the Senate committee on Agriculture drove this home better in May 2020 when he sponsored a bill for the establishment of a National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA). According to him, this critical bill will ensure food security for Nigeria and avert any form of emergency food crisis in the future.  He said the bill “will implement the overall National Food Reserve Policy to ensure a reliable supply of designated commodities in the country.”  He posited that the Food Reserve agency when established would be responsible for storing food grains and other food commodities for strategic purposes.  He went further to state that, “with the existence of the Agency, emergency food crises will be taken care of especially in the period of a pandemic.”

To mitigate these shocks, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Food and Strategic Reserve Department (FSRD) need to build up their grain reserves and develop strategic food stocks, in order to respond timely in case of food security crisis.  The use of cereals (maize and sorghum) under the strategic grains reserve government policy has been a major policy instrument to enhance food security over the years. However, the government has not been able to maintain its strategic grains reserves to full capacity due to budgetary constraints and an increase in the prices of the commodities. Currently, the government-controlled strategic reserves have up to 38,000 tonnes of grains and the government is intensifying efforts to replenish with 100,000 additional tonnes while arrangements to concession 20 out of its 33 silos to the private sector remain ongoing.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Food and Strategic Reserve Department (FSRD) of Nigeria have requested AGRA’s technical assistance to help determine optimal stocks levels for the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) as well to determine the optimum sustainable capacity of storage to meet the country’s need under different conditions.  In addition, assessment of the existing storage infrastructure capacity, both private and public to determine their adequacy, and finally determining what management model will be most appropriate in case of public -private-partnership (PPP) management arrangement is necessary.

OBJECTIVE OF THE ASSIGNMENT

The consultancy aims at identifying key issues around policy, storage, and management of Strategic Food Reserves. The overall objective is to improve the efficiency of the food reserve and better preparedness in food emergencies and other shocks and stresses.

SCOPE OF WORK OF THE ASSIGNMENT

The scope of the assignment is provided in 4.1 to 4.3 below.

Analytical support to determine optimal stock levels for the country’s SGR:

  1. Undertake an analysis of the legal and policy environment under which the SGR in Nigeria is established to identify key issues affecting operational efficiency and effectiveness of the SGR.
  2. Review existing data to determine the effectiveness of the SGR regarding the vision espoused in the establishing policy framework to determine gaps and challenges.
  3. Map the current SGR infrastructure and determine capacities, stocking trends in the last 5 years, and current stocks in the reserves.
  4. Evaluate the fiscal cost of the SGR to the government exchequer in the last 5 years.
  5. Determine optimal stocks of various SGR food commodities that collectively provide food and nutrition security and develop a seasonal calendar (if applicable) for the purchase and sale of SGR stocks.
  6. Analyze historical food demand and food security vulnerabilities to determine the optimal level of food reserves at various national and regional levels.
  7. Evaluate various economic, operational, and financial models for sustainability of the SGR and recommend the most optimal one for adoption by the FSRD.
  8. Recommend a model that links the SGR operations with economic and production forecasting models such as early warning systems and to predict food insecurity incidences and surplus production (which could indicate where and when to buy food stocks in the region with a minimum impact on the cereals market).
  9. Develop a model for demand estimation in order to minimize waste of SGR.

Assessment of the existing storage infrastructure capacity:

  1. Evaluate the distribution/location of SGR infrastructure vis a vis vulnerable regions and food insecurity hotspots.
  2. Assess the condition of existing silos, warehouses, and storage infrastructure and determine/estimate the cost to rehabilitate those facilities that need upgrading.
  3. Determine the optimal sustainable SGR capacity required for emergencies and recommend appropriate distribution of SGR infrastructure vis a vis vulnerability hotspots.
  4. Design and develop real-time models/tools for monitoring the drawdowns and performance monitoring of SGR activities.

Designing and developing partnership models with the private sector:

  1. Explore global best practices and mechanisms of including the private sector in the operations and/or management of SGR.
  2. Review drawdowns and rotational models employed and recommend how a partnership between the private sector (millers/processors /producers) and the Federal/Regional (States) SGR can be adopted to streamline stocking and drawdowns.
  3. Recommend a business model that can be employed to link small agricultural producers to the SGR.

DELIVERABLES

The main deliverables for this assignment are highlighted under sections 4.1 to 4.3, below:

Analytical support to determine optimal stocks of various SGR:

  1. A paper reviewing the SGR system in Nigeria (layout to be agreed with the HAPA team)
  2. Seasonal crop calendar for the country and region.
  3. Detailed reports on the market information and food security crisis in the region.
  4. Practicable economic model for the sustainability of the SGR.
  5. A report on the best business model to be employed for the linkage between the Private sector and Public sector.
  6. A report on the best business model to employed in engaging small agriculture producers to the SGR.
  7. Identified SGR food transfer and other price stabilization options for the vulnerable populations in normal and times of shocks such as covid, IDPs, etc.
  8. Recommendations for the improvement of the functionality of the country’s SGR.

Assessment of the existing storage infrastructure capacity:

  1. Report on SGR countrywide storage capacity, their ownership and sources of stored produce (both private and public).
  2. Detailed report on the condition of grain reserve infrastructure and cost estimate to rehabilitate those facilities that need upgrading.
  3. Optimal sustainable capacity and stocks required for emergency preparedness and relief.
  4. Management model for the food reserve system in Nigeria, with a recommendation of the most sustainable one that includes both the government and private sector in Nigeria.
  5. Capacity development plan for optimal grain stock management for the country including quality management especially analysis and detection of Aflatoxins.
  6. Suggest potential funding mobilization strategy for financing the SGR infrastructure needs.

Designing and developing partnership models with the private sector:

  1. A report on partnership models developed to engage private sector millers/processors/producers to supply food grains to Regional/National SGR.
  2. Partnership linkages facilitated among private sector millers/processors/producers with Regional/National Strategic Food Reserves of ECOWAS Member States to provide quality food in line with defined standards.
  3. A business model to link small agricultural producers with SGR.

All deliverables should be succinct but informative, and key points should be easily understandable to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Food and Strategic Reserve Department (FSRD), and to AGRA. Deliverables should be submitted in English and submitted in MS word.

IMPLEMENTATION METHODOLOGY/APPROACH

The work will involve robust and inclusive consultations, involving a range of stakeholders. Secondary data and information will enrich the study by providing additional context to the findings and analysis derived from the primary data collection exercise. In addition, it will entail reviewing existing literature and publicly available documents related to the strategic food reserve system in the country. The detailed approach/methodology to deliver on each of the objectives outlined above will be developed by the HAPA experts and the consultant with support from the FSDR. Tasks will clearly be outlined and allocated between the HAPA experts, consultant and FSDR.

DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT

The work will be conducted over a period of 5 months starting November 2021, and the consultant shall explicitly indicate the level of effort needed for the tasks to be assigned.

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT AND REPORTING

In carrying out this assignment, the consultant will be supervised directly by AGRA represented by the Head of HAPA Unit or his designate, and the Director of the Food and Strategic Reserve Department (FSRD). The Nigeria AGRA Country Manager or his designate shall provide day to day management and logistical support.

Additionally, the consultant shall work hand in hand with the AGRA/HAPA team leading the capacity assessment of the Food and Strategic Reserve Department (FSRD) in modern practices on grain stock management. The aim of the capacity assessment is to review if there are any capacity gaps within the FSRD both at federal and state levels. Where necessary, the capacity needs assessment will be used to come up with improvements to the FSRD.

KEY QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

The firm shall:

  1. Have over 10 years’ experience in Agricultural Economics, Economics, Social Sciences, Finance and business management or related field.
  2. Experience in carrying out similar assignments in Nigeria and Africa in General.
  3. Strong understanding of commodities ecosystem in Nigeria and other African countries
  4. Experience working with governments.
  5. Propose key personnel with the following qualifications, experience and competencies:

Lead Consultant/Team Leader

  1. The Consultant should possess a minimum of a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, Economics, Social Sciences, Finance and business management or related field.
  2. At least 15 years of international experience in programme management, Agricultural and Rural Development Sector in Africa.
  3. Strong demonstrated knowledge and experience of Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) management.
  4. Have a good understanding of the seasonal variation in commodity production and commodity marketing systems in the different regions of Nigeria in particular, and Africa in general.
  5. Experience working with multi-donor projects and similar Warehouse inventory work.
  6. Good knowledge of warehouse/silos management and stock control system especially for strategic reasons as in emergency management among others.
  7. Deep and wide knowledge of the Nigerian commodity marketing systems in the different regions of the country and at the international level.
  8. Ability to professionally interact at High Levels of Government.
  9. Excellent process management and facilitation skills.
  10. Strong written, verbal communication, and presentation skills.
  11. Previous experience of conducting a similar assessment.
  12. Strong understanding of commodities ecosystem in Nigeria and other African countries
  13. Good knowledge of real-time stock control system will be an advantage.

Associate consultant (s)  (Firm to specify number of additional key experts)

  1. Should possess a minimum of a BSc degree in Agricultural Economics, Finance, and Business Management or related field
  2. Should have a combination of the following skills and experiences spanning a minimum of 5 years of experience and expertise in:
    – Food and nutrition security reserve management,
    – Agricultural statistics and market analysis,
    -Economic model development,
    – Training and capacity building
    – At least 5 years of experience in the management of SGRs.
    – Good analytical skills and able to use statistical programmes such as STATA.
    – Conversant with the use of excel for data management

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Interested firms shall be evaluated against the following technical criteria:

  1. Company Profile and Organizational Capacity …………………………………………………..10%
    – Company profile, company accreditations and certifications.
  2. Experience in carrying out similar assignmentsGeneral………………………………………………………………………30%
    • Experience in related services or projects.
    • Experience in delivering assignments in Nigeria and Africa, number of years in business.
    • List of current and past clients and their contact details.
    • Proposed approach, methodology and work plan…………………………………………………20%
  3. Proposed approach, methodology and work plan…………………………………………………20%
    – Understanding of the project/assignment requirements, practicality of the proposed methodology relative to the context of the assignment, proposed work plan, staffing schedule, risk assessment and mitigation strategies integrated into the assignment, planning, appropriateness of the implementation schedule to the project timelines and project quality assurance measures.
  4. Experience and Qualification of key personnel…………………………………………………40%
    – The key positions should include but not limited to the following: Lead Consultant/Project team leader, Associate Consultant etc. The team shall have the qualifications and experience under Section 7 (Key qualifications & Experience Required).

Total Score………………………………………………………………………………………………………….100%

NB:

  • Selection Method – Quality and Cost Based Selection Method

Weightage

  • Technical proposals shall be evaluated out of  80%.
  • Financial proposals shall be evaluated out of 20%.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS 

  1. Technical Proposal
    • Company profile, Certifications and accreditations.
    • Proposed Methodology, approach and workplan with clear timelines.
    • Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments carried out.  
    • Proposed key staff, their roles including their CVs, academic and professional certificates.
    • The technical proposal shall not exceed 20 pages. CVs and copies of academic certificates may be attached as annexes.
  1. Financial Proposal 
    – The firm shall provide a financial proposal for carrying out the assignment. The breakdown of unit and total fees per person (for each proposed consultant) shall be provided. Use the templates provided under Annexes A, B and 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 (withholding taxes & VAT) 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 ($).
    – The financial proposal shall be sent as a separate attachment and MUST be password protected.

GUIDELINES FOR PREPARATIONS AND SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS 

  1. The Proposals shall be prepared in English Language.
  2. The proposals SHALL be submitted to procurement@agra.org by the deadline indicated in the synopsis.
  3. The technical proposal shall not exceed 20 pages.
  4. The proposal and ALL Attachments submitted via email SHALL NOT exceed 10MB.
  5. VALIDITY of the proposal shall be for a period of 90 days from the date of bid closure. 
  6. Financial proposal shall be sent as a separate attachment and MUST be password protected. The password shall be requested from the best technically qualified firm (s).

Download full RFP:
https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/RFP-152-HAPA-2021-Technical-Assistance-to-the-Federal-Government-of-Nigeria-in-Determining-Optimal-Stock-Levels-for-the-Strategic-Grain-Reserve-SGR-1.docx