Terms Of Reference: Establishment Of A Seed Quality And Assurance Laboratory In South Sudan

  • Introduction:

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was established in 2006 with funding from The Rockefeller Foundation and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. AGRA is registered as a not-for-profit organization in the US to provide policy advocacy, resource mobilization functions and programmatic operations. AGRA’s mission is to trigger a uniquely Green Revolution in sub-Saharan Africa, which transforms agriculture into a highly productive, efficient, competitive and sustainable system to assure food security and lift millions out of poverty. AGRA works with African governments, other donors, NGOs, research institutions, the private sector and African farmers to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity and incomes of resource-poor farmers in Africa.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands has funded AGRA to implement a project titled ‘Seed Sector Development for South Sudan (SSD4SS). The strategic objective of the SSD4SS project is to increase income and reduce poverty of smallholder farmers across South Sudan by promoting the development of a seed system that delivers new crop technologies to farmers in an efficient, equitable, and sustainable manner. AGRA in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, South Sudan plan to equip and operationalize a seed laboratory at the Ministry of Agriculture, Juba in 2018 (Phase I), and thereafter establish additional subsidiary small laboratories in 2019 (Phase II), targeting Magwi and a region to be identified in Lake States.

  • Scope of Work:

Seed testing is core to the functionality of a sustainable seed system as it serves to ensure that the seed produced and going out to farmers is of the highest quality.  South Sudan lacks a good seed testing laboratory where seed from local seed companies or imported from outside the country can be tested for diseases, germination, purity and other seed quality checks. This has impacted the quality of seed being locally produced by seed entrepreneurs or imported into the country.

Seed quality assurance services need to be easily accessible to seed companies. A stepwise facility installation shall be adopted with the first phase being a single central laboratory in Juba; the second phase comprising of two decentralized seed quality assurance hubs as required.  The laboratories shall serve basic procedures for seed quality testing facilities, assess germination rate, moisture content and possibly, simple disease identification.   A seed testing laboratory will be established for regular use by seed companies and farmers.  The laboratories will be managed by trained staff from the Ministry through a sustainable program on a cost recovery basis.

Size: The laboratory will be modeled in a container measuring 6M Length x 2.4M wide x2.75m high, and serve the following functions in relation to seed quality assurance:

1. Sampling Scientific procedure of drawing a representative sample from a seed lot
2. Purity analysis Determining the physical composition of a seed sample to detect weeds, incorporation of broken seeds or insect damage and prevent adulteration
3. Germination analysis Determine growth potential of seed sample
4. Moisture analysis Determine storability of the seed lot to prevent molds etc.
5. Seed Health analysis Detect disease-causing pathogens in seed lots

A list of equipment to be supplied has been identified by the Ministry of Agriculture and AGRA with input from renowned and accredited laboratories in the region. The list is the part of the minimum equipment needed for a functional and standard seed lab.  Download list of equipment here – https://bit.ly/2Iyl8ss

  • Specifications of the Consultant Team:

The firm will be selected on the basis of proven experience, qualifications and ability to deliver quality product in a timely and efficient manner in South Sudan. Minimum qualifications and experience of the consulting team will include:

  1. Degree in Agricultural Engineering or related field and at least 5 years of relevant experience (leader);
  2. 5 years’ experience in installing of seed quality and assurance labs across Africa;
  3. Good understanding and familiarity with South Sudan infrastructure.
  • Project Duration and Deliverables:

The installation of the seed laboratory is expected to be completed within a period of 3.5 months from the date of execution of the contract, with the following deliverables.

  1. Survey Report
  2. Inception meeting report (venue to be confirmed)
  3. Supply and installation of the seed laboratory
  4. Initial training report on operation, maintenance of the equipment
  5. Final report
  • Evaluation Criteria

Technical proposals shall be evaluated against the following criteria:

  1. Firm’s profile
  2. CVs of team members to carry out the installation and training
  • Firm’s understanding of the consultancy requirements
  1. The methodology and project implementation/delivery plan
  2. Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments
  3. Relevant services undertaken in the past three (3) years
  • Registration and other relevant statutory documents
  • Estimated bill of quantity for installation


  • Only technical proposals with a score of 75% and above shall qualify for the opening of the financial proposals
  • Overall, the technical proposal shall be scored out of 70% while the financial proposal shall be scored out of 30%


  • Proposal submission guidelines
  1. Interested firms are requested to submit their technical and financial proposals (ensure the two are separate documents and the financial proposal is password protected). The password to the financial proposal shall be requested only from Firms that meet the minimum technical score of 75%. No new/revised financial proposal shall be accepted except during negotiations with the successful firm.
  2. The financial proposal should indicate a detailed budget in US Dollars and the total cost of equipping and installing the infrastructure including ALL applicable taxes.
  4. Technical and financial proposals MUST be submitted as separate documents by 7th June 2018 at 1700 Hours East Africa Time (GMT +3) to procurement@agra.org


AGRA reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, the number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, and the right to change this timetable at any time without notice.

For more information on AGRA, kindly visit the website: www.agra.org