Terms of Reference for Technical support towards development Entrepreneurial Conservation griculture Services Provision to Medium and Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania
The African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT) web www.act-africa.org is a Pan-African not for profit organization built on and driven by the values and principles required to harness indigenous African energies, inspiration and commitment to lead and contribute to Africa’s own development. The thrust of ACT is to add value through strategic partnership in the identification, adaptation and scaling up of conservation agriculture principles and practices. ACT has received funding from FAO to implement a CA project in Tanzania. Part of this fund will be used to develop a CA investment Plan (Entrepreneurial Conservation Agriculture Services Provision to Medium and Smallholder Farmers Program).
A number of problems are affecting smallholder and medium farmers in Africa, including Tanzania. They include:
Declining food production per capita: Achieving food security and reducing poverty in the Africa has been a major challenge for both Governments and development agencies. Smallholder agriculture, mainly dominated by manual labour force provided by women, is the predominant form of farm organization in Africa. According to the Africa Human Development Report (2012), cereal production in sub- Saharan Africa has tripled since the early 1960s, rising from 38 million tonnes in 1961–1963 to 116 million tonnes in 2008–2010. The food production per capita is nevertheless declining in the region. When compared with other regions cereal output per capita fell 13% in sub- Saharan Africa while increasing 44% in Asia and 48% in South America. A similar picture emerges for other food groups. The main staples of SSA are unirrigated maize, cassava, millets, sorghum, yams, sweet potatoes, plantains and rice. There are many challenges that need to be overcome in order to improve food production per capita. Several factors have contributed to this unfortunate situation, including the vulnerability of countries of the region to climate change; the poor nature of soils in a number of zones; rapid population growth; low utilization of modern technologies to improve crop varieties, and poor implementation of policies.
Declining or low soil fertility: Large areas of sub-Saharan African soils are affected by various types of degradation, including fertility decline. Land degradation is an important global concern because of its adverse impacts on agricultural production, food security and the environment. Inappropriate land management further increases loss of productivity of resource poor farmers. This in turn affects their food security and livelihood. Persistent use of conventional farming practices based on extensive tillage, especially when combined with removal or in situ burning of crop residues, have magnified soil erosion losses and the soil resource base has been steadily degraded. Consequently, yields are relatively low despite the high potential for improvement. As the main source of economic activity in SSA is the agricultural production, declining soil productivity means not only less food is grown but also that production of cash crops and income are endangered. Thus, rectifying land degradation and enhancing productivity through appropriate soil management and conservation can play a major role in achieving farm household food security and agricultural development.
Poor access to value chain CA inputs and services by producers: One of the major constraints to scaling out of CA is lack of availability and access to CA inputs and services including the ones for land preparation, planting, spraying, threshing, shelling and transportation by smallholder farmers hence leading to a decline in production and consequently farm output. (FAO, 2011). Smallholder farmers will be propelled faster towards mainstreaming CA practice if they have access to such implements and services as the jab-planters, herbicide sprayers, animal and tractor drawn direct–seeders, cover crop seed and other inputs. Incentives systems are required to support initial investments in equipment and inputs particularly for small-scale/ poor farmers. Despite several decades of significant investments in the sector, access to or usage of formal financial services remains low, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). According to the Microfinance Handbook of 2013, Tanzania still have low access to financial services (for example credit, deposit avenues, insurance, money transfers, and pension) within the sub-Saharan region. More than half of the population (56%) is excluded from the financial system ‒ from formal, semi-formal and informal financial institutions. Only 12% of population in Tanzania have access to financial services from commercial banks. Access to financial services including credit by smallholders can promote the uptake of CA and also lead to thriving local economies. Agricultural production is typically a risky business. Farmers face a variety of price, yield, and resource risks, which make their incomes unstable from year to year. In many cases farmers are also confronted by the risk of catastrophe. Crop and livestock may be destroyed by natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods, fire, and drought. The farmer or his family can also be disabled by accidents, sickness, or death. Crop insurance can lessen the risk of farmers’ exposure to external shocks (Meinzen-Dick et al., 2004). A system approach in crop insurance is needed incorporating a public-private partnership between the government, the farmers and the insurance industry.
What business models to kick-start and sustain adoption of mechanised CA? Government supported schemes for provision of mechanisation services to smallholder farmers in the form of mechanisation farm centres, rural development centres, or subsidised tractors for villages have failed. Yet, we have privately financed, owned and operated grain milling machines in almost every village in Tanzania. Given the small farm sizes (typically 2 ha) of smallholder farmers and high acquisition costs of farm machinery, the farmer-ownership model, whereby individual farmers are targeted and supported to own and use farm machinery can be declared obsolete. Entrepreneurial CA service provision by traders and farmers for farmers holds promise for smallholder farmers to access a range of small-scale farm machinery services. Beside the CA services (direct seeding, herbicide application, combine harvesting and straw/stover spreading) other services include irrigation water pumping, threshing, shelling and farm transportation have the ability to diversify incomes and create profitability. But where do we start and which are the proven or best-bet business models that can light the spark to create the massive CA adoption desired?
Poor market led capacity of producers and farmer organisations: Farmer organisations are important communities of practice (FOCoP) in addressing the market constraints. The market constraints faced by producers (farmers) include lack of information on market requirements, limited skills and knowledge of improved agricultural technologies, limited reliable and knowledgeable rural input suppliers for genuine inputs, lack of organised and strong farmer groups, financial constraints, limited participation of farmers in the marketing chain and inefficient and costly transport systems. Farmer organizations play an important role in tackling the systemic causes of poverty, because they give farmers—men and women—a legitimate voice in shaping pro-poor rural policies. By articulating farmers’ interests to public and private institutions, farmer organizations encourage those institutions to tailor their strategies, products, and services to farmers’ needs. Agricultural producers who are organized into farmer’s organizations (cooperatives or producers’ associations) have greater access to resources and inputs needed in producing and marketing their produce. This allows them to buy their agricultural inputs and sell their produce collectively, transport it in bulk, etc. for more efficient operations and larger returns to scale. Being organized into farmer groups will also give them stronger bargaining power to command better prices for their produce. The project will use innovative ways of using farmer organizations community of practice (FOCoP) at different levels and related trade associations as entry points towards expanding the supply base and developing farmer-friendly crop value chains. A critical intervention will therefore involve investing in strengthening these organizations and associations and their affiliates to be able to provide technical and commercial services to their members and serve as credible partners to banks, traders, processors, input dealers, and other actors along the value chain
Limited awareness and sensitization among producers (farmers), private sector and policy makers on CA and its potential: Limited awareness of CA and its potential benefits is cited as one of the causes of producers or farmers poor uptake and scaling up of CA in SSA. CA is not fully mainstreamed into respective rural development policies, programmes and strategies or implemented due to the lack of awareness among policy makers and stakeholders about the technology benefits. It is evident from a number of studies that climate information and forecasts are important in ensuring farmers appropriate engagement in agricultural production. The mechanisms to produce and disseminate information on the weather are however weak. The data and information produced and disseminated by meteorological institutions are highly aggregated and global in outlook, and do not address the specific needs of localized agro-ecological zones. Both proven traditional and ICT based methods will be employed to raise awareness and sensitise farmers, the public and private sector to scale out the famer valued CA technologies in the project countries. The methods used by farmers, policy makers, private sector and other stakeholders to access and sensitise on CA, climate forecasts, market information and agricultural technologies in a realistic time are such as village meetings, extension services, and ICT methods including internet, mobile phones, emails, community radio and TV.
2.0 The purpose
The main purpose of the contract is to develop a project proposal that will operationalise the First Africa Congress on Conservation Agriculture delegates’ declaration to have 25 million farmers in Africa practice and benefit from Conservation Agriculture by 2025 from the Tanzanian perspective. The products will be developed in the backdrop of the ACT strategic plan at http://bit.ly/1GKOMTQ and particularly the six interlinked thematic areas of focus.
ACT is seeking the services of an agribusiness consultant with expertise in conservation agriculture and mechanisation to study the status of entrepreneurship, conservation agriculture and mechanization in the hot-spot adoption areas of CA in Tanzania. The study will be guided by the following objectives:
1. Define the extent to which CA has been adopted in Tanzania, status and challenges towards wide-scope and massive adoption by millions of farmers in the next few years.
2. Expound the market pull (as opposed to technology push) opportunities and innovations that could be engaged to benefit entrepreneurs and investors (including farmers) as a vehicle to scale out adoption of conservation agriculture for sustainable production intensification
3. Create a detailed understanding of status of mechanization for enhanced CA adoption in terms of technological, industrial and institutional support to access and adoption of appropriate mechanization services by smallholder farmers.
4. Make recommendations regarding best-bet and farmer-typology sensitive business models to use in scaling-up CA among medium and smallholder farmers in Tanzania.
5. Define the strategic and validated public-private partnerships and how they could be coordinated to deliver services to smallholder and medium scale farmers as per the proposed models (in 4 above).
Specifically, the consultant, under supervision of the ACT East and Horn of Africa Coordinator in close consultation with the ACT Executive Secretary, will undertake the following:
1. Acknowledge receipt of the call for consultancy services and express interest to tender by due date
2. Develop and present to ACT the consultancy implementation methodology, work plan and budget
3. Conduct literature review and field surveys geared to substantiating key hypothesis as to how smallholder conservation agriculture should be mechanized and up scaled
4. Develop a full project proposal for Tanzania, with the buy-in of key public and private sector stakeholders titled: Entrepreneurial Conservation Agriculture Services Provision to Medium and Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania.
5. Present and defend the proposed interventions to a multi-discipline CA stakeholders’ forum – supported by visual/audio aids including a Brochure “Investors Forum: Entrepreneurial Conservation Agriculture Services Provision to Medium and Smallholder Farmers Program”
6. Produce and submit a brief consultancy report
3.0 Deliverables and Outputs
Deliverables should reflect the objectives above. Specifically
I. Develop and present to ACT the consultancy implementation methodology, work plan and budget – by 10th April 2015
II. Develop a full project proposal for Tanzania, titled: Entrepreneurial Conservation Agriculture Services Provision to Medium and Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania – By 30th July 2015 (Annex 1)
III. Develop a Brochure “Investors Forum: Entrepreneurial Conservation Agriculture Services Provision to Medium and Smallholder Farmers Program” – By 30th July 2015 (Annex 2)
IV. Produce and submit a brief consultancy report - By 30th July 2015
V. Participate in Investors forum – First or second week of August 2015
4.0 Nature of Consultancy
This will be a short term consultancy to be undertaken in and outside the ACT Dar Es Salaam office. ACT will provide the consultant with access to required ACT information, literature, contacts of host persons/institutions to work with for undertaking the work. The Consultant will also be required to share and agree with ACT any additional people or organisations to be met. The consultant will be expected to work within the stipulated duration and submit the desired products of the documentary and final report to the organization.
5.0 Period of assignment
The contract period is from 1st April 2015 - 15th August 2015. The Consultant is expected to complete this assignment by 15th August 2015. The following milestones are anticipated:
Expression of Interest to tender to ACT
1st April 2015
Presentation of consultancy proposal – for shortlisted consultants
10th April 2015
Signing of consultancy contract
15th April 2015
Literature review, field work
15 April – 15 May
Develop the full project proposal
18th May – 18 June
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Presentation of finding and proposed interventions to ACT
19th June 2015
Presentation of full project proposal to investors forum
6th August 2015
Incorporation of feedback and submission of final report
15th August 2015
The ideal candidate should have proven combination of experience in Project Proposal Development, Agricultural Business, Mechanisation as well as Agriculture and Rural Development. The candidate must demonstrate possession of research and survey skills. The candidate should have an excellent command of written and spoken English.
7.0 Qualification & ExperienceAdvanced Degree in Agribusiness, Agronomy, Mechanisation and Project Development from recognized institutionsWork experience of more than 10 years in key areasExcellence in the English language, both written and oral is required.Current CV of the applicant is attached.
8.0 Evaluation Method
Assigning the Consultant and evaluating the performance is the responsibility of African Conservation Tillage Network. ACT will conclude a contract and evaluate performance of the Consultant on the basis of agreed upon terms of reference.
9.0 How to apply
The deadline for submission of the technical and financial proposals has now been extended to 25th April 2015.
Interested consultants or consulting firms are requested to submit their consultancy proposals (technical and financial) to the appended email by 25th April 2015. The consultant will be selected on the basis of their proven experience, qualifications and ability to deliver a quality product in time and in efficient manner. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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African Conservation Tillage Network
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT AND TERMS OF REFERENCE
Position: Strategy and Policy Adviser
Duty Station: ACT Nairobi Head Office
The African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT) is a vibrant pan-African organization promoting adaptation and adoption of conservation agriculture in Africa. The organization’s head office is based in Nairobi, Kenya and regional offices are located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Harare, Zimbabwe. The main thrust of the organization is knowledge and information management on conservation agriculture and sustainable land management. Further information about the ACT is available at: www.act-africa.org.
The purpose of the position is to develop policy measures that lead to (a) directing investment in support of ACT’s strategic objectives, (b) economic measures that change relative prices and create incentives for desired behaviour, (c) institutional measures including regulations that create opportunities for investors in natural resources management.
The Strategy and Policy Advisor (SPA) will work under the direct supervision of the ACT Executive Secretary in close liaison with the ACT sub-regional Co-ordinators and Managers, and be mentored by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) Public Policy department.
The Strategy and Policy Advisor will manage specific policy portfolios under the ACT -Foodgrains Bank Partnership arrangement. Specifics include:
Research – Conduct and monitor research on various public policies affecting food and hunger issues;Propose Policy Changes - Develop proposed changes to public policies, along with the supporting rationale and background research;Policy Briefs – Work closely with programme staff to prepare written public policy briefs and publications for internal and external audiences;Influence – Persuade decision-makers to take action necessary for improving hunger-related public policies;Networking – Work together with the staff of ACT, Foodgrains Bank, member agencies, other Canadian NGOs, government officials and international contacts to research, share information about, and influence hunger-related public policies.Diplomacy – represent the ACT and Foodgrains Bank and its mission with integrity in local, national and international settingsDissemination – working with media houses, researchers and program staff, disseminate CA stories to the media that feature positive messaging around conservation agriculture use by smallholder farmers in Africa;Coalition work – Lead and/or contribute to coalitions of organizations that work on hunger-related issuesAs appropriate, provide support to the Executive Secretary on any other duties relating to the Network’s policy and advocacy.
1. In-person meetings, round tables, workshops and learning events with program and partner staff , agricultural officials & ministerial staff.
2. Visits to key government staff and decision-makers in focus areas to see CA programming.
3. Timely, well-informed advice on current and emerging policy discussions.
4. Timely, high-quality written policy documents and recommendations.
5. Effective consultation and communication with other Network staff, the ACT Secretariat, consultants and relevant external stakeholders including individuals and agencies.
6. Effective representation of the Network and its interests.
7. Effective administrative processes relating to the Network’s policy and advocacy work.
Selection Criteria Demonstrated agriculture related policy experience including relevant tertiary qualifications and experience in agriculture-related policy and research.Demonstrated experience in stakeholder engagement and relationship management including the ability to plan, identify and liaise with relevant internal and external stakeholders to inform policy development.Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work across a broad range of groups, including members, rural networks and stakeholders in government and non-government agencies.Well-developed analytical skills including the ability to assess and critically evaluate the validity of information and research and prepare policy briefs and background analyses based on consultations, published data and research.Excellent writing skills and demonstrated ability to write reports, project proposals, submissions, newsletters, meeting papers/minutes.Ability to initiate and manage projects, develop implementation strategies, meet deadlines and manage competing priorities within a small team environment.Interest in and understanding of issues that relate to conservation agriculture and wellbeing of people who live in rural and remote Africa.Familiarity with the evolving policy discourse surrounding traditional farming methods and practices and relevant interventions that are designed to effect change and improvements to the traditional approach.
Desirable Knowledge of political and legislative processes.Knowledge of and networks in the conservation agriculture and sustainable development sectors.PhD or MA with an additional five years of relevant work experience in social sciences, agricultural and environmental sciences, law or public policy or public administrationA minimum of 10 years of work experience in governance and legal policy environmentFluent in English; knowledge of French will be an additional advantage
Terms and ConditionsThis is an Internationally Recruited position.ACT provides attractive international salary and benefits package and a collegial and gender-sensitive working environment.
The appointment is for two years with possibility for renewal
To apply for this position, please send your application, by email only, to the Executive Secretary, ACT, email address:email@example.com. Applications must be accompanied by a cover letter of motivation, date of availability, salary expectation, an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) with the names and contacts of three referees in English and must be received not later than 15th July 2015.
ACT is an equal opportunity employer and believes that staff diversity promotes excellence in its operations
Only the short listed candidates will be contacted. This position will remain open until filled.
To learn more about ACT, please visit our website at www.act-africa.org
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Conservation Agriculture (CA) Monitoring and Evaluation Officer – Job Description
Responsible to: CA Program/Technical Coordinator
Supervises: Not Applicable
Status: Term – 5 years
Location: East Africa Drafted: May 2015
The CA Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer is responsible for the coordination of all Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation activities for the East African based CA program.The Officer will seek to increase the ability of the partners of the CA members to mentor and build their organizational capacity through developmental Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (PMER) aspects as well as assisting the CFGB Members in tasks related to PMER.
The CA M&E Officer is hired by Mennonite Central Committee; handed over by MOU to the CA Program; and reports to the CA Program/Technical Coordinator.
The CA M&E Officer will provide leadership and coordination to the monitoring and evaluation function in the East Africa CA programme area. Specifically, the Officer will relate to Projects with CA components in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya. Responsibilities will include: providing technical assistance primarily to the implementing partners and secondarily to the CFGB members in results-based planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting; preparing reports on program results; initiating and overseeing evaluations; preparing summaries of evaluation findings and lessons learned and developing related guidelines to strengthen programming; and disseminating technical knowledge and materials through the EA CA network.
This position is based in East Africa. Frequent regional travel, including rural travel with limited amenities, and occasional international travel will be required.
Roles and Responsibilities:
1. Project Design, Monitoring and Evaluation
a. Support development/adaptation of tools and processes throughout the project cycle management, from planning to evaluation.
b. Support review and recommendation of submitted project proposals.
- Compile and monitor key performance indicators of all projects/programmes
- Monitor deadlines and ensure that reporting requirements (frequency, quality, capacity and timeliness) for all current project activities have been planned, agreed upon, and reported on with partners.
2. Program Management and Quality Assurance
a. Visit partner organizations and their projects to understand their work better and monitor progress of project(s).
- Review project reports for quality and ensure that reports and other project documents capture progress, effectiveness, and impact of programs.
- Input and manage relevant project information into mutually agreed CA Program data base(s); Enter data for all partner plans, reports, budgets, MOUs, and documentation—particularly during two reporting/planning periods each year—into the database(s).
- Support development and follow-up actions on strategies, programming framework, policies, standards, guidelines, and other tools required throughout project cycle management for CA projects.
3. Contribution to Learning
a. Assess current capacity of CA Program partners in organizational management, project planning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation (PMER)
- Increase the PMER and organizational development capacity of partner staff through training, workshops and other capacity building initiatives; Plan and facilitate PMER trainings or workshops for partners.
- Facilitate the dissemination of information on lessons learnt in programme areas and effective knowledge sharing between partners and CFGB Members.
- Time permitting and as a secondary responsibility increase the PME capacity of other CFGB member partners with CA programming through training, workshops and other capacity building initiatives.
4. Building external relationships to enhance program implementation
- Develop contacts and relationship with relevant external agencies including local governmental, community-based and NGO entities to enhance program implementation and sustainability.
- Lead and/or direct representation at relevant functions and for in order to promote the identity of the program.
5. Capacity Development
a. Lead activities to strengthen the technical capacity of the Foodgrains Bank network in CA Monitoring and Evaluation.
- Contribute to building and strengthening local, regional and international networks to further the adoption of CA M&E practice
7. Other Duties as Required
a. Any other items as required by the CA Program/Technical Coordinator
- An undergraduate university degree related directly or indirectly to Planning, Monitoring, and/or Evaluation, especially in agricultural fields
- Demonstrated technical knowledge of Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting (PMER) tools especially in agriculture
- Experience in development programming in an international context
- Training and/or experience in results-based management principles, tools and techniques.
- Demonstrated experience in project development and proposal writing;
- Minimum of 3 years of related work experience with demonstrated skills in technical support and PMER for development programmes preferably in Agriculture and capacity building.
- Ability to organize and facilitate learning activities, such as workshops, training, etc.
- Demonstrated success in supporting organizational learning, accountability and performance.
- Good knowledge and previous experience in gender mainstreaming
- Experience in working with database reporting and project management.
- Ability to travel frequently, including in rural areas with limited amenities, for extended periods of time, within Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and wider East Africa.
- Experience working with Community Based Organizations (CBOs), mainly at grass roots level including CB Research.
- Familiar with working in rural areas with focus on participatory processes.
- Ability to understand and communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries.
- Excellent relational and diplomatic skills that allow engagement with all sectors of society.
- Strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills.
- Demonstrated team collaboration skills
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Excellent command of English
- Experience working with grass root organizations and/or social movements;
- Good working knowledge of Conservation Agriculture programming
- Training and/or experience in agricultural outcome measurement
- Experience working with government funded programs
- Swahili or Amharic language skills