ToR: Develop and Implement an Accredited Certificate Program in Agriculture Value Chain finance for staff and executives of financial service providers and aggregators


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CNFA is a not-for-profit international agricultural development organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. and dedicated to increasing rural incomes by empowering farmers and rural entrepreneurs. CNFA assists smallholders in increasing household-level food security and nutrition through improved agricultural practices, introduction of new varieties, diversification of crop production, food preservation and storage, development of farmer-based organizations, and strengthened linkages to markets. CNFA has a successful track record of implementing agricultural development programs in 43 countries.

Terms of Reference - Short Term Technical Assistance

Develop and Implement an Accredited Certificate Program in Agriculture Value Chain finance for staff and executives of financial service providers and aggregators

1.    Introduction

Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), is a non-profit international development organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and a European branch, CNFA Europe, based in Brussels, Belgium, specializing in designing and implementing sustainable, market-led agricultural, agribusiness and livestock initiatives. We work with businesses, farmers’ groups, governments and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. By incorporating innovative approaches into our programs and fostering inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to underserved groups, we create positive changes in the lives of smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs.

CNFA is implementing the five-year USAID Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze activity in Rwanda (2017-2022) which objective is to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve nutritional status of Rwandan women and children, and increase the resilience of agriculture and food systems to the changing climate.

2.    Hinga Weze project background

Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze project is a USAID funded activity implemented by CNFA. The primary objective of the Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze activity is to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve the nutritional status of Rwandan women and children, and increase the resilience of the agriculture and food systems to the changing climate. This is envisioned to be achieved through sustainable increase of agriculture productivity, improving farmers’ access to market and improving nutrition outcomes of agriculture interventions.  The Activity is being implemented in the following ten districts of Rwanda: Gatsibo, Kayonza, Bugesera, Ngoma (Eastern Province); Nyabihu, Rutsiro, Ngororero Nyamasheke, Karongi (Western Province); and Nyamagabe (Southern Province).

To achieve the goals of the activity, five nutrient-rich value chains will be specifically targeted: high-iron beans, orange flesh sweet potato (OFSP), Irish potato, maize and horticulture.

Recognizing the importance of accessing affordable financial services for market-oriented smallholder farmers, Hinga Weze (HW) will collaborate with a range of stakeholders, including financial service providers and other USAID-funded projects, to facilitate men and women farmers’ access to credit and markets. Hinga Weze will actively explore opportunities to leverage private-sector resources to create market opportunities for beneficiaries.

The analysis that Hinga Weze undertook in the agricultural financing landscape (products and activities in the market) has identified gaps and opportunities for developing and scaling up financial products and services tailored to smallholder farmers’ need as well as entry points for Hinga Weze and areas of collaborations with financial services providers to achieve the activity’s goals. Hinga Weze intervention will focus on supporting financial institutions in capacity building of their staff, product development or review tailored for farmers through an accredited certificate program.

3.    Objective of assignment

The objective of the assignment is to develop and implement the accredited certificate program in agricultural value chain finance for staff and executives from both financial institutions and leading aggregators to unlock financing and market bottlenecks in the five value chains targeted by Hinga Weze.

4.    Scope of Work

Hinga Weze seeks the services of a firm/ individuals to provide short-term technical assistance (STTA) to support the activity to implement the following assignment:

  1. Development and follow accreditation of the certificate program, curriculum/contents based on agri-financing risk analysis;
  2. Development of the training manual and materials;
  3. Training of the master trainers;
  4. Training of FIs staff (Agribusiness bankers, loan officers, credit and risks analysts) and executives together with master trainers as co-facilitators;
  5. Design, Coach and Review the practical on-job assignments of trainees (and mark their final dissertations/case studies.

5.    Deliverables and expected outcomes

Hinga Weze is expecting the following deliverables:

  1. Certificate program – Curriculum/Content and methodology -  on agricultural value chain finance developed and accredited by relevant bodies;
  2. Financing Risk Analysis report covering HW supported VCs (Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato, Horticulture, Irish Potato, Maize, Beans) developed;
  3. Training Manual and learning materials developed;
  4. Training of master trainers and FIs staff, executives and lead aggregators done. HINGA WEZE expect that the agri lending knowledge of staff from agricultural lending unit , credit risk and compliance units and executives from 30 Financial service providers will be improved. In addition, HINGA WEZE expects that leading aggregators understand the agricultural value chain risk analysis and mitigation measures;
  5. Report and Outputs of the Trainee’s Practical on-job Assignment. Among other outputs of the on-job assignment will be:
    1. Number of Revised agricultural loan processes,
    2. Number of loan products developed, reviewed
    3. Number and Value of new loans approved/disbursed following TA learning

6.    Competencies required

Applicants are required to provide profiles for all proposed technicians, clearly stating their roles and responsibilities, level of effort, and including their technical expertise and practical experience. This assignment is expected to be carried out by an experienced firm/individuals with the following qualifications:

  1. A Master’s degree in Microfinance, Business Administration/Agriculture Economics/Finance/ Agriculture/Agri-business or related field;
  2. Must have experience in Microfinance, rural development, rural finance, agriculture finance with prior experience in technical assistance to financial service providers, agricultural lending product development within financial institutions, outreach methodologies and Market research;
  3. Expertise on financial inclusion through linkages of the informal to the formal sector in developing countries, especially in Rwanda;
  4. Must have good knowledge of the Rwandan financial sector;
  5. Strong analytical skills, report writing and ability to triangulate data from multiple sources;
  6. Strong communication and facilitation skills backed by knowledge of adult learning techniques and speaking local language speakers where necessary;
  7. Track record in conducting agricultural lending and Value chain risk assessments related activities and also technical assistance/capacity building to staff for financial service providers

7.    Required level of effort and timeframe

The required level of effort is 40 working days for the above deliverables extended in the agricultural season 2018A. This LEO may be extended based on the number of trainees and level of coaching required to ensure effective on-job assignment implementation and delivery of quality outputs. This will be demonstrated through his/her progress report.

8.    Confidentiality of information and language 

All documents and data will be treated as confidential and use solely to facilitate the work in this assignment. The deliverables of this work will be the responsibility of the consultant and will be aligned with all the aspects as outlined in these terms of reference.  Hinga Weze will be responsible for the coordination role and will be the owner of the deliverables. The reports will be produced in English and should be simple in expression so as to be easy to understand.

9.    Instructions to prospective bidders  

Preparation of Proposals: You are requested to submit separate technical and financial proposal. You are advised to carefully read the complete Scope of Work. Where an electronic copy of the scope of work is issued, the paper or hard copy is the original version. In the event of any discrepancy between the two, the hard copy shall prevail 

Technical Proposals: Technical proposals should contain the following documents and information and should not exceed 15 pages (proposals exceeding these pages will not be considered):

  1. The company/consultant profile;
  2. An approach and methodology for performing the services;
  3. A detailed work plan, showing the inputs of all key staff and achievement of deliverables;
  4. Copies of previous contracts - at least 3 for similar assignments
  5. CV’s of key staff ;
  6. A summary of your experience in similar assignments with supporting documents;

Financial Proposals: Financial proposals should contain the following document and information and should not exceed 5 pages:

  1. A copy of the breakdown showing all costs for the assignment, broken down into fees and reimbursable and miscellaneous costs. The costs associated with the assignment shall be estimated in US dollars.

Validity of Proposals: Proposals must remain valid for 90 days. 

Submission of Proposals: The technical and financial proposals should be submitted separately in a same email, both clearly marked with “Technical Proposal” or “Financial Proposal” as appropriate.  

Proposals (both technical and financial) should be submitted in Word/Excel or PDF formats by email to by March 30th, 2018 at 5.00 PM (Kigali Time) clearly indicating the subject line: “Call for proposals for Short Term Technical Assistance to Develop and Implement an Accredited Certificate Program in Agriculture Value Chain finance for staff and executives of financial service providers and leading aggregators to support HINGA WEZE activity”

How to apply: 

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