ToR: Quality Assurance and warehouse management to support inventory credit facilities for aggregators (farmers/ cooperatives/ agro dealers/ 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 for Short Term Technical Assistance for Quality Assurance and warehouse management to support inventory credit facilities for aggregators (farmers/ cooperatives/ agro dealers/ 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 to promote commodity trade finance through inventory credit/warehouse receipt finance model.

3.    Objective of assignment

The objective of the assignment is to provide quality assurance and warehouse management inspection services to aggregators/processors and cooperatives as one of the conditions to access postharvest financing from financial institutions. This technical assistance will unlock postharvest financing and market bottlenecks for the targeted groups.

4.    Scope of work

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

  1. Provide quality Assurance and warehouse management Advisory to aggregators/processors and cooperatives  to maintain the quality of stored inventory;
  2. Approve the quantity and quality of harvest in warehouse before any loan drawn down by FSP;
  3. Train processors/cooperatives/aggregators’ staff on quality checking, assessment and warehouse management;
  4. Develop Inventory Quality Management Systems for the aggregator/processor or cooperative;

5.    Deliverables and expected outcomes

Hinga Weze is expecting the following deliverables:

  1. Standards Operation Procedures (SOPs) for daily warehouse management;
  2. Training manual and learning materials for quality assurance and warehouse management;
  3. Processors/cooperatives/aggregators trained on quality assurance and warehouse management;
  4. Reports on quantity and quality of harvest in warehouse submitted to FSPs to allow drawn down of inventory credit. The outputs of these reports will be: Value of loan disbursed by FSPs, the quantity (disaggregated by grade) of harvest collected, Number of farmers/cooperatives supplied to processor/aggregator/cooperative as a result of this technical assistance;

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 to be carried out by an experienced firm/individuals with the following qualifications:

  1. A Master’s degree in Food science and Technology/Agriculture Economics/Finance/ Agriculture/Agri-business or related field;
  2. Must have experience in grains quality assessment and warehouse management, inventory quality management protocols, food safety with prior experience in technical assistance to financial service providers as third party to mitigate the quality and deterioration risks within inventory/warehouse financing models;
  3. Must have good knowledge of the grains aggregation models and inventory/warehouse financing models in Rwanda;
  4. Strong analytical skills, report writing and ability to triangulate data from multiple sources;
  5. Strong communication and facilitation skills backed by knowledge of adult learning techniques and speaking local language speakers where necessary;
  6. Track record in conducting quality assessment and warehouse management in agriculture sector  related activities and also technical assistance to financial service providers

7.    Required level of effort and timeframe

This STTA is an open assignment for four agricultural seasons to support the FSPs on the basis of aggregators/buyers enrollment into the scheme. Each seasonal assignment will not exceed 90 working days of effort for the above deliverables. This LOE may be changed based on the number of processors/aggregators/cooperatives identified and the storage period of the commodities in warehouse.

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 and 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 5 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 (please provide the financial proposal for one season assignment) should contain the following document and information and should not exceed 2 pages:

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

Validity of Proposals: Proposals must remain valid for 30 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 30th March 2018 at 5.00 PM (Kigali Time) clearly indicating the subject line: “Call for proposals for Short Term Technical Assistance for Quality Assurance and warehouse management to support inventory credit facilities for aggregators (farmers/ cooperatives/ agro dealers/ aggregators)”.

How to apply: 

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