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Re-advertised-Call for Applications Firm to Work on Project Socio-Economic Baseline Study and the GIS Survey

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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS (Re-advertised)

Agriterra Rwanda is looking for a Firm to work on Project Socio-Economic Baseline Study and the GIS Survey

Project: Out grower Service Company model for maize and soybean in Rwanda

This advertisement concerns a re-advertised tender because of a misrepresentation of the duration of the assignment in the original advertisement as published on 23th March 2021 of which applications were received  from 19th to 21st April 2021. The main reason of re-advertising this call is that there was an error about the duration of the assignment. The Baseline study and GIS survey are expected to be completed during year 1 of the project instead of having a duration of the entire project. The envelopes of all received bids will remain closed until the deadline of this readvertisement and all applicants that have responded to the original advertisement are offered the chance to make modifications to their submitted proposals at Agriterra office within the period from 23rd April 2021 to 12th May 2021 during working hours.

 The interested firms that did not apply at the time of the first announcement are welcome to apply for this re-advertisement.

Agriterra

Agriterra is a network organisation of Dutch agri-employers’ organisations and companies. It has a vision that farmers’ associations and cooperatives can have a positive influence on development by contributing to a more equal distribution of income and an enhancement of democratic decision-making and relations. This vision has become almost undisputed, the mechanisms are understood, and the mission derived from it - the strengthening of farmers’ organisations - is the only logical one.

Agriterra mobilises hands-on experience from the Dutch agricultural sector via the so-called Agripool. Experience-based knowledge is increasingly important to fulfil the demands of private enterprises wishing to connect with smallholders, so we are developing a new business strategy to reflect the changing business environment.

The aim of Agriterra is making cooperatives bankable. By focusing on few clients within a limited number of countries, Agriterra is able to target those cooperatives or other farmer owned enterprises, who are ambitious, have good management, have been economically active, have significant amounts of members and who have plans to invest in order to expand their business. Agriterra’s support is especially based on technical support from experts from the Dutch agricultural and cooperative sector. Their advisory services can be applied to all aspects of the business planning process, access to finance trajectory or the implementation phase.

I. Introduction of the project 

The OSC model for maize and soybean in Rwanda is a pilot project that seeks to increase the soybean and maize productivity and supplies of raw materials for animal feed production. Several factories have been set-up in Rwanda to process animal feeds, but they all lack sufficient availability of domestic quality maize and soybean, forcing them to import their raw materials. Most maize and soya bean producers have organized themselves into cooperatives, but the efficiency of the cooperatives often requires further professionalization and upscaling. Having seen the situation, ENABEL initiated the Out-grower Service Company model to provide solutions to challenges faced by both smallholder farmers and animal feed processors. In November 2020 Agriterra received a grant from ENABEL to implement this project for a period of 3 years. The targeted number of direct beneficiaries is 3,000 maize and soybean farmers, located in the Eastern Province, Ngoma District. Experiences of the pilot in NGOMA will be shared with cooperatives in Gisagara and Kirehe Districts in year 2 of the project.

II. Context

Agriterra currently works in the maize value chain with 15 front runner maize farmer cooperative with a total 12,000 members. These members farm on approximately 0.3 hectares each, have a yield of approximately 4 MT/ha and sell approximately 50% of their yield formally through their cooperatives. Soybean fetches higher prices than maize but is scarcer in Rwanda. A tonne of soybean is sold for Rwf 600,764 while a tonne of maize goes for Rwf291,279. About 9,000 farmers are involved in soya production, which are organized in approximately 200 cooperatives operating at differing stages of professionality.

Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has specified in its Strategic Plan for Agricultural Transformation 2018-2024, that food crop production and value chain development were a top priority. Certain food crops have commercial potential for agro-processing to compete with imported products and where processors already exist; aggregation and value addition are relevant to stimulate a nascent market. Agriterra Outgrower Service Company objectives to increase the commercial potential of soybean and maize for agro-processing purposes aligns perfectly with MINAGRI’s strategic plan.

Agriterra has ample experience in the professionalization of farmer cooperatives, specifically where cooperatives in supply arrangements with industrial millers are concerned. It will build upon this experience and work towards achieving the following specific objectives:

i.    To increase the supply of good quality locally produced soya bean and maize for animal feed production
ii.    To build the production and post-harvest handling capacity of soya bean & maize smallholder producers
iii.    To facilitate soya bean & maize smallholder producers with a reliable market with animal feed processors

The increase of supply of good quality soya bean and maize will be realized in two strategies:

1) increase production through the increased availability of inputs, finance and agronomic services, and

2) reduce informal sales by establishing linkages with off takers. The first strategy requires the successful set-up and operationalization of the OSC with services teams, efficient management and input supply on credit. The second strategy aims to reduce informal sales and increase the supply of maize and soya beans to formal markets which provide a more consistent income.

III. Background of the assignment

The animal feeds industry is a critical component of the livestock sector in Rwanda. However, over the years, the sector faced significant challenges in producing sufficient animal feed to support the development of its livestock sector. These challenges include:

i.    Lower productivity of the livestock sector with farmers utilizing grasses, maize and legumes in feeding their animals which in many cases affects their productivity.
ii.    Poor quality (high aflatoxin levels) and limited availability of maize (energy source). 
iii.    Lack of reliable domestic supply of Soya (plant protein) or alternatives. 
iv.    High cost of imported animal feed ingredients which positions the price of feeds above farmers’ purchasing power. 
v.    The limited availability of alternative sources of calcium. 

To this end, ENABEL funded the implementation of the Out-grower Service Company Model to be piloted by Agriterra in the Maize and Soya sectors so as to increase the local supply of animal feeds ingredients, increase the production levels of animal feeds and improve the productivity in the livestock sector. The project has been designed to work with Small Holder Farmers, NGOs, and the private sector to address the domestic inputs production problem.

Agriterra Rwanda has been active as capacity building organisation for cooperatives in the maize value chain since 2016. Since 2019, Agriterra has been part of the Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Facility (SDGP) aimed at making the maize value chain in Rwanda more efficient, in collaboration with Africa Improved Foods, Sight and Life and Kumwe Harvest.

With regard to the implementation of the Outgrower Service Model, in the Soya and Maize sector, Agriterra aims to mobilize 7 leading farmer cooperatives in Ngoma District (Eastern Province). A minimum of 3,000 farmers are to be recruited in this scheme. The OSC will offer input supply services to Soya and Maize cooperatives (seed, fertilizer), provide training and advice through Farmers Field Schools (FFS), aggregate the produced Soya and Maize in partnership with Kumwe Logistics and sell it to the animal feed companies.

  III.1. Objectives of the Assessments: Socio-Economic Baseline and GIS Survey

The general objectives of the OSC are to improve the efficiency, reliability and structure of the Soya and Maize value chains as well as transforming the livelihoods of Maize and Soya Small Holder Farmers (SHFs).

The specific objectives of the OSC are to:

i.    Increase productivity in the Maize and Soya value chains. 
ii.    Maximize SHFs incomes 
iii.    SHFs to become reliable suppliers. 
iv.    Improve SHFs access to markets. 

Prior the set-up and operationalisation of the OSC, two assessments are to be conducted with the selected cooperatives:

a) Socio-Economic Baseline Study: The socio-economic study is meant to provide an indication of the farmers socio-economic status prior the intervention for the initiative’s impact assessment to be carried out as it launches, through its implementation and at the end of the project. The study’s indicators will be utilized through all monitoring and evaluation assessments that will be carried out to monitor and evaluate progress and impact.

b) The GIS survey  is meant to enable Agriterra to establish a database with farmers land ownership, land ownership structure, land sizes and a map of the land and crop production – for efficient planning when launching the pilot.

 III.1.1 Socio Economic Baseline

The baseline is meant to provide a measurable benchmark on the overall goal and expected results, as well as track and measure the progress of the project and impact on farmer’s livelihood. For the purpose of the socio-economic baseline, indicators will be clustered in four broad categories: demographic indicators, economic indicators, social indicators and environmental indicators.

a)    Demographic Indicators relating to the household structure: 

  • Farmer’s age
  • Farmer’s gender
  • Farmer’s marital status
  • Farmer’s household composition
  • Distance between the farm and the OSO/market
  • Farm management structure

b)    Economic Indicators relating the farmer’s economic status:

  • Farmer’s cooperative membership descriptive
  • Farmer’s revenue per kilo/per delivery
  • Farmer’s cost of production
  • Farmer’s access to finance/ financial services
  • Farmer’s access to inputs and cost of inputs
  • Farmer’s sales records at the frequency of delivery
  • Farmer’s customer’s base
  • Farmer’s access to market

c)    Social indicators relating the farmer’s social status:

  • Farmer’s level of education
  • Farmer’s access to Universal Healthcare Coverage (Mutuelle de Santé)
  • Farmer’s nutrition levels (number of meals consumed per day)
  • Farmer’s number of beneficiaries
  • Farmer’s understanding and application of gender equality and equity

d)    Environmental Indicators: Indicators:

  • Access to water
  • Access to organic fertilizers
  • Access to water and waste management facilities
  • Knowledge and application of environmentally friendly farming practices (number of training received at the cooperative level, relating to farming best practices)

 III.1.2 GIS Survey

The GIS survey is meant to enable Agriterra to have a clear and detailed map of individual SHFs land, per crop and clusters of land. The GIS data to be collected include:

  • SHF land data: A full map of each individual plot showing individual boundaries with the map in Ngoma district.
  • SHF land ownership structure: Detailed information on the land ownership structure – information relating to land ownership (i.e.: owned by the wife and husband, parents and children, a single/widowed person, relative, etc.)
  • Farmers Census: ID numbers, contact details, total land available, total land used to grow maize and soya, other crops grown, etc.
  • Local landmarks in the area: markets, roads, health facilities, water and waste management facilities, local government offices, schools, etc.

IV. Methodology 

A mixed method approach is to be used when conducting the socio-economic baseline. The mixed method should involve the application of qualitative and quantitative research methods: using Focus Group Discussions as ways to gather insights on farmers reality, farming experiences and challenges which should be triangulated with quantitative data measuring production levels, income levels, access to finance etc. – prior and post the set-up of the OSC. The quantitative data collected should be complemented with NISR’s household and agricultural production data. All the research tools and frameworks are to be agreed upon with Agriterra’s team and M&E team.

The GIS survey should be conducted on the basis of the consultant’s technical expertise and recommendations.

V. Scope of the Work 

The consultant is meant to undertake the following tasks:

  • Acquire all the necessary permits to conduct field research.
  • Work closely with the relevant authorities to acquire existing information on the mapping data in regard to GIS census.
  • Identify, recruit and train a field research team.
  • Develop research tools to be translated in Kinyarwanda and applying a gender lens in the design of questionnaires and discussion guides.
  • Make use of digital software to collect, store and analyse data such as Survey CTO.
  • Build a database with both the baseline study and GIS data for future use and to facilitate the monitoring and evaluation of the initiative.
  • Provide recommendations as the launch, monitoring and evaluation are ongoing on how to better operationalise, implement and scale this initiative.

VI. Deliverables 

The deliverables for both studies are the following:

  • An inception report outlining how the baseline study and GIS survey will be undertaken with a detailed methodology, timeframe and budget per assessment.
  • A detailed analysis and excel file with the quantitative data.
  • A database with GIS census and map with farmers identification details and GPS location.
  • A baseline draft report in English.
  • A baseline final report in English.
  • A slide deck with the synthesis of the findings.
  • A template questionnaire and discussion guide to be used for quarterly M&E reporting.
  • A Sustainability and Scalability Plan

VII. Requirements of the proposals

Agriterra expects bidders to present a Technical Proposal and a Financial proposal.

VIII. General evaluation criteria

 The tendering method to be used for this tender is the COST QUALITY METHOD. Therefore, the technical proposal shall be marked out of 70% while the financial proposal shall bear the score out of 30%.

Only bidders who will attain the score from 40/70 in the technical analysis will be entitled to attend the public opening of financial proposals. 

VIII.1 Evaluation of technical proposals (out of 70%)

The project is designed to be implemented within a duration of 3 years from 2020-2023. However, the assignment of Baseline study and GIS survey will be conducted once during year 1 of the project (2021). The technical proposal should outline which methodology will be applied along the technical approach taken, including a list of indicators to be measured, research tools to be used, a workplan to conduct this assignment, team composition, roles and responsibilities, the company’s relevant past experience, with key experts’ CVs in the annex. Bidders are requested to include a description on how the company will cope with COVID-19 restrictions.

The technical scoring will be distributed as follow:

The detailed methodology which will be applied along the technical approach taken, including a list of indicators to be measured, research tools to be used

30%

A Detailed work plan for Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 of the project

10%

Team composition, roles and responsibilities

 

10%

The company’s relevant past experiences

10%

Profile of the key experts

10%

VIII.2 Evaluation of financial proposals (out 30%)

The Financial Proposal should include the total costs of delivery of the services as described above.

The opening of financial proposals shall be in public, attended by the bidders who have scored the required marks in their technical proposals.

 The presented cost of service delivery shall be TAX INCLUSIVE.

The currency to be used is EURO.

 VIII.2.1 Negotiation stage

 Agriterra shall conduct negotiations with the 1st ranked firm after the evaluation of both technical and financial proposals. Upon failure to meet consensus, Agriterra reserves the right to negotiate other contenders following the order of highly ranked scores meeting the average from 70% score combining both scores for technical + financial proposals analysis. 

IX. Minimum Requirements for the Bidding Consulting Firm

  • Must be a reputable firm with experience of 5 years at least operating in Rwanda. Individual consultants need not apply.
  • Having accomplished at least 3 similar assignments in the last 5 years, proven by certificates of good completion.
  • Only locally registered firms in Rwanda are eligible to apply.
  • Extensive understanding Rwanda’s agriculture context, and challenges of different agricultural production systems and value chains with special attention given to rural development and small holder farmer development.
  • Sound understanding of social-economic thematic and development issues with gender mainstreaming and climate change considerations and proven knowledge of value-chain, market systems, and strategies for inclusive business intervention.
  • Significant expertise in the area research and studies design and implementation for agricultural development programs.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing high quality baseline studies, training staff, capacity building, advanced quantitative & qualitative data analysis and reporting.
  • Demonstrated understanding of approaches to measuring the results and effects of pilot implementation, business performance and community strengthening and capacity building activities through training and coaching.
  • Demonstrated ability to influence decision-making for data-driven project steering.
  • Demonstrated practical knowledge and application of digital analysis and data collection tools in M&E (i.e. Stata, Survey CTO).
  • Expertise in creating M&E dashboards.
  • Existing database of qualified and experienced field enumerators.
  • Knowledge of the current requirements, trends and approaches to research, baseline studies design and implementation.
  • Possession of GIS software and related tools + technical team to conduct the GIS assignment.
  • Experience of work with donor funded projects is an asset.
  • Existing knowledge on the out-grower service company model will be an advantage.

IX.1 Minimum Requirements for the key experts 

A minimum of 4 experts will be required to conduct this assignment. Below table indicates the team composition, qualifications and experiences required.

Baseline and GIS survey team

Expert titles

Qualification

Experience

Team leader and focal person

 At least Master’s degree in Economics, Agriculture, Development Studies, Statistics

  • More than 10 years’ experience in designing and monitoring programmes both in the agriculture sectors and for donor agencies.
  •  Knowledge of Theory of Change, result frameworks and logframes is crucial for this role.
  • Knowledge of monitoring and evaluation methodology with examples of similar projects conducted in Rwanda
  •  Knowledge of the out-grower services company model would be an added advantage

Senior M&E Expert

At least a Master’s degree in Economics, Agriculture, Development Studies, Statistics

  •  At least 10 years’ experience in the design, execution and analysis of primary (Surveys, focus group discussions, Key informant interviews) and secondary data (database mining and analysis) collection tools
  •  Experience in the design and implementation of baseline surveys
  •  Experience in the use of GIS to collect data in baseline surveys
  •  Experience in analysis of data from field surveys for specific monitoring and evaluation of programmes
  • Experience in the analysis of GIS Data to feed into the baseline dataset

Data collection officer

Bachelors’ degree in Economics, Agriculture, Development Studies, Statistics

  • At least 5 years’ experience in organising primary data collection programmes
  • Examples of primary data collection surveys implemented over the last three years
  • Experience in using GIS tools and software in collecting data
  • Experience using electronic data collection tools and software

Junior data analyst

Bachelors’ degree in Economics, Agriculture, Development Studies, Statistics

  • At least 3 years’ experience in cleaning and analysing field datasets
  • Examples of primary data collections surveys conducted
  • Experience in using electronic data collection tools and software
  • Experience in using GIS tools and software in collecting data

 This assignment is expected to span over 12 weeks upon the contract signature. The anticipated date of commencement is (07/06/2021). The final report is expected to be submitted by (15/09/2021).

 XI. Reporting & contract management

The firm shall expect to share the progress report on monthly basis until completion of this assignment. The final reports are to be addressed to the country representative of Agriterra Rwanda, who is also the contract manager for this assignment.

The contract manager shall have the following responsibilities:

  • To provide necessary information and any other facilitation as provided in the contract to enable the contracted firm to execute the assignment.
  • Evaluate and validate the quality of service delivered by the firm.

XII. Proposal Due Date and Submission Procedures

The technical and financial proposals are to be submitted separately in closed envelopes.  The submission of proposals will be done from 10th May 2021 – 12th May 2021 within working hours (8h30 AM-4h30 PM). However, the firms which already submitted their proposals may start visiting Agriterra office to make modifications starting from 23rd April 2021 but they remain subjected to the same deadline as other applicants. The deadline of submitting proposals for all bidders is 12th May 2021 at 4h30 PM and proposals deposited after deadline won’t be considered. The proposals are to be submitted in physical copies at Agriterra offices with the address: Agriterra Rwanda KG 622 St, Fairview Building, 3rd floor Kimihurura, Kigali.

Each sealed envelope containing the proposal shall mention whether it is a Technical or financial proposal; the name of the Applying firm, its address and code number: ATRW 8706BAGI.

PS: Electronic submission is not allowed