Consultancy - Value chain study on Traditional African Vegetables

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Contract
  • Contract type: Consultancy contract

Company Description

SNV is a not-for-profit international development organization that applies practical know-how to make a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty. We use our extensive and long-term in-country presence to apply and adapt our top-notch expertise in agriculture, energy and WASH to local contexts. SNV has an annual turnover of €130 million, over 1,250 staff in more than 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are proud to be a not-for-profit organization that uses project financing to implement our mission. This requires us to work efficiently and to invest in operational excellence.

In agriculture, we work with partners, including private- and public-sector actors, to take up and implement the use of successful processes, technologies, and models. We focus on smallholder farmers willing and able to implement farming-as-a-business, as well as the small and medium agricultural enterprises that are essential to transforming agricultural value chains. We support systems change and develop markets so that they function more effectively, sustainably, and beneficially for people living in poverty, building their capacities to improve their lives. Important elements are a system’s change perspective, a focus on sustainability and a continuation of market services, facilitating changes that improve adaptive intervention and the way markets work.

For more information on our operations in Kenya and SNV generally visit our website: www.snv.org

Project background

The Veggies 4 Planet & People (V4P&P) is a five-year, project being implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) with the support of the IKEA Foundation. The project is implemented in two countries: Ethiopia and Kenya.

The overall project objectives are:

  • To create jobs and income, particularly for youth and women, in the vegetable sector in Ethiopia and Kenya
  • To improve environmental and human health through safe production of vegetables.

In Kenya, the project aims to achieve this by establishing 120 vegetable business networks to engage an estimated 2,400 women and youth in market activities designed to improve their livelihoods and diets.

The V4P&P project has four main outcome areas:

  1. Identification, assessment and strengthening of Vegetable Business Networks (VBNs)
  2. Promotion of use of regenerative and circular technologies in vegetable production
  3. Building of strong commercial vegetable seed systems
  4. Awareness and demand creation for sustainable technologies, business services, seeds, other inputs, and safe vegetables and vegetable products.

The project uses an action-oriented approach in which new tools and technologies are developed, piloted, and scaled through Vegetable Business Networks (VBNs). VBNs are groups of people that are formed around an existing vegetable business champion who engage in collective action to access information, training, financial- or other services, input- or output markets, or enter a vegetable business together. The VBNs will be supported by the project through training and coaching services. The project will design, pilot and scale innovative regenerative vegetable production and post-harvest technologies.

Value chain development will particularly emphasize Traditional African Vegetables (TAVs) as they are in increasing demand by urban consumers, create excellent business opportunities, and are easier to grow in regenerative ways.  The project will focus on markets for urban consumers in Nairobi and Kisumu and will connect producers to these consumers within a maximum radius of 120 km.

The project will prioritize the following crops: African nightshade, Amaranth (Amaranth spp.), Kale (Brassica oleracea), Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata), Cowpea leaves (Vigna unguiculata), Pumpkin leaves and fruits (Cucurbita moschata), Slender leave (Crotalaria brevidens),Jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius), Swiss chard, spinach (Beta vulgaris),Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), Onion (Allium sepa) and Pepper (Capsicum annuum)

Regenerative technologies to be prioritized will be use of biopesticides, natural pesticides, beneficial microbes, biochar, contour grass or shrub strips, erosion control barriers), compost production and application, cover or fodder crops, crop rotation, integration of crops & animals, disease resistant or tolerant varieties, drip irrigation, water harvesting, mulching, pollinator habitats, beehives, or wildlife habitat, recycling of on-farm biomass, riparian restoration, solar or wind energy production and use and tree/shrub establishment.

Job Description

Assignment - Consultancy services for Traditional African Vegetables value chain study in Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Machakos, Kisumu, Vihiga, Kakamega counties.

To properly guide the vegetable value chain development in the target areas, it is necessary to conduct a value chain study that seeks to understand production characteristics of producers, availability and type of markets and the relationship with producers as well as the roles of stakeholders in the enabling environment, rules and regulations, policies and standards set by the government affecting the vegetable value chain and identification of opportunities for youth and women to increase their incomes.

Considering this, SNV Kenya is looking for a qualified consultant/firm who can conduct the value chain study within the stated area and produce excellent reports.

The overall purpose of the assignment at large is to have comprehensive value chain study which will guide the project implementation. The specific purpose of this assignment is

  1. To select viable vegetable value chains in the regions of focus and analyse their potential in terms of production, irrigation facilities, availability of market and demand from consumers.
  2. To identify existing Vegetable Business Network actors, their relationships and entry points in development of functional and sustainable VBNs
  3. Identify and assess the existing regenerative/circular technologies adopted by producers and practiced and potential ones to be promoted
  4. Assess the enabling environment surrounding the vegetable value chain including but not limited to extension providers, government interventions, development partners and their projects, rules and regulations, informal rules and norms etc.

The consultant(s) will conduct rapid assessment, develop selection criteria to select three to four viable vegetable commodities from the prioritized crops and conduct detail analysis for each commodity. Then, recommendations will be forwarded for the selected commodities, based on the identified gaps and proposed solutions and strategies

The consultant is also expected to develop a robust value chain study methodology and analysis plan to assess the potential for increasing income opportunities, enhancing market competitiveness, employment creation, empowerment of rural youth & women, and fulfilling the quality standard requirements of buyers. The consultant will evaluate the value chain development potentials of smallholder farmers, youth and women entrepreneurs. The study methodology and analysis plan will follow a market led-development approach and incorporate the key pillars of a standard value chain study methodology. The final report containing study and data collection methodology; value chain mapping; analysis of opportunities and constraints and the details of the value chain of the selected commodities along with detailed intervention plans and strategies is expected from the assignment.     

Scope of the study

Using a Food Systems lens, the consultant(s) will cover the following components:

1.    Value chain mapping

  • Map out all the value chain actors in the vegetable value chain from production all the way to consumption
  • Conduct vegetable value chain analysis incorporating all elements of the food system such as the business services, food supply system, enabling environment e.g using PESTEL, SWOT etc
  • Identify potential Vegetable Business Network actors in each target area, building on the preliminary characterization that SNV has already conducted.

2.    Production

  • Identify the key TAVs grown in the target counties and prioritize using a set criterion
  • Identify access and availability of inputs
  • Conduct analysis on production and productivity of the TAVs by producers in these regions keeping in mind seasonality of production
  • Analyse production practices with specific emphasis on regenerative technologies in production of TAVs
  • Analyse availability and use of irrigation facilities/ potential of irrigation in the production of TAVs
  • Conduct gross margin analysis on the priority TAVs in the specific target counties
  • Explore post-harvest practices at producer level
  • Highlight opportunities for youth and women for employment and increase in incomes

3.    Markets

  • Identify aggregators/ buyers working in the region and the relationships they have with producer organisations
  • Analyse market trends the target counties, and in Nairobi and Kisumu Cities.
  • Analyse existing market outlets and opportunities for safe vegetables that have not been sprayed with chemical, or where pesticide residues are strictly monitored below internationally considered safe levels (e.g. CODEX Alimentarius), or vegetables that are safe in terms of microbial or heavy metal contamination. Examples: farmer markets, organic shops, community supported agriculture, etc.
  • Identify availability of aggregation centres specifically for vegetables in the counties
  • Categorize markets from those at farm level to last mile distributors to consumers including online markets and the forms of TAVs sold
  • Categorize TAVs according to different targeted markets
  • Highlight opportunities for youth and women for employment and increase in incomes

4.    Consumption

  • Analyse demand for TAVs at local level in target counties and Nairobi and Kisumu markets and the market preferences by consumers in those target areas.
  • Assess consumer willingness to pay for trustworthy and safe vegetables.
  • Highlight strategies that would be within the reach of this project to spur demand of TAVs.

5.    Enabling environment

  • Analysis of the supporting functions in the TAV value chain such input suppliers, financial service providers, infrastructure, skills and technologies, related service providers,
  • Investigate the rules and regulations, informal rules norms, standards governing the TAV value chain
  • Analysis development partners, research institutions, CBOs, local institutions, national and county government projects in the counties focusing on TAVs and or promotion of use of regenerative technologies 

Cross cutting issues

Recognizing that youth and women are key target beneficiaries in this project, the consultant will ensure gender and youth roles are clearly highlighted in value chain analysis. A special effort will be made to ensure the study investigates economic and social cultural issues affecting youth and women and bring out entry points and opportunities in each component. 

Key Deliverables from the consultant

1.     Inception report within 7 calendar days of signing the contract with, but not limited to:

  • Literature review from previous value chain studies and reports from stakeholders
  • Data collection instruments

2.     Value chain analysis report including raw data (qualitative and quantitative)

3.     Conduct a validation workshop with stakeholders to validate findings of the study

4.     Final report with incorporated comments from SNV, WorldVeg and key stakeholders from the validation workshop. The final report will be submitted in hard and soft copy

Information generated from different sources should be triangulated for consistency and validity. 

Qualifications

The following are the required competencies and qualification requirements of the consultants:

  • The consultancy firm must have conducted similar exercise in the recent past in sector/market analysis of value chains, deploying qualified sector specialists with experience and substantial record in the vegetable value chains.
  • Profound previous work on agriculture value chain analysis; experience in design of value-chains development
  • Sound analytical and technical competence in the subject matter
  • Proven experience in working with relevant actors in the vegetable value chains 
  • Knowledge of and contacts of the major value chain actors and supporters in the respective value chain both locally and nationally.
  • Ability to follow strict time frame
  • Integrity, timeliness, openness to learn, willingness to have long term engagement with SNV Kenya

Selection Criteria

Interested consulting firms would be assessed against the following criteria each weighted by relative level of importance:

Technical Expertise:  (70%)

Financial proposal (30%)

Total Points: (100%)

Additional Information

Individuals and consultancy firms.

Tentative schedule for the assignment

The assignment is expected to be completed in 30 days between March 2021 and April 2021

Activities  and Number of days

Methodology and checklist development - 5 days

Data gathering (primary and secondary-where necessary) - 15 days

Data Analysis and report writing and presentation - 10 days

Total # of days - 30 days

Application process

For consultant(s) interested to bid for the assignment, they are required to submit one proposal incorporating the following in an expression of interest:

Part A: Technical proposal

  • Understanding of the assignment and its tasks
  • Methodology and approach to be used
  • Operational plan within the designated timeline
  • Where team of consultants are bidding, an outline of the team that will implement the work, with CVs for key personnel and clearly specified roles for each team member (if more than one team member is involved in the process).
  • Past performance references: References should be in tabular form, relate to prior similar assignments and include email and telephone numbers and services provided. This section should not be more than one page.

Part B: Financial proposal

Including an outline, the total cost including notes relevant to the assignment:

  • All costs that pertain to conducting the value chain study including transport and accommodation, stationery, communication etc.
  • Consultancy fees inclusive of all taxes- VAT inclusive (please note that under Kenyan law, a Withholding Tax and paid directly to the Kenya Revenue Authority by SNV.
  • PIN certificate

PART C: Samples of value chain studies conducted in the last 2 years.

Please apply by clicking on the I’m Interested button and complete your application in our in-house recruitment system before 16th March 2021. Please attach the required documents including Technical and Financial proposals. 

Applications submitted without the required attachments will be disqualified.

NB:

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

We do not appreciate third-party mediation based on this advertisement.

SNV Kenya does not require you to undergo any medical test prior to employment

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