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Consultant-Rice Value Chain Development Project-Sierra Leone

Term of Reference
Rice Value Chain Analysis Update Assessment and Final Evaluation of the Project.
Rice Value Chain Development Project
CARE- Sierra Leone

CARE International in Sierra Leone (hereinafter referred to as CARE) has had an established office in Sierra Leone since October 1961, initially focusing on improving child nutritional status through school feeding programs and later implementing basic infrastructure projects. More recently, CARE’s programming has focused on improving agriculture, water and sanitation, and public health systems.

The Country Office’s long-range mission statement is to address the root causes of poverty and suffering through capacity building, advocacy, and partnership so that vulnerable, disadvantaged, and marginalized people are empowered to participate effectively in achieving livelihood security and realizing their right to live with dignity. To contribute to the over all mission commitment, CARE Sierra Leone implemented several projects. For instance, the EC funded Sustainable Agriculture Development Project (SADev) in Koinadugu District is supporting organizational development of Farmer Associations (FAs) to increase their yields through improved Inland Valley Swamps (IVS) cultivation; the Howard G Buffet Foundation Conservation Agriculture Project (CAP) also working with FAs in Koinadugu District to adopt conservation agriculture techniques in a bid to conserve and improve productivity of the land; the USAID projects, Livelihood Expansion and Assets Development (LEAD) and Promoting Linkages for Livelihood Security and Economic Development (LINKS) worked towards setting up of Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and to help them improve farming techniques etc.

CARE has experience on establishing 93 farmer field schools (FFS) and 120 farmer associations (FAs) in Northern region. FFS and FAs are receptive to a market-led approach and have been trained in marketing concept; able to familiarize with market, the price fluctuations and to some extent access to market information and having negotiation skill. The Rice Value Chain Development Project built on the progress made by these projects in setting up the farmer associations, in supporting their organizational development and helping the farmer associations to improve their farming and marketing techniques, by taking them to the next step by facilitating improvement in quality of product and adding value through engaging in product value chain activities and marketing of their product.

The Value Chain Development Project:

The Rice Value Chain Project, a European Commission funded 22 month project started in December 16, 2010 with the aim of improved food and nutrition security and increased income which could be achieved through more efficient production and marketing practices supported through value chain promotion.
The Project worked on identifying opportunities to increase the profitability of rice production by:
? Reducing costs, this is about improving productivity, mainly through efficient utilization of inputs (seeds in particular) and reducing post harvest losses (improved techniques).
? Improving bargaining position through group marketing and rice quality.
? Added value mainly through access to improved knowledge and linkages.
? Providing training and exposure to improved agricultural practices and market linkages

Main actors for the rice value chain include: Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), Ministry of Agriculture Forestry Food Security extension agents, transporters, traders and input suppliers. CARE conducted discussions with most of those actors and they expressed an enthusiasm in engaging in rice value chain development. Other key stakeholders included national level bodies (such as the National Farmers’ Association, Chamber of Commerce, Sierra Leone Business Forum and Sierra Leone Indigenous Business Association) which are involved in agriculture and food security issues. Besides the projects been implemented by CARE , other key stakeholders included projects funded by FAO , and those funded by African Development Bank, US-AID (PAGE). After an analysis of opportunities and bottlenecks in the rice chain , the following expected results (ER), main outputs and activities were implemented to achieve the specific objective of this action.

? Sustainable access to suitable seeds to 2,400 farmers / rice producers through partnership between FAs, private sector and Sierra Leone Agriculture Research Institute (SLARI)
? Enhanced agriculture-based services in rice value chain through development of sustainable and suitable for fee services to rice growers for post harvesting quality control, drying and packaging
? Design a solid business model to convince identified investors to build storage facilities associated with credit inventory service to farmers in remote areas and help them to develop their businesses.
? Strengthened linkages between farmers/producers and their nearest storage point and with importers and exporters, World Food Programme (WFP)/Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme and foreign brokers to research the best market for rice

Scope of work
ice is the main staple food for Sierra Leoneans but production doesn’t satisfy demand. Similarly, areas that produce enough rice find it difficult to access the main provincial towns. Therefore, the country is obliged to import rice especially to feed the Freetown population. Rice production culminated at 875,000 mt in 2006 before falling to 637,983 tons in 2007. The main problems identified with rice production by CARE are: 1) the poor quality of seeds leading to poor yields, 2) lack of post harvesting quality control, 3) lack of post harvest services such as rice mills, collection and, 4) lack of organized distribution channels.
The purpose of this assignment is to conduct a comprehensive rice value chain analysis update and assessment in the three targeted districts (Bombali, Koinadugu and Tonkolili) with special emphasis on gender analysis to the standard mapping of the rice value chain and the final evaluation of the RVCD Project. Critical steps are (i) to enquire about the relative proportions of women and men at each node and (ii) to ask about who makes the transactions between nodes. This work can be complemented by further investigation into wage differentials between women and men at each node, and between nodes. The assessment will also draw up diagrams with information on how and where the most vulnerable groups participate in the rice value chain.

Objectives of the Assessment:

To conduct Final evaluation of the project with specific attention to comprehensive Rice Value Chain updates assessment

The specific tasks of the consultant:

• Review different reference materials such as CARE RVCD Project Proposal, different reports, recent rice value chain study conducted by Action Aid, gender related reports etc.

• If needed In collaboration with DM&E Unit, lead both the quantitative and qualitative data collection – this includes: training of evaluation team on the tools/questionnaire and supervise data collection

• Design data entry screen using preferred software, supervise data entry, and conduct data cleaning and data analysis.

• Identify feasible opportunities for further improving and developing the rice value chain
• Advise on possible further actions.

• Conduct a debriefing with stakeholders on the main findings of the assessment and final project evaluation.

• Upon completion of the assignment, the consultant will submit the completed Rice Value Chain studies and project evaluation report to Project Manager for approval.

Time frame
Assignment period: starting from September 20 to October 10th 2011.
The Consultant shall complete the assessment and submit report within thirty (20) days after signing the consultancy contract.

Tentative timeframe of the assessment exercise is outlined below (negotiable):
Activity Responsibility Date/duration
Review relevant documents, develop tools Consultant and PM 1st week
Train staff/enumerator Consultant 2nd week
Conduct assessment Consultant 3rd week
Prepare draft report Consultant
Share findings with Country Office and other stakeholders Consultant 4th week
Submit final report Consultant


• RVC Project Final evaluation report
• Value Chain assessment report

Qualifications and Experiences

• Post graduate degree in Agro- Economics or other related field
• Good knowledge in Agricultural research and analysis in rice value chain
• Technical M&E skills (including designing and conducting assessment survey, data analysis using statistical packages such as SPSS and Excel, report writing)
• Extensive experience and demonstrated track record in handling similar assignments
• Good facilitation skills
• Familiarity with the development landscape of rural communities in the Northern region of Sierra Leone is an advantage.

Payment Method

The consultancy will cost a lump sum of EUR xxxx. (to be determined). CARE will provide a daily local per diem subject to CARE SL’s approved per diem rate, transportation and accommodation if required.

Administrative support:
RVCD Project Manager will be responsible for day-to-day supervision of the consultant’s work with technical guidance from DME Coordinator who will ensure relevance and appropriateness of research methodology, tools and sampling.
The consultant shall receive administrative support from CARE as reasonably needed such as photocopying, Internet connection, movement etc.

Manner of payment
The Consultant shall receive payment upon submission of all the key deliverables specified above with the approval of the RVCD Project Manager. 

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