Aga Khan Foundation
Terms of Reference

Consultant to Study 
Rice, pulses, horticulture, sunflower, and poultry marketing actors, their relationships and opportunities for strengthening linkages

1.0 Background/Introduction

The Coastal Rural Support Programme Tanzania CRSP(T) is a multi-input area development initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), in collaboration with the Government of Tanzania, under the MKUKUTA poverty alleviation programme with the overall goal: to improve the quality of life and social well-being of 60,000 households in Lindi and Mtwara Regions (covering nine districts) through sustainable socio-economic interventions in food security, income generation, health, and education. CRSP(T) provides long-term support to rural communities in the two southern Tanzania coastal regions of Lindi and Mtwara. Its economic sector programme started out with two areas of focus: rural development (rice, sesame, conservation agriculture) using a market-based approach through the Food Security and Incomes (FSI) project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID); and access to finance through Community Based Savings Groups (CBSGs) funded by the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) and it now includes Horticulture funded by the European Union. 

Through CRSP(T), AKF initiated and implemented a number of market development initiatives across rice, sesame and horticulture value chains Farmers established producer marketing groups (PMG’s) which are serving as a hub for collective mechanisms, finding appropriate markets for their produce as well as   developing market linkages and vertical relationships with relevant actors in the value chains. Although AKF facilitated formation of PMGs for the sake of enhancing producers access to markets effectively, not all of them are gaining their members; the present market operations are disorganized, un-transparent and fragmented, characterized by lack of information, unstructured pricing, poor post-harvest infrastructures, missing links and hostile relationships among actors in some instances.  It is still a challenge for the farmers to link to the major markets, understand the demand and access the necessary support to meet the demand.

AKF seeks to engage a consulting individuals or firm on the assignment to undertake an in-depth assessment of the marketing actors, their relationships, opportunities and provide recommendations on how to support the market in Lindi, Mtwara, and beyond to function more efficiently for the small holder.

2.0       Intervention Objectives

The major purpose of this study is to map out the current marketing actors and their relationships from the farmers/farmer groups to the end buyer/consumer in Lindi and Mtwara along rice, pulses, poultry, sunflower, and horticulture value chains, assess their effectiveness and existing opportunities so as to identify and provide recommendations for improvement of the systems and growth of the smallholder farmer.

The intervention has the following specific objectives:-

i. Identify existing market actors along grains, pulses, poultry, sunflower, and horticulture value chains and describe their current roles in the marketing process. Use illustrations to describe the flow and roles played by each actor; ii. Assess and analyse their business relationships and existing linkages along the chain; iii. Establish which actors between the producers and the end buyer/consumers play central roles and catalyse other players. Identify  players that have authority, control and what  their gains are; iv. Assess physical infrastructure that are critical to facilitate the marketing transactions along the selected value chains. (Types, conditions, ownership, costs related to access and relevance);
v. Assess and identify the motivation of each of the actors in the system; vi. Assess the existing mechanisms that are used to channel information among various actors along the value chains, examine their effectiveness and propose areas of improvements; vii. Assess the forms of financing that is being accessed by the market actors and those that are available but not accessed and why;
viii.            Identify main end/consumer markets linked to the Lindi and Mtwara agriculture produce and their share in-terms of volumes traded per year for the selected value chains;
ix.                Assess the challenges and experiences that various marketing actors face during engaging with farmer related marketing groups and suggest recommendations for improvement.

3.0       Expected Deliverables

The consultant/s will produce the following deliverables:
       Inception report to be presented to the market development team before commencement of the assignment during an inception meeting;
       Set of tools to be used during the study. These will be jointly assessed and refined so as to ensure efficiency;
       Well- structured detailed study report after completion of the assignment based on the literature review and field assessment. 
       Recommendations and proposed model that AKF can adapt to enhance the relationships amongst market actors for effective marketing systems of agriculture produce. 

4.0       Approach and Methodology

The consultant is expected to undertake the study through both primary data collection by engaging participatory field assessment with pre-identified marketing actors along the rice, pulses and horticulture value chains as well as complementing with secondary data collection from the pre-existing sources. AKF shall support the consultants by providing information and linkages with known marketing actors; however the consultants are not expected to be limited to AKF partners only. Structured interviews, Focus Group Discussions as well rapid assessment will be part of the consultants’ study methodologies. The consultant will also ensure constant updating and engagement of AKF’s market development team of the progress of the study so as to ensure support at all times. 

  5.0 Consultant Qualifications

AKF is seeking to engage a consulting firm or individual consultant or team of consultants with the following qualifications and experience:-

       At least master’s degree for lead consultants (in relevant field of study)
       Proven experience in undertaking similar assignments (market assessments and value chain analysis in the Tanzania rural context). Evidence will be required for applying consultants/firms.
       Experience working in sectors around agriculture and value chain development
       Strong knowledge and connections with SME and companies in the relevant sectors.
       Proven skills, experience with examples in developing working marketing models for agricultural produce in rural settings.
       Fluent spoken and written English essential and fluent spoken Swahili desired.
       Ability to work and stay within Lindi and Mtwara region up to 75% of time during period of implementation.
       A good understanding on the trends and issues in agriculture markets sector in Tanzania.

6.0       Support

The consultant/s will be supported by AKF’s Market Development and Monitoring and Evaluation teams, which will ensure that all available and relevant background materials are provided and that initial logistics are arranged. Where possible, during execution of activities, AKF team members will join the consultant/s to ensure transfer of AKF-contextual information, ownership and uptake of learning by AKF. The consultant/s will have full responsibility for the undertaking of the contracted duties. 

7.0       Duration of the Assignment 

The study assignment is expected to be undertaken in March 2016 and will be completed after final report being submitted to AKF. AKF may extend the assignment period based on the needs.

8.0   Mode of Application

Interested candidates should submit detailed proposal, describing their understanding of the assignment, study approach and methodology. The applicants’ relevant experience on similar assignments should clearly outlined; If a team of consultants are making a submission, CVs for each member of the team should be included. Submissions in PDF format should be sent by email to not later than Friday 4th March 2016.