Terms of Reference – Baseline study on table tomatoes in Zimbabwe under Seeds2B Project


Availability of quality improved seed varieties is one of the greatest constraints facing agricultural growth in Africa. Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) urgently need reliable access to, and supply of improved seed to increase agricultural productivity. The majority of farmers rely on the informal system for seed and planting material and  this is often recycled “seed” that is usually grain from preceding harvests. The result has been persistently low yields. Further, inefficiencies in the formal seed sector in SSA sometimes results in low quality seeds reaching the market, thus discouraging their use by farmers. In many cases the seed is not available and if available is unaffordable, or gets to the farmers late in the planting season resulting in low return on investment in the seed. Farmers are simply not aware that there are good quality seeds available that can improve productivity and some are ignorant about the importance of using improved varieties.

These challenges have resulted in many farmers not planting improved seed and instead opting to lower their risk by using farm saved seed, This farm saved seed is generally genetically impure resulting in, low yielding, and susceptible to disease and pests. The seed sector in SSA is still evolving and would benefit from interventions that enhance access of quality seed by farmers.

The Seeds2B project

The Seeds2B initiative facilitates the transfer of better-performing, locally adapted and market-appropriate crop cultivars developed by public and private breeders based in Africa and globally to smallholders in SSA. The initiative applies scalable business models to link technology owners with appropriate seed based innovations to competent local seed enterprises interested in expanding their product portfolios. Seeds2B consequently aims to contribute towards sustainable enhancements in smallholder productivity, ensuring monetary and/or non-monetary returns to public and private funded crop breeding initiatives and enhancing business performance in SSA’s seed sector. The Seeds2B initiative is part of Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture’s (SFSA) seeds program. Since 2013, SFSA and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) have been co-implementing Seeds2B in SSA.

Project scope

The project is designed to cover a number of SSA countries but currently focuses on Malawi and Zimbabwe. The project focuses on technologies dealing with a variety of crops with a keen interest on the non-core (orphan) crops, which may have been neglected by formal seed systems. Cash crops such as high value vegetables, also offer considerable opportunities.

Baseline study for the Seeds2B Project

The project has made considerable traction in testing for improved tomato varieties in Zimbabwe. The aim of the study is to provide baseline information that would set the basis for measuring progress and impact of the project on the livelihoods of the target population. The general objective of this assignment is to carry out a baseline study in Zimbabwe assessing the current status current status of livelihoods within the targeted project areas by looking at various indicators of livelihoods such as household demographics; access to land; input use and crop production; decision-making process in farming; use of improved tomato varieties; vulnerability; capital assets; and livelihood strategies and outcomes and in addition explore opportunities and constraints affecting maize production in the project areas. The resultant baseline report will cover the entire value chain thus providing a benchmark for impact assessment in future based on the Project’s objectives.  

AATF therefore wishes to identify a consultant to assist in conducting the baseline study.

Specifically the Terms of References for this assignment are:

  1. Map out all key players along the whole table tomato value chain, identifying their roles, socio economic characteristics and influence within the market
  2. Assess data and information on tomato value chain with respect to seed importation/ production as well as delivery systems including marketing, distribution and utilisation in Zimbabwe
  3. Assess data and information on tomato value chain with respect to fruit production, marketing, distribution (local and international) and consumption in Zimbabwe
  4. Conduct cost benefit and break even analysis for local tomato varieties in the market compared to prospective commercial leads (improved seeds) identified by the Project for different value chain players
  5. Identify gaps, challenges, risks and opportunities within the value chain

Specific tools of the study will be developed in close consultation with the Seeds2B project team to ensure detailed coverage of all objectives. Relevant literature will also be provided to the consultant for secondary data.


  1. A study inception report to be submitted one month after awarding the consultancy
  2. A draft baseline report to be submitted two weeks before the lapse of the contract (not more than 40 single spaced pages). The report must incorporate the following:   
  • Well referenced literature about tomato production, distribution and marketing in Zimbabwe.
  • Well analyzed and presented data (charts and graphs).
  • Present clear performance indicators to track the expected benefits in the monitoring and evaluation system
  • All terms of references covered in detail
  1. The data collection tools used, raw data and analyzed data in soft copy including database tables as collected and captured in electronic format using an agreed upon database management software.
  2. A final report containing the main findings of the survey and recommendations, taking into account input from AATF.

Final reports will be scanned for plagiarism when submitted.


  1. The consultant should possess minimum Master degree in Agricultural Economics or any other related field.
  2. Diverse understanding and clear knowledge of agricultural production and challenges in the African context, specifically Zimbabwe.
  3. Extensive experience in carrying out complex agricultural field based surveys.
  4. Experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection analysis using statistical software.
  5. High degree of independence, flexibility and ability to meet strict deadlines.
  6. Excellent communication and writing skills.
  7. Experience working and knowledge in Zimbabwe’s seed systems will be an added advantage


Interested consultants should submit detailed technical and financial proposals (not more than 5 pages) covering:

  1. Capacity statement
  2. Demonstrated understanding of the terms of reference
  3. Proposed methodology
  4. A detailed work plan
  5. A detailed financial proposal

The proposal should be accompanied by the below as annexes:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two reference letters from recent clients with contact details of the referees.


The time period to complete this assessment begins no later than 7 May 2017 and ends on 31 July 2017.


Applications should be submitted to AATF Procurement Officer at: procurement@aatf-africa.org by COB 28 of April 2017 with the subject head ‘Seeds2B Tomato Baseline Study Application’; Proposals should clearly indicate how the consultant fits the qualifications and experience, and how the terms of reference will be achieved, and budget estimates.


Job Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 28, 2017

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