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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.
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:
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.
Final reports will be scanned for plagiarism when submitted.
Interested consultants should submit detailed technical and financial proposals (not more than 5 pages) covering:
The proposal should be accompanied by the below as annexes:
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: email@example.com 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.