SLP DB UI: Projects – Proposals – Increasing SHF productivity – Agrifrontier

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Vanilla Value Chain: Increasing Smallholder Farmer Productivity – Tanzania


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Project name: Vanilla Value Chain: Increasing Smallholder Farmer Productivity – Tanzania

Name of submitting organization: Agri Frontier East Africa Limited

Proposed skill contributions:
• Legal and Institutional Due Diligence, Risk Analysis/Policy Analysis
• Stakeholder Mapping and Stakeholder/Community Consultation
• Community Capacity Building
• Social Impact Assessment and Mitigation
• Gender Impact Assessment / Gender Analysis
• Outgrower Support and Engagement,Monitoring and Evaluation
• Negotiations and Agreements

Proposed partners: Farm Concern International Farm Concern International, FCI, a leading Agri-Markets Development Agency undertakes market research, smallholder commercialization, private sector investment analysis, technical assistance and is a key market systems direct implementation partner. In Tanzania, FCI operations were started in 2007 and by 2019 had implemented 24 programmes and conducted 22 Market Researches & Value Chain Analysis ranging from horticulture, staples, livestock to agro-processed products. Their experiential journey spans over almost a decade and a half, with scaling up having been rolled out in over 24 countries in Africa, impacting 18 million smallholder farmers and agro-pastoralists. FCI’s role will be our eyes and ears on the ground. Their extensive experience working with small holder farmers in Tanzania, long term connections with local and national Tanzanian government authorities and private sector makes them ideal partners to assist in understanding the needs and expectations of the small holders farmers. Farm Concern works with the Tanzanian Government (Agriculture Dept and Community Development Dept.) very closely since first opening their Tanzanian office in 2007. In mid-January, Farm Concern was part of an organising committee with the Government and organised an NGO Forum in Arusha. In Shinyanga province, Tanzania, Farm Concern is closely affiliated with the District Administrator and provides a monthly update. FCI have offices in Arusha and Kahama since 2007 and have extensive experience in training SHFs in padi, sorgum, sunflower, cassava, horticulture and fruits. They have also set up a one stop eco center in Kahama to serve as a center of knowledge sharing and network building. In addition to truly understanding local farmer needs by developing training material in the local dialects, using video and audio and training village champions to enhance long term capacity

Background: Agri Frontier Limited is an agri investment and agri-business advisory firm specialised in helping to create world class farming and integrated agribusinesses across the value chain, with a focus on frontier markets, particularly Africa. Agri Frontier works to provide innovative solutions and true value-added services to investors, and businesses operating in the Agri sector in diverse environments and situations. We provide the following key services: 
• Development of strategy and business plans
• Feasibility studies
• Identification of investment opportunities within the agricultural sector for a range of investors
• Assisting businesses to become ‘investment ready’ (expansion capital or outright sale) in order to raise finance (grant, debt and equity), and support thereof
• Business Valuations
• Merger and acquisition services, including commercial due diligence & post- acquisition support

Below is a highlight of our experience that shows our capability to undertake the assignment:
• Undertook market research on smallholder dairy farmers in Limuru, Kenya as part of a feasibility to establish a dairy processing unit
• As part of our feasibility study assignments, we have been involved in the following:
   o undertaking quantitative research into various sectors/value chains for instance, tea, coffee, avocado, macadamia. 

This market research enables us to support our analysis which provides context to support the business case of individual projects o regularly train and hold seminars and workshops with our clients covering strategic business planning for their businesses. Our specialist expertise and understanding of the agri-business and food value chain enables us to act as a trusted advisor to our clients. Flagship Implementation model FCI’s strategic direction is embedded in her flagship commercial Villages Model that envisages commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized and sustainable livelihood in Africa and beyond. 

FCI team has over time developed core competences in designing business models that catalyze solutions for smallholder farmers through private sector partnerships and other value networks towards building capacity of smallholder farmers to participate in profitable commodity market segments. The solutions under the commercial villages model are designed to leverage multi-stakeholder and multi-value chain approach focusing on building robust and sustainable community trading systems. Smallholder farming systems in Sub-Saharan Africa are largely subsistence therefore commercialization and trade development is hampered by myriad of challenges including inefficiencies in the value chain as well as lack of key partnerships that deliver value to smallholder farmers. The commercial village Model is a critical pillar in village commercialization


We propose to undertake our assignment using the following approach:
Phase 1: Planning and Mobilization
Phase 2: Smallholder Farmer Market Study and Training Needs Assessment
Phase 3: Design Training Kit Framework and Piloting
Phase 4: Scaling Training Improvements


Activity 1: Inception Meeting
Description: The objective of this phase is to discuss and agree with Natural Extracts Industries (NEI) and possibly AgDevco’s Smallholder Development Unit on our proposed approach for conducting the assignment to manage expectations by all parties and mobilise all resources required.

Activity 1.1: Inception Meeting An inception meeting will be held to agree on the following:
• Clarification on expectations of all stakeholders
• Agreeing on proposed approach and timelines for the assignment
• Identification and agreement on additional stakeholders, if any, to be involved in the assignment
• Appointment of assignment co-ordinators

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks

Deliverable: Implementation Plan

Activity 2: Smallholder farmer market study
Description: Smallholder Farmer Market Study It will be important to assess various behavioural drivers which impact productivity at the vanilla farmer level. This will be crucial in the later stages of the assignment where we shall design and tailor-make a training framework suitable to the farmers. This will be done through a combination of techniques, which will include: Primary/Qualitative Research

This will entail conducting one on one Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions with targeted farmers. We will design semi-structured interview guides which will be used by our field personnel in undertaking the interviews. We will seek to understand the following, inter alia:
• Internal business processes employed by the farmers
• Yields achieved by the farmers
• Cost drivers in the vanilla farms
• Inefficiencies in farming techniques, if any
• Key challenges faced by farmers, among others Desktop/Secondary market research

This will constitute a review of secondary source materials for important statistics and information on the vanilla value chain and SHF network. This will include previous market studies prepared, information on yield and productivity levels of vanilla farming in Tanzania among others. Output: Market Study Report & MS Power-Point Presentation

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks
Deliverables: Report, Presentation

Activity 3: Training needs assessment and farmer segmentation
Description: This activity will be carried out together with the market study. The entire cycle will make use of a wide range of tools and instruments from social research (like document analysis, site visits, interviews, surveys, discussion/focus group discussion) to form a process‐driven methodology. We will employ the following approach in carrying out the Training Needs Assessment (TNA): Carry out a gap analysis

We will identify the current knowledge, skills and abilities of farmers, either through individual interviews or through focus groups. We will then compare our findings with benchmark set of skills, knowledge and abilities required for success and high productivity levels in the vanilla farms. This will provide detailed information on the training needs for further development of their capacities and be useful in the design of an appropriate training kit framework. Identify priorities and importance. We will prepare a list of needs for training and development and examine these in view of their importance to productivity levels at the farmer levels. We will determine if these needs are real and whether they are worth addressing and specify their importance and urgency. Segmentation Results of the training needs assessment will enable us to determine and segment the farmer network based on their training requirements.

Of importance will be inclusion of more women and youth in these farmers segments and design training material. We will then provide and outline of our recommendations for addressing training needs within the priority areas and based on various farmer segments as determined.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks
Deliverables: Report, Presentation

Activity 4: Define training objectives
Description: From available secondary information and one on one discussions with farmers, we will deduce training needs and develop detailed outline of the training areas.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks
Deliverables: Presentation

Activity 5: Develop training program, curriculum & material
Description: This task will involve decisions on the training program(s), curriculum & material to be used. The material will be in the form of a training manual, training guides (trainer and participants), MS power-point presentations and case studies. This will be prepared in English and translated in the local dialect to ensure that smallholder farmers are able to interact with the content and apply it in their daily activities. It will also be important to digitize the training content into video and audio material specific for various segments as determined in the previous phase. At this stage, we will also consider other forms of easier and quick dissemination of the training material to various smallholder farmers. We will present the training program, material and methodology for approval NEI and AgDevco so that the training will be relevant to all the participants.

Duration: 2 – <4 weeks
Deliverables: Report

Activity 6: Conduct pilot training exercise
Description: It will be important to carry out a pilot training exercise to establish the following:
• Confirm if we are ready for a full-scale implementation of the training exercise and enable us to determine if any adjustments are required on the training program
• Presents an opportunity to gauge the target audience’s reaction to the program
• Assist in making better decisions on how to allocate time and resources on various aspects of the training content
• Ensure we are well prepared to measure success of the training program. This will highlight any adjustments, if necessary, to the evaluation plan to ensure we are able to measure the desired outcomes of the training exercise We will carry out the following
• Develop a work plan and timeline to guide implementation of the training program
• Identify a suitable smallholder farmer segment (s) in each of the project locations
• Conduct an appropriate training exercise based on the needs identified during the previous phase. We will adopt a participatory approach in training which will involve the following:
  o Short presentations on the identified topic areas
  o Case study developed o Group activities
  o Plenary approach for farmers to share their experiences
• Develop a monitoring and evaluation plan/tool to capture the necessary information about impact of the training exercise, changes in attitudes, knowledge and behaviour of the participants

There will be a question and answer session at the end of every session to allow for any further clarification on a given topic. The training will be followed by a daily evaluation that will bring to focus any areas of improvement.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks
Deliverables: Presentation

Activity 7: Scaling Training Improvements
Description: Results of the previous phases will be pivotal for this phase in determining opportunities and dependencies for scaling the training programme. NEI currently sources 100% of its product inputs from more than 5,000 smallholder farmers in Tanzania and Uganda. It is expected that the training programme should reach 7,000 beneficiaries. It will be important to ensure that the farmers in Tanzania are able to access the training materials prepared and able to learn and improve their skills, knowledge and abilities. We will prepare and recommend various strategies to ensure that the training programme is able to reach the intended number of beneficiaries.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks
Deliverables: Report

Project measurables: This will include an evaluation after the training exercise as well as post-training to evaluate impact on productivity. We will measure:
• Relevance of training content to the smallholder farmers
• Increased productivity
• Improved compliance with vanilla best practices

Methods of data collection: Interviews, Focus Group Discussions

Risks in project:
• Lack of interest by smallholder farmers in the following:
  o market research on behavioural drivers
  o training needs assessment
  o pilot training exercise
• Reluctance to adopt modern farming techniques in vanilla farming
• Off farm employment for some of the vanilla farmers having a negative impact on attending the training program
• A large distance to training venue limiting the number of participants
• External factors, e.g. effects of climate change on vanilla production

Risk management strategies: We will employ the following strategies to counter the above-mentioned risks:
• Increased sensitization at the farmer level on the benefits on training on farm productivity leading to an increase in farmer income
• Involvement of local authorities at each consultation level to get early adoption/buy-in from smallholder farmers
• Show case studies on effects of adoption of modern farming techniques on farming
• Organise training activities at a venue central to farmers at each segment identified


Relevant past experience:
Project Name: Commercial Villages for Sustainable Communities in Kahama District, Tanzania


Geogrpahical Focus:

Period of activity:
THREE YEARS (2018-2020)

To improve productivity and Commercialization for smallholder farmers Main activities:
• Facilitate Partnerships with private input companies for enhanced access to quality seeds and other farm inputs
• Facilitate participatory development of Commercial Village Action plans in partnership with Village and ward leadership
• Capacity Development for Youth and Women through Pitching forums, business plans, coaching and
Mentorship on Agri-entrepreneurship

Developing private sector partnerships and enhancing access to reliable markets Main activities:
• Conduct Value Chain Analysis, Market Information, monitoring & dissemination
• Conduct viability assessment of viable Agri-Enterprise opportunities for Youth Employment and Women incomes
• Facilitate Match Making/Networking forums and Linkages with Business Services Providers – Financial institutions, equipment fabricators, skills development

Enhancing adaptation to Climate change, increase household Resilience and sustainable Natural Resource Management Main activities:
•Identification and Promotion of Water harvesting and storage Technologies to enhance households and Villages capacity to absorb shocks
• Mapping and Promotion of partnerships that enhance Irrigation Infrastructure in identified Villages
• Facilitate establishment and Management of Village Tree Nurseries for increased access to seedlings • Facilitate Forums for Dissemination of Seasonal planting Guides and Weather information dissemination service

Project: Enhancing competitiveness for smallholder value chains in informal markets through an integrated Business Model ( Seed_Farmer_Market_Consumer (SeFaMaCo Business Model)

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Kagera, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Dodoma, Morogoro, Arusha and Zanzibar


Objective 1:
To strengthen partnerships in the traditional informal markets and create market linkages with processors, open market traders and export companies for sweetpotato and banana
• Buyer partnerships in the informal and formal markets for domestic trade promotion
• Create Village business forums for buyers and producers for banana and sweetpotato to resolve conflict and create better opportunities for rural trade to flourish
• Create village processing units for farmer organizations for postharvest management and linkage with urban food distributors.

Objective 2:
Seed Systems Strengthening through decentralization of the multiplication services
• Profiling of rural seed system multipliers and capacity development to ensure production and adoption of quality declared seeds
• Linkage with research systems for production and distribution of quality basic seeds to seed multipliers
• Production and dissemination of technologies that enhance quality seed production for banana and sweetpotato

Objective 3:
Consumer Awareness and nutrition marketing
• Creation of rural consumer clubs for nutrition education and creation of awareness
• Community demonstration and creation of awareness on best practices in cooking and food preparation for better nutrition outcomes at the village level

Objective 4:
Design farmer Level Interventions that increase productivity, skills development. Access to inputs and linkages to service providers including financial services
• Farmer capacity development through the cluster formation for commercial villages
• Training and material development for enhanced skills in production and marketing of sweetpotato and banana
• Demonstration facilities within the villages for showcasing best practice in banana and sweetpotato production

Project Name: Domestic Horticultural Markets

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda & Malawi

2011- 2015

To identify, map, target and expand viable domestic market opportunities for smallholders within regional and domestic marketing systems Main activities
• Market research conducted in 45 wholesale traditional markets across the four countries leading to identification of new business
• Facilitated feedback business forums between 272 Commercial Villages and 820 traders
• Market linkages established for 349 Commercial Villages translating into USD 193,580,968 and an estimated income of USD 554,673 per commercial village

To increase competitiveness through a value chain-wide capacity building for smallholders, village sub-committees, village leaders and informal traders on business efficiency, business growth, natural resource management and commercialization.
Main activities:
• Over 394 CV farmer training forums conducted (Kenya-120, Tanzania-116, Rwanda-80 and Malawi-78) on farming business, savings, record keeping & group dynamics
• 349 Commercial villages trained on commercial village model and collective action also trained on savings, credit and record keeping
• Leadership training conducted on the roles of Sub-committees with over 47.75% women participation
• 402 CoTeFs/Commercial Village Facilitators have been trained and exposed to the markets
• 86 Market Exposure forums have been conducted for the CV farmers
• 48 commodity based trader associations trained on business skills, collective action and financial management

To develop strategic business partnerships between Commercial villages and formal buyers, traders associations and business service providers
Main activities:
• 1,368 traders identified and 126 commodity based trader associations established
• 55 formal buyers identified and 495 partnerships with informal buyers established
• 63 business support service providers identified

Key staff experience:
AgriFrontier’s team comprises of Andrew Ritchie as the deputy team lead on the entire assignment with support from Ann, George and Anu, all with Agri Frontier. In addition, we have collaborated with Farm Concern International on the assignment, and they bring in vast experience in extension services, rural economics and farming systems critical in addressing value chain-wide requirement. The combination of the consultancy team brings in a variety of experience in training and capacity building, stakeholder mapping and consultation, socio-economic assessments, monitoring and evaluation as well as an understanding of the agribusiness sector and its needs.

Winston Mwombeki, working with Farm Concern International will be the team lead for the entire assignment. FCI team has effectively managed multi-donor grants including grants from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, FAO, EU, CIDA, IFAD, IDRC, AGRA, COMESA, Ford Foundation.

To implement the Commercial Village Model, FCI has FCI’s 148 technical staff distributed in 23 offices across Africa participate as a key market systems development resource. Additionally, FCI has 2,450 Commercial Villages Trade Facilitators (CVTFs) who are the frontline last mile delivery team with 1 CVTF supervising 3-5 Commercial Villages.

A Commercial Zone (CoZo) comprises of 10,000 Smallholder Farmers (SHFs) from several Commercial Villages forming a trading bloc viable for private sector investments and business partnerships. The team has proven competencies in extension services, rural economics and farming systems critical in addressing value chain-wide requirement.

Andrew Ritchie – Team Lead Andrew has worked in the African agribusiness and finance industry for over 15 years, living in Kenya between 2002 and 2014, and is the founder and Managing Director of Agri Frontier. Andrew worked as Finance Director of Finlays, a wholly owned subsidiary of John Swire & Sons, with extensive tea and horticultural operations in East Africa (22,000 employees). Andrew also worked as an Investment Manager with ALTIMA Partners LLP, a $2.5 billion alternative investment manager focusing on the agri sector. Andrew’s combined experience of ‘C’ level finance roles for one of Africa’s largest integrated agri-groups together with working in Africa focused agri-investment for a large Private Equity fund manager was the catalyst for founding Agri Frontier. Andrew has a BSc (Hons) Agricultural Business Management degree from the University of London and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Andrew will oversee the assignment and will act as the point of communication with NEI. He will also be pivotal in reviewing the content and reports prepared by the consultancy team.

Ann Kitonga – Agri Business Consultant Ann is a Senior Agri Business Finance Consultant at Agri Frontier, based in the Kenya office. Prior to joining Agri Frontier, Ann worked for KPMG and Kenya Climate Innovation Centre with companies in energy and agribusiness offering business advisory services, helping them understand their capital requirements and managing the process of raising capital from equity and debt providers. Ann has worked with over 100 businesses across East Africa and has a wide exposure to a range of sub-sectors and business models. Ann’s expertise includes business advisory, business valuations, research, business appraisal, investment memorandum and pitch deck preparation, and project management of the investment and business sale process. Ann has a Bachelor’s in Economics and Statistics graduate from Kenyatta University and a CFA level 2 candidate.

George Kanyeki – Agri Business Consultant George is an Agri Business Finance Consultant at Agri Frontier, based in the Kenya office. Prior to joining Agri Frontier, George worked for PKF Corporate Finance as a Financial Analyst. George has worked for a range of businesses across East Africa over more than 5 years. George’s expertise includes feasibility studies, financial modelling, business valuations, market research, business appraisal and due diligence. George has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (First Class) from the Technical University of Mombasa and is a CPA Finalist. 

Anu Menon – Finance Consultant Anu is a Finance Consultant at Agri Frontier, based in the UK office. She is the founder of Ethico Foods, a climate change centric food start-up and has extensive experience in engineering, management and corporate social responsibility. Anu also has experience in corporate reporting, investor relations, communications and strategy. Anu has a BEng in Electrical and Computer Systems and a Master of Business, both from Monash University, Australia. She is currently pursuing a MSc in Food Safety and Quality from the Royal Agricultural University, UK. Anthony Kaunga Antony is highly knowledgeable and experienced in Arid and Semi-Arid Value Chains. More specifically, his experience includes Smallholder Commercialization and Market Development, Range Management, Livestock Production, Project Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Market Research and Value Chain Analysis at national and the sub-region levels. Antony has served in various capacities in the past nine years in research, project management and economic development with both national and international development agencies.


Currency Selection: USD

Upper fee limit: $80,950

Language requirements: English; Swahili considered an asset

Payment structure: Milestone/deliverable based

Reporting processes: N/A

Desired frequency of reporting: After submission of each deliverable/achievement of each milestone

Interest in follow on work: Yes, Due diligence, feasibility, fundraising

SECTION 6: Additional files

1. CV_Wiston Mwombeki

2. CV_Andrew Ritchie

3. CV – Haika Jan 2020

4. CV_Antony Kaunga Kirigia

5. CV_John Riungu

6. George Kanyeki CV

Workplan and budget
1. Work Plan – TOR 1

2. TOR 1 – Proposed Budget

Other files

1. EMAIL Brochure Agri Frontier