CONSULTANCY ON AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAINS IN WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA
Agricultural productivity in Central and West Africa remains low, but there is strong potential for research to improve food security and nutrition in the region. Developing sustainable agricultural production is key to effective strategies for sustainable and inclusive economic growth to improve livelihoods for women, men, and children.
The agricultural value chain analysis and development approach, as widely applied to pro-poor economic development, is well suited to addressing gendered market development issues for two reasons. First, it has economic viability and sustainability at its core and aims for win-win outcomes for all participants. Second, it is a strong qualitative diagnostic tool that is capable, if employed skillfully, of identifying critical issues and blockages for specific target groups and then generating robust and effective policies and development strategies.
Value chains thus are a key framework for understanding how inputs and services are brought together and then used to grow, transform, or manufacture a product; how the product then moves physically from the producer to the customer; and how value increases along the way. The value chain perspective provides an important means to understand business-to-business relationships that connect the chain, mechanisms for increasing efficiency, and ways to enable businesses to increase productivity and add value. It also provides a reference point for improvements in supporting services and the business environment. It can contribute to pro-poor initiatives and better linking of small businesses with the market. Increasingly, the value chain approach is being used to guide and drive high-impact and sustainable initiatives focused on improving productivity, competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
Women are an essential part of global value chains. As raw material producers and small-business owners, executives, retail workers, and consumers, women help businesses succeed and grow.
Turning smallholder farmers into profitable rural businesses that generate surpluses is not only the best way to achieve global food security; it also offers a path out of poverty and hunger. This is especially critical in Africa where an agricultural transformation is still urgently needed to safeguard the recent economic gains. However, the economic context for the transformation has changed, and it is no longer enough for Africa to pursue the exact same approach to agricultural transformation that was used by other regions of the world. Changes in diets and the urbanization of many food chains are creating even more opportunities for adding value and creating employment within the broader agri-food system. This sets the ground for an “inclusive” transformation of Africa’s agri-food system, one that focuses on linking many more smallholders to high value markets and adds value and employment along value chains through growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Many value chains may be considered: fonio, cassava, shea butter, cashew, moringa, rice, maize etc. to achieve the objectives of improving food security and nutrition in the region and developing sustainable agricultural production, considering a gender approach.
Duties and Responsibilities
The objective of the consultancy is to intervene, support, build and / or solidify the agricultural value chains in West and Central Africa to empower producers and transformers to achieve secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfill their potential and decide on their future.
Overall the consultant seeks to deliver the following outputs:
1) Designing strategies and business plans (and obtaining and using information)
- Choosing Priority Sectors for Value Chain Interventions
Helps practitioners consider: Which are the priority value chains? Which ones should be supported? Why does comparative advantage matter, and how can it be assessed? How should public, private, and collective perspectives and interests be harnessed?
- Designing Informed Strategies across the Value Chain
Offers analytical methods for understanding the value chain and integrating the information into sound strategy along various points of the chain.
- Conducting Benchmarking and Gap Assessments of Value Chains Describes how to measure and compare a value chain’s performance (whether in relation to itself, similar value chains, or to best practices) as a means of gaining insight into appropriate strategic choices.
2) Developing robust new businesses
- Upgrading and Deepening the Value Chain
Adding efficiency, to improve product quality, and adding new operations to increase value added within the value chain.
- Identifying Business Models for Replication Focuses on opportunities to implement sound business models repeatedly within a value chain.
The ability to replicate these business models is useful in increasing value-added volumes, intermediation, and access to services and inputs.
• Training of lead farmers in Best Production Practices
- Producing a user guide for best practices in processing a crop.
- On-site training, highlighting critical manufacturing points
- Advising on equipment acquisition / Implementation and training
- Training on traceability and codification
- Training on international labeling standards
?3) ?Develop a marketing and pricing strategy for the cosmetics/ food products on the basis of the aforementioned analyses
- Assist the protagonists on performing the calculations, research work, risk taking ability and understanding of the market and the consumers to determine the price point at which profits on sales can be maximized
?4) Supplying the market (aligning supply to match market opportunity)
- Capturing Value through Forward and Backward Integration
Explains how vertical integration can help businesses ensure supply or otherwise control inputs, capture more value, achieve economies of scale, and/or ensure access to information. For instance, in the cashew value chain, cashew apples could be used to create valuable by-products.
- Horizontal Collaboration—Creating and Taking Advantage of Economies of Scale Provides approaches to create economies of scale that help to increase production, ensure quality, improve access inputs, and achieve more market power.
5) Reaching the market (market positioning and market opportunities)
- Positioning Products and Value Chains for Greater Value and Competitiveness
- Market Access Support Program
- Assisting finished products transformers to acquire good and attractive packaging at an optimum price
- Producing a user guide for local and international market access
- Supporting the organization for participation in a tradeshow on the European and American continent
6) Manage project control and certification of products according to the regulations applicable to the international market
- Applying Standards and Certifications to Achieve Greater Quality
Meeting (and exceeding) the quality and performance standards of desired markets to help achieve entry, market share, and higher unit values for a value chain’s products.
• Organic certification development plans and premium management
- ?Training on Organic certification
- Technical assistance in the acquisition of the organic certification
- Scale-up the organic certification success to expand in the other regions.
7) Improving the business and policy environment
- Identifying needed support services for the value chain
Discusses how improving the depth and breadth of services offered to a value chain can help member firms to be commercially sustainable and improve operations.
- Improving the Operating Environment by Promoting Public-Private Dialogue
Describes how value chains can improve their operating environments by engaging the public sector and other actors in effective public-private dialogue.
- Achieving Synergies through Clustering
Cluster-strengthening and cluster development initiatives help value chain participants achieve results that an emphasis solely on core value chains may not be capable of generating.
8) Monitoring results in value chain development
- Monitoring achievements in value chain performance
Monitoring and evaluation methods to help value chain participants track implementation progress, evaluate value chain performance, and identify the impacts of initiatives.
Expected places of travel: WCARO (Niger, Tchad, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali, Mauritanie, Senegal, Sierra Leone)
- Respect for Diversity
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
- Creative Problem Solving
- Effective Communication
- Inclusive Collaboration
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Leading by Example
Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies:?http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-employment-values-and-competencies-definitions-en.pdf
Functional Competencies :
- Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and to establish harmonious working relationships
- Capacities of analysis and synthesis;
- Trained, involved on/in knowledge management, media and public outreach activities
Have a sense of organization and rigor
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s degree in the following areas of expertise: Economics, Political Sciences, Project Management, Sociology or equivalent
- At least 10 years of international experience and record of accomplishment in international development field, with emphasis on agriculture;
- Proven experience with use of gender analysis in production process and/or data collection and analysis;
- Previous professional experience with data and statistic for MDGs and/or SDGs is an asset.
- Previous professional experience in developing concept note and/or project proposal is an asset
- Previous professional experience with United Nations an asset
- Previous professional experience in Africa at the country and/or regional level is an asset.
Fluency in written and oral English and French is required