Terms of Reference: Technical study to improve the business environment for Agroforestry in Rwanda

  • SNV
  • Remote (Kigali, Rwanda)
  • 16/07/2022
Part time

Description

1.      Context of Agroforestry in Rwanda and the project

The Rwandan agriculture sector employs 80 percent of working people and occupies about 77 percent of the country area. The sector is dominated by rainfed subsistence farming, characterized by low productivity and low use of inputs and technologies (e.g. fertilizer, improved seeds, mechanization, etc.) and provides 90 percent of national food needs.

Over-cultivation and exploitation of natural resources along with poor farming practices have led to extended land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, poor performance of crops and yield, watershed imbalance and landslides. Production of energy to meet the demands of an increasing population needs to be considered alongside the production of food.

Due to the heavy pressure on land, agriculture has developed at the expense of forests, pastures and vulnerable environments, including very steep lands (90 percent of the total land is on slopes), degraded lands, drylands and wetlands. As a result, land is becoming more and more scarce and fragmented as the population keeps increasing.

Agroforestry is the intentional integration of agricultural and forestry-based land use systems. It provides multiple benefits that contribute to food security, energy, and resilience to climate change. Agroforestry is important for sustaining smallholder agricultural production because trees can provide income, dietary diversity, energy and ecosystem services (nutrient cycling, water regulation, erosion control and the maintenance of soil health).

The “Rwanda Agroforestry Strategy (2018-2027)” has been developed by the government of Rwanda to engage coordinated action and implementation. It addresses the country’s land stewardship needs by restoring degraded lands, controlling soil erosion and diversifying farm production systems through provision of increased yields of crops, wood and fodder. As part of an ecologically based land management system, Agroforestry practices can maintain ecosystem diversity and processes that contribute to long-term sustainability and environmental quality. This project request is aligned with the country’s Agroforestry Strategy.

2.      Objective of the request

The objective of this request is to identify and develop promising value chains for smallholders involved in the Agroforestry for Livelihoods Project, covering 15,200 ha of land in Rwanda’s Rulindo and Bugesera Districts, engaging and supporting a network of 15,700 farmers (Friends of Nature Associations-FNA Members), projected to reach 30,000 farmers in 2024. The project is expected to contribute to economic development and ecosystem restoration, as well as sequestration of approximately 2-3 million tons of CO2 through 2039.

This assistance will be designed to be gender-inclusive and throughout the exercise the consultant should emphasize businesses and organizations owned/run by both women and men equally, as well as youth under 35 years old.

3.      Scope of work: tasks to be performed by the contractor

The ICR Facility will complete a technical study using public private dialogue mechanisms.

The contractor shall provide the following services:

1.      Prepare the kick-off meeting and inception report:

o   Organize a technical kick-off meeting with RFA and ARCOS, with the participation of EUD, RFA, ARCOS, SNV/ICR, and relevant stakeholders.

o   Prepare a PPT presentation indicating the content of the intervention (milestones, responsibilities and timeline; indicate clearly the role to be played by involved parties and when these should be carried out).

o   Liaise with ICR facility and RFA/ARCOS on the organization of the meeting.

o   Prepare an inception report (with review from the ICR Facility and RFA/ARCOS) with the proposed approach (including proposed methodology, content and structure)

2.      Assessment of potential value chains:

o   Identify a minimum of 7 applicable value chains in Bugesera and Rulindo Districts:

a.      Complete desk research and literature review of various existing studies on the topic to identify potential value chains.

b.      Collect and analyse data to identify value chains where FNA members can add value and develop future opportunities.

c.       If required, conduct value chain preliminary screening among FNA Members supported by Agroforestry for Livelihoods Project in Bugesera and Rulindo District as well as other stakeholders.

3.      Strategy plan for value chains:

o   Map stakeholders for value chains.

o   Conduct value chain screening among FNA Members as well as wider consultation with producers, stakeholders and different cluster actors to identify bottlenecks, challenges and opportunities for value chains. 

o   Map and identify value chain strengths and weaknesses for the potential participation of FNAs groups and enterprise development at a geographical level (as landscape have not the same ecological patterns) in relation to inputs, labor, transport, value aggregation and delivery/distribution.

o   Identify existing and new potential markets at local, national, regional and international level, analysing their size and potential growth.

o   Conduct additional market research as needed to finalize selection through secondary  research and key informant interviews.

o   Identify promising value chains: rank value chains using clear criteria such as market demand, market potential, pro-poor effect, profitability potential, potential for inclusiveness (women and youth) and other sustainability criteria such as resilience to climate change and environmental conservation to reach a shortlist of Value Chains (eventually 6 value chains for the 2 districts).

4.      Consultation meetings with producers and stakeholders and validation workshop.

o   Validate the Value Chain selection, market actors identified, different phases of transformation, and different actors (producers, buyers, mechanisms for information flow within the value chain, and key supporting services), strengths and constraints within the selected value chain.

5.      Conduct gender gap analysis and identify what would be the potential gender strategy for each of the value chain prospects.

o   Collect gender disaggregated data to develop a preliminary understanding of women’s current participation in the chain.

o   Establish which categories of women tend to participate if, when, and where they do, and develop a set of preliminary gender strategies to help encourage equal participation in the value chain in a context-sensitive way that minimises disruptions to pre-existing community and household gender dynamics.

6.      Develop and present in a final meeting the business plan for the shortlisted Value Chains:

o   Prepare and action plan for the short listed value chains (eventually 6 value chains for the 2 districts).

o   Identify bottlenecks and potential solutions.

o   Quantify the investment required and identify potential local, national, regional & international business partners willing to support and/or co-invest.

7.      Project completion Report:

o   Prepare the completion report containing Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) indicators, main activities carried out, potential follow-up actions and lessons learned (template to be provided by the ICR facility).

o   Preparation of at least two (2) blogs, one during the project and one at the end of the project (for publication possibly in the ICR website) as project communication (including text, quote and photograph/image). One of the blogs should have a focus on gender or include a gender angle.

Throughout the exercise, the consultants will apply a participatory approach, using public-private dialogue mechanisms, conducting calls, interviews, meetings and workshops with public and private stakeholders.

Based on the current status in the country, assess whether specific actions to facilitate women's participation are needed. For example, work on the "agency" of women, that is, their inclination to participate, or if networking sessions among women are necessary to facilitate their participation.

The work could be done in a remote mode. At least one trip to Rwanda and relevant areas of Rwanda will be necessary.

RFA and ARCOS will establish a focal point for the project who will be in regular coordination with the consultant. RFA/ARCOS may appoint one or two staff to participate part-time in the project, meetings, trips etc.

Throughout the assignment, the consultants will liaise and work closely with the ICR Facility, UNACOIS, and one or more of the implementing partners (GIZ, SNV, Expertise France, British Council) in the field as well as the European Union and OACPS.

Qualifications

Qualifications for the consultant or firm

The pos