Recruitment of a regional consultant for the Digitalization of PAIRED Agricultural Platforms

CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

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Recruitment of a regional consultant for the Digitalization of PAIRED Agricultural Platforms

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Opening Date:  June 14, 2021

Closing Date: June 28, 2021

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CEI No. 19-2021

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Context

There is growing concern over feeding Africa by 2050 largely due to the relative slowing down of food production in the face of rapidly growing populations. Food demand is projected to increase, especially in the growing urban centers of West Africa by about 60% to 80%, but agricultural yields are not keeping pace, with gaps estimated to be around 75%. The agricultural sector employs over half of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), however, most of these farmers do not have access to quality agricultural inputs and services expected to boost agricultural productivity and production. Sustained agricultural growth is central to rapid poverty reduction and economic development. Yet, world poverty is largely concentrated in the farmers communities, which have the potential for agricultural productivity growth. This is particularly true for SSA countries, where the gaps between potential and actual yields remain high. Minimizing this gap through the promotion of modern inputs—such as fertilizer and improved seeds as well as agricultural services—has been at the core of almost all agricultural strategies. However, adoption of improved technologies is impeded by several factors including access to input and output markets, access to quality agricultural advisory services and access to agricultural credit and insurance.

The transformation of the agricultural sector and its economy is increasingly facilitated by technological innovations and affordable digital and mobile solutions. This is particularly true for the services offered by digital platforms. Digital agricultural services can be useful in multiple ways for smallholders as well as for a range of agricultural stakeholders.

An integrated digital agricultural platform requires collaboration among multiple players with complementary expertise offering relevant information on best practices, weather, pricing information and access to buyers, suppliers, and financial institutions. An open, shared data platform approach may be even more compelling, as this approach would offer significant benefits. These include reduced and shared costs; ability to spread risk and bring innovations to market faster; mutually beneficial solutions, such as unified loyalty programs on the platform; rapid development capability to reach larger volumes faster; and engaging and supporting governments. However, it also requires a much greater willingness on the part of providers to collaborate and share data and resources.

For the sustainability of the digital platform, the most innovative providers, who realize the power and value of integrating services, can take the lead and the first steps to unify digital agricultural service. PAIRED funding can provide much-needed initial support for proof of concepts and early demonstration of integrated services to catalyze additional investments for scale-up efforts.

PAIRED project funded by USAID and implemented by CORAF in the long run is targeting to foster adoption of cutting-edge technologies by millions of farmers in the region. Achieving this ambitious result will require to improve farmer access to quality agricultural inputs and services. Closing the productivity gap is not possible without new ways of making actors along the agriculture value chain to have access to information and support services and make mindful and timely agriculture investments.

PAIRED is therefore seeking Digital Agricultural Platform consultant to collaborate with PAIRED teams in target countries (Benin, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Senegal, and Niger), farmers and value chain actors including financial and technical service providers to jointly work together to develop and establish a digital Agricultural Innovation platforms portal. This initiative aims at increasing the efficiency of smallholder livelihood activities by helping producers mitigate production risks and providing accurate information to actors of the multi-actors’ platform allowing them to render good services to all platform members.

The tasks to be performed and other information related to the conduct of the mission are detailed in the terms of reference attached.

The Executive Director of CORAF invites consultants with the qualifications demanded as indicated in the terms of reference to express their interest in this call by providing evidence that they are qualified to perform such services.

The consultant will be selected in accordance with the rules set out in the Manual of Administrative, Financial and Accounting Procedures of CORAF.

The Consultant will be selected according to the method based on the qualification of the consultant in accordance with the rules set out in the Manual of Administrative, Financial and Accounting Procedures of CORAF according to the selection criteria in the attached ToRs.

Additional information can be obtained from the CORAF Executive Secretariat by sending correspondence to Dr Hippolyte AFFOGNON, h.affognon@coraf.org.

Consultants interested in this call must submit an Expression of Interest and a detailed CV to procurement@coraf.org highlighting their suitability based on the criteria mentioned in the attached TORs, not later than June 28, 2021, at 5:00 pm GMT.

Dr Abdou TENKOUANO

Executive Director of CORAF