Job Vacancy For Consultant, Soy Bean Value Chain Study At Catholic Relief Services (CRS)



Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an international non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 99 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality.

The Agency’s three Signature Programming Areas include Emergency Response/Recovery, Agriculture Livelihoods and Health.  CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs where possible, therefore, strengthening and building the capacity of these partner organizations is fundamental to programs in every country in which CRS operates. CRS has been working in Ghana since 1958 and currently focuses on health, and food security/livelihoods.

Terms of Reference, Soy Bean Value Chain Study

Project Background

Soybean is the fastest growing agricultural crop over the last 20 years, expanding at a rate of 8% per year.

Soy is grown in over 85 countries on a total of almost 100 million hectares. This impressive growth has occurred despite being a non-native crop in 94% of regions currently producing soybean. This recent expansion has occurred in the lower latitude regions of the world where food insecurity rates and poverty rates are highest and where poor populations are often deficient in protein consumption. The dramatic rise of soybean in global agriculture can be attributed to the nutritional value it offers users given its high protein and oil content, and the economic benefits it provides farmers by being both a highly productive and profitable crop. The crop is also self-pollinating, adaptable to temperate, semi tropical and tropical production systems, and supports soil fertility enhancement through legume-based nitrogen fixation.

The USAID Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory for Soybean Value Chain Research (Soybean Innovation Laboratory, or SIL) is a strategically designed and fully integrated research program that provides the science necessary so small producers can share in the rising demand for soybean and, more broadly, further enable producing countries to address problems of food insecurity and protein malnutrition.

The SIL brings together leading U.S. and African soybean researchers, both natural and social scientists. The SIL Project’s overall strategy provides a sound research foundation by filling critical research gaps that limit the development of soybean in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

It is widely recognized that women and men have different needs, priorities, access to resources, and power over decision-making (Grown 2011; Heintz 2006). In SSA, women are particularly vulnerable to these inequalities. USAID estimates that “by empowering women farmers with the same access to land, new technologies and capital as men, we can increase crop yields by as much as 30 percent and feed an additional 150 million people.

The SIL Project makes the role of women a central theme in the leadership of the project, the conduct of the research activities, and the socioeconomic research.

In Ghana, according to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), approximately 77% of local soya production occurs in the northern sector of the country, with processing largely taking place in the center of the country and consumption largely in the South. The North has a higher incidence of poverty and food insecurity. The agricultural sector faces additional challenges in the North, including lower productivity and a single growing season compared to two in the South. Attractive economic opportunities must be promoted in the North to stem the outflow of youth to the urban South.

Soy holds great potential for engaging young men and women. Soya is slowly gaining in popularity and acceptance among farmers, and is one of five priority crops for which MoFA has mandated the provision of extension services. Soya is mostly grown as a cash crop, and has the potential to produce 700,000 metric tons of soybeans per annum even though national production of the crop is currently estimated below 50,000 metric tons annually. Potential yield predicted by MoFA is up to 2.5 MT/Ha. But the actual yield from farmers’ fields is said to be much lower 1.0-1.5MT/Ha.

In addition, soybeans are central to the Ghanaian economy. Soya is a nutritious food crop, a high protein poultry feed, and can be intercropped with other crops (specifically cassava, groundnuts or maize) to add nitrogen, which benefits soil quality and creates an additional source of farmer income. Soy cakes for poultry feed are in high demand due to the Government of Ghana’s focus on the poultry industry and the high market demand for eggs and poultry meat. There is a perception that current soy cake demand is not yet being met locally; indeed processors in Kumasi and Techiman resort to importing Brazilian soybeans. Thus, there is unmet local demand for soya.

Purpose of Evaluation

Catholic Relief Services-Ghana (CRS) is an implementing partner of the SIL project and through these terms of reference seeks a consultant to carry out research on the soy value chain in Ghana.

The goals of this research are to:

•   Provide a thorough analysis of the current state of the soybean value chain in Ghana, and
•   Provide specific recommendations on gaps in resource allocation and of these gaps, recommend actionable next steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of research in tropical soybean development in Ghana.

There are three primary components of this TOR as follows:

Provide overview of current and planned investments into the soybean value chain:

This work involves completing a literature review of secondary sources and reports.

•   Summarize completed and anticipated work from current actors in the soybean value chain including MOFA, FINGAP, RING, MEDA, ATT, ADVANCE, ISSD and others.
•   Summarize other technical reports to be provided by SIL, including USAID reports on SARI, SARI soybean journal articles and additional materials. This will ensure the assessment builds on existing research and reporting and does not duplicate existing assessments of the soybean value chain development in Ghana.

Detail commercial and institutional capacity of actors in the soybean industry:

This work involves completing face to face interviews with soybean value chain actors to understand their capacities and challenges.

Report on research and technical capacities of research institutions:

•   Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
•   Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI)
•   University for Development Studies (UDS)
•   Soil testing lab facilities (soil testing cost, soil types, soil maps, soil recommendations)

Report on prioritized challenges as expressed by representatives of farmer groups
Report on current market status/availability of (with particular emphasis on Kumasi, Techiman, Accra, Wa and Bawku):

Inputs:

•   Inoculum:  inoculum testing facilities, inoculum cost, inoculum supply, inoculum distributors, inoculum strains
•   Fertilizer:  Fertilizer production facilities, fertilizer cost, fertilizer supply
•    Lime:  Lime production facilities, lime cost, lime supply

Seed:

Seed labs, seed storage, seed cleaning, seed testing

Financing      

Analyze findings to identify actionable next steps for SIL

This work involves analysis of findings to identify gaps and recommend linkages in human, material and financial resource allocation to show how research in the area of tropical soybean development can be improved to address challenges in the soy value chain. Recommendations should be actionable and specific, detailing the actors and requirements involved.

Qualification Required & Experience

An individual or consultancy firm with the following qualifications:

•   Sound technical knowledge and relevant experience in value chain program design and implementation, analysis and report writing
•   Relevant Academic Qualification – Agriculture and livelihoods related disciplines
•   Good track record of designing and applying participatory approaches
•   Good knowledge of working with communities and smallholder farmers
•   Good communication and presentation skills
•   Appreciable working knowledge and experience of different cultures across Ghana.

Location: Accra

How To Apply For The Job

Interested Consultants shall prepare and submit a proposal with a detailed methodology in a Technical Proposal such that they fulfill the general requirements described below:

The consultant’s proposal shall include:

•   Brief of understanding of the soy value chain in Ghana
•   Proposed schedule for data collection including secondary and primary research, with consideration of the final report submission deadline of August 21, 2015
•   Proposed methodology for data collection
•   Proposed strategy for data analysis
•   Daily rate, assuming in country logistics (hotel, transportation and per diem as per CRS’ daily rate) are managed by CRS

Duration of Engagement

The duration of the consultancy shall not exceed 30 days for literature review, questionnaire design and data collection, data analysis and report writing. Research presented must include proper credit to sources and must include original primary research. Detailed and realistic work plans should meet the necessary timelines, and take into consideration the time required to collect and respond to feedback, draft and final reporting. Note that both CRS and the University of Illinois will provide a thorough review of the draft to ensure reporting on the three primary components of the TOR is complete, specific and quantifiable.

The draft report should be submitted by August 10th, 2015, with one week for review of the draft, for final report submission by August 21, 2015. A presentation of the findings will be scheduled at a mutually convenient date after the final report is submitted and approved.

Deliverables

The consultant shall share transcripts of all interviews and other records relating to all aspects of the work. The consultant shall provide the following: (i) questionnaires; (ii) the full name, position and contact information of individuals interviewed; (iii) draft report; (iv) final report; (v) presentation to CRS and partners; and (vi) all information and database (raw and analyzed) on flash drive.

The above deliverables will be submitted in both electronic form and hard copy to the Agric. Program Manager ([email protected]) when finalized.

Closing Date: 10 August, 2015