Thursday 4 July 2024

Seed Sector Analysis Consultant at IESC July 2024

  AjiraLeo Tanzania       Thursday 4 July 2024
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The International Executive Service Corps (IESC) Jobs 2024
Seed Sector Analysis
Seed Sector Analysis Consultant at IESC July 2024
Position Description
Location Tanzania
Department Programs
Employment Type Consultant
Seed Sector Analysis Consultant for the Feed the Future Tanzania Agri-Finance Project
Location of Assignment: Tanzania
Proposed Level of Effort: Up to 30 days
Anticipated Start Date: July-August 2024

Objective:
The objective of this assignment is to conduct a thorough assessment of the seed production business in Tanzania to unveil its potentials, opportunities and profitability. The selected consultant will identify opportunities for collaboration between seed producers/out growers and financial institutions, and areas for capacity strengthening on both sides to unlock financing opportunities to increase the production and availability of quality seeds to Tanzanian farmers, with an emphasis on youth and women.

Background and Justification:
The performance of the agricultural sector in Tanzanians critical for poverty reduction, food security, and economic growth. Currently, the agricultural sector contributes about 29.1 % of the country’s GDP, 65.5% of employment, 65% of raw materials to the industrial sector and 30% of export earnings. The sector is particularly important for women, who make up 70%of the agricultural labor force and nearly 800,000 Tanzanian youth who enter the labor force each year. However, most farming businesses in the country are producing only a fraction of their potential mainly due to production-related constraints such as limited availability of good quality seeds as the main trigger point to significantly increase crop yields and income of farming families.

Availability of quality seeds is not only a strong symbol for increasing farm yields and agriculture productivity but also one of the important elements to strengthen small scale farming communities and performance of the agricultural sector. Tanzania has the potential to become the food basket for east, central and southern Africa if there is a reliable and sustainable supply of quality seeds. It is estimated that the potential demand for improved seed in Tanzania is about 120,000 tons per annum and only 28,600 tons are made available to farmers through formal seed system.

One of the key challenges to maintaining a reliable and sustainable supply of quality seeds is the lack of access to finance-- particularly lack of long-term affordable capital for seed businesses, low investment in addressing the factors influencing initial seed quality. Other challenges includecrop management, including plant nutrient and water supply during crop growth, climatic conditions during seed development and maturation, as well as the harvest and drying practices and storage facilities.

Project Overview:
The Feed the Future Tanzania Agri Finance Project is an access to finance project working to improve access to finance for smallholders, women, youth, and micro, small, medium (including large) enterprises (MSMiLs) in Tanzania by improving the agri-finance ecosystem and strengthening the capacity of both borrowers and lenders. The Feed the Future Tanzania Agri-Finance Project prioritizes interventions that increase availability and adoption of priority technologies, including irrigation, inputs (quality seed), storage, and value addition, and create more inclusive agricultural finance ecosystems, enable expanded and sustained lending and investment, and increase productivity and incomes.

Project interventions intend to reach 20 financial institutions, 15 demand-side institutions including agricultural enterprises and women and youth groups, train 300 financial institution staff, and reach 18,000 borrowers with $21 million in agricultural finance facilitated in Tanzania. The Feed the Future Tanzania Agri-Finance Project utilizes a system-driven, private sector-led approach to target agricultural market coordination failures and develop commercially oriented solutions that sustain and scale agri-financing.

The project includes two interconnected strategic objectives to achieve tangible, positive impact for smallholder farmers, women, youth, agro-enterprises, and financial institutions.

Objective 1: Improve income and bankability of smallholders, women, youth, and micro, small and medium (including large) enterprises.
The Feed the Future Tanzania Agri-Finance Project will deliver targeted technical capacity strengthening and direct training and coaching to smallholders, women, youth, and MSMiLs beneficiaries in financial and money management skills and tools, business planning, finance and investment, development of business funding proposals, records keeping, loan applications, and loan repayment and/or savings strategies.

Objective 2:
Strengthen financial institution operational capacity to expand agri- lending.
The Feed the Future Tanzania Agri-Finance Project provides targeted support to supply side financial institutions to develop new agri-finance products and improve operational capabilities and efficiencies, build capacity and strengthening their motivation to expand agri-lending to smallholders, women, youth, and MSMiLs – with a focus on priority and climate-smart technologies such as irrigation, inputs, storage, and value addition.

The three-year the Feed the Future Tanzania Agri-Finance Project implemented by the Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC) will improve access to finance for smallholders, women, youth, and micro, small, medium (including large) enterprises (MSMiLs) in Tanzania by improving the Agri finance ecosystem and strengthening the capacity of borrowers and lenders. With a particular emphasis on priority technologies, including climate-smart technologies. The feed the Future Tanzania Agri Finance Project will create more inclusive agricultural finance ecosystems, enable expanded and sustained lending and investment, and increase productivity and incomes.

Approach:

The focus of this assessment is to highlight the potential and profitability of the seed business in Tanzania, opportunities for collaboration between seed producers and financial institutions and identify areas for capacity strengthening on both side of the financial equation to unlock financing opportunities to increase the production and availability of quality seeds to farmers particularly youth and women.

The assessment will consult seed producers, distributors, agro dealers ,farmers, government ministries, departments and agencies and financial institutions to understand the challenges in providing/obtaining credit and financial services to the seed sector/from financial institutions and identify opportunities from both sides of the financial equation for the Feed the Future Tanzania Agri Finance Project to further support the seed system players with practices issues that are limiting their short and long-term partnerships and support financial institutions to deploy more credits and finances in the sector. The assessment should draw on qualitative and quantitative data, through primary data collection and secondary desk research review.

The consultant will be expected to examine the following areas:
  • The trend towards financing seed production and distribution activities and providing the status of financing seed production for food crops (maize, rice, sorghum, beans and horticultural crops) in the project ZOI
  • How the needs for financing were identified, who initiated the processes, what players of the seed system were involved and how.
  • Examine Tanzania policies on seed production, multiplication, distribution, and consumption and analyze the effects on investments in the sub sector.
  • Explore seed system players current initiatives to secure financing for seed production, multiplications, and distribution.
  • Examine status of seeds used by smallholder farmers and factors behind their seed selection.
  • Examine seed production business potential and returns and opportunities for financing from formal financial institutions.
  • Identify ways to increase financing to the seed sector, including how to support the seed system players to establish short and long-term business relationships and partnerships with financial institutions and financial institutions to deploy more credit and financing in the seed sector.
  • Identify the availability of specialized financial products and services that meet the needs of seed sector players and identify required product terms/structure to expand opportunities to the sector.

A consultant will be contracted to conduct the Seed Sector Analysis. The consultant will review relevant existing studies, data and information on seed production, multiplication, certification, distributions and consumptions in Tanzania. The consultant will also collect primary data by interviewing local stakeholders in Tanzania such as financial institutions , farmers and farmer groups, seed companies, TASTA (association of seed traders), government ministries and agencies, and Local Government Authorities to identify the bottlenecks faced by seed system players to access agricultural financial services in Tanzania, including access to collateral, productive resources, knowledge, and other factors to be determined.

The consultant will then analyze the data and information gathered to identify and highlight business potential and profitability of the seed business in Tanzania, and areas for capacity strengthening on both side of the financial equation and provide recommendations on how the Feed the Future Tanzania Agri-Finance Project and other stakeholders can support the seed system players to accessing finance required to grow their businesses to increase the production and availability of quality seeds to farmers.


The analysis will identify specialized needs and effective strategies for engaging target populations including specific financial product and service design and operational improvements with financial institutions, and knowledge/capacity strengthening requirements among potential borrowers.

Tasks:
  • Develop an implementation schedule for the assignment in consultation with IESC team.
  • Review, assess, and summarize relevant desk research through the submission of the literature review prior to commencing in-person fieldwork.
  • Develop interview questions for each stakeholder type to be visited, including both supply-side financial institutions, and demand-side institutions (e.g. Seed companies, Agro Dealers, Government Agencies and ministries, farmer groups, youth groups, women’s groups, agribusinesses, etc.) in the Tanzania seed system.
  • Interview key seed system stakeholders and other projects in Tanzania (for example: AGRA, ASPIRE) working on seed systems within the agricultural finance sector.
  • Interview farmers, farmer groups, youth and women engaged in agricultural production and/or agri-preneurship to understand their activities, specifically with regards to seed use and factors behind their seed selection.
  • Visits may include one on one or focus group discussions including separate and combined interviews with financial institutions and seed producers and traders.
  • Identify and document the challenges and opportunities faced by seed producers and traders to access finance from financial institutions.
  • Identify and document the challenges and opportunities faced by financial institutions to extend their credit and finances to seed producers and traders.
  • Develop a list of recommendations on how the Feed the Future Tanzania Agri Finance Project can support the seed system players to accessing finance required to grow their businesses to increase the production and availability of quality seeds to farmers.
  • Submit a report on the findings (including gaps/challenges, recommendations, specific targets and outcomes pertaining to unlocking access finances to the seed system players
*All written products must be in Microsoft Word format.

Deliverables:
  • Literature review;
  • Interview questions by stakeholder type;
  • Assessment report on findings, including recommendations; and
  • A list of stakeholders interviewed and meeting notes.
  • Administration and logistics:
  • IESC will provide hotel accommodation and transport.
  • The consultant is required to have their own computer.
Read Also:
Requested Qualifications:
  • Higher university degree in business development, business administration, economic development, agriculture, agriculture economics, or another related field of study
  • 10 years of relevant experience in business development, enterprise development, business management, agri-business and agri-financing
  • Independence and strong interpersonal skills
  • Experience in research work, statistics, and conducting and synthesizing both primary and secondary data into written deliverables
  • Extensive practical experience in agricultural financing
  • Experience assessing the constraints and identifying opportunities in the agricultural sector
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, and coordinate with various stakeholders across public and private sectors
  • Creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Goal-oriented mindset and hands-on approach.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Self-motivated, proactive, detail-oriented, mature, professional team player with excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to address issues, challenges, questions, and concerns in a professional, respectful, logical, and timely manner.
  • Ability to work effectively in cross-cultural contexts.
  • Prior experience of working in developing country contexts – especially in Tanzania and/or East Africa – will be helpful; and
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English. 
MODE OF APPLICATION:
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