Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian aid agency engaged in transitional environments that have experienced some sort of shock: natural disaster, economic collapse, or conflict.
One billion people in rural areas around the world live on less than US$1.25 a day1 including nearly 500 million smallholder farmers (SHF) who provide 80% of the food for the developing world.2 For the 70 million smallholder farmers living in Sub Saharan Africa,3 farm productivity is only 56% of the world's average. This is due to a range of risk factors, including weak infrastructure, poor market linkages and lack of access to information and critical services including finance, inputs and extension, as well as a wide range of social factors.4
SHFs are the most underserved group in the world by financial services, with women and youth at a particular disadvantage.5 Investment in this sector is critical, as economic growth from agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors.6 at an estimated $450 billion, the global demand for smallholder agricultural finance is largely unmet. Impact-driven agricultural lenders are estimated to reach no more than two percent of demand.7 Digital technology can be a powerful tool to reach smallholders with information, market linkages and financial services with extremely low costs at sufficient scale. A recent McKinsey study estimates that mobile and internet technology can drive up to $3 billion in annual agricultural productivity gains by 2025.8 However, McKinsey points to the specific scale challenge for mobile agriculture services, recommending focus on the full ecosystem around farmers, including warehousing, logistics, finance and insurance to drive a critical mass of uptake.9 It is difficult for a single player to achieve scale in this space on its own. Partnerships and high functioning market ecosystems are essential to build sustainable and efficient agricultural markets.
The AgriFin Digital Farmer program is a two-year, $5 million program funded by the Gates Foundation. The core problem AgriFin Accelerate seeks to address is the inclusion gap for smallholder farmers (SHF) who lack access to affordable, accessible, demand-driven financial products and services that drive higher productivity and income for farm families. The ecosystems required to serve smallholders are both complex and fragmented. Market actors are often hampered by lack of strong understanding of smallholder needs and are therefore unable to design impactful products, channels and other relevant services for them. At the same time, farmers often lack the information, trust and capacity to access and productively utilize new products and tools. This is a key area related to AgriFin’s nascent communications strategy.
AgriFin Digital Farmer Program Overview
Drawing on Mercy Corps’ experience implementing the AgriFin Mobile and AgriFin Accelerate programs and years of work in the agriculture, finance and ICT sectors, the AgriFin Digital Farmer (ADF) program. Mercy Corps’ AgriFin Digital Farmer (ADF) is a two-year, $5 million initiative that will support the expansion of high-impact, digitally-enabled services to at least one million farmers over two years across four countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. ADF will increase smallholder income and productivity by 50%, reaching at least 40% women in the process. The program will result in increased smallholder farmer inclusion, productivity and income, as well as a range of digitally-enabled models and institutional partners to drive inclusive agricultural transformation with direct benefit to smallholders throughout Africa. AgriFin’s primary target group is unbanked smallholder farmers living on less than $2 per day. Across all four target countries, ADF’s approach will be grounded in our technical engagement model consisting of 1) a rapid iteration, fail-fast approach to drive innovative, client-centric product development; 2) support to design and broker new types of partnerships to transform product delivery capacities; and 3) work with partners to develop high-impact “bundles” of digitally-enabled services offering farmers affordable access to full suites of affordable, relevant services at scale. We work with farmers, buyers, suppliers, banks, mobile network operators, research institutes and other ecosystem players in well-defined partnerships to leverage the offer and outreach of all partners while increasing the range of services, access points, and value for farmers on shared platforms. The program will support partners and engagements in the following areas of innovation:
ADF will develop tailored approaches to each of the four countries of engagement linked to ecosystem research and partner due diligence and engagement structuring linked to strong partner co-investment, with a consistent focus on women’s inclusion.
Kenya: Deep Dive Support with Safaricom’s DigiFarm and other Partners
Kenya is the world’s leading market for digital inclusion and innovation reaching smallholder farmers. Over the past three years, AgriFin Accelerate has worked with 22 partners in Kenya, including leading mobile network operator (MNO) Safaricom, reaching more than 800,000 smallholders. ADF will expand select platform services across Kenya, deepening the range and outreach of services, and increasing impact for farmers. With key partner Safaricom, the program will focus on expansion of the “DigiFarm” platform to include a digital marketplace, smart farming solutions and deeper financial services for farmers, while driving public learning to encourage replication and ecosystem development across the region as a public good.
Tanzania: Deep Dive Support with Vodacom’s DigiFarm and Partners
Mercy Corps’ AgriFin Accelerate programming has worked with 15 leading institutions in Tanzania, including banks, MNOs, government, agricultural companies, and technology innovators. ADF will support partners that are improving and scaling their product offerings to farmers, including the National Microfinance Bank, the World Food Program’s Farm to Market Alliance and leading MNO, Vodacom, which plans to adapt the DigiFarm platform for Tanzania.
Ethiopia and Nigeria: “Light Touch” ADF programming
Both Mercy Corps and existing partners have established offices in Ethiopia and Nigeria and extensive programming in agriculture and financial services. Given the nascent development of digital solutions for agriculture in these markets, Mercy Corps will deliver a “light touch” ADF approach in Ethiopia and Nigeria to minimize operational expenses and maximize investments in private sector partners. ADF will support three to five partner engagements in each country to support emerging innovations and partnerships that will seed growth, new products, and solutions for future scale. ADF will rapidly map potential transformative partners linked to BMGF priorities for each country, including core digital platforms and value added service providers (VAS). ADF will carefully select two to three partner engagements per country per year, bringing the ADF expertise and approach into these markets to help accelerate development of services to farmers.
In partnership with BMGF, ADF will support the expansion of high-impact, digitally-enabled services to at least one million farmers over two years, across Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria, increasing farmer income and productivity by 50% while reaching 40% women. Three outcomes will contribute to the achievement of this goal:
Outcome 1: Smallholder farmers increase income and productivity through increased access to demand-driven, technology-enabled rural advisory services, smart farming solutions and more efficient, inclusive financing and markets;
Outcome 2: Private sector actors increase quality and reach of services to farmers through scalable and high-impact Digital Financial Services and Digital Information Services products, services and delivery models that are tailored to the needs of smallholder farmers
Outcome 3: Public learning and program activities increase private sector and governmental engagement in effective delivery of digitally-enabled rural advisory, market access, financial and farm management services to smallholder farmers, leveraging improved data exchange environments.
Purpose of Engagement
AgriFin Digital Farmer has recently completed a number of scoping missions in Nigeria and has established relationships with a number of partners major ones listed below. The different partners are at various stages of project development and the short term consultant will be required to further these partnership relationships and support the ADF technical team in successful implementation and evaluation of the same.
Partners met include; FarmCrowdy, Flower Mills of Nigeria, AgroMall, AFEX, NIRSAL, Thrive, CropIT, Quick Check, Cellulant, UBA, Sterling Bank, Thrive, Hellotractor, Kobo 360, Dangote, Olam, Ignitia, Viamo, Flutterwave, Paga, Zenvus and Mines.io.
Scope of Work
This scope of work sets the terms of reference for individual consultant for AgriFin Digital Farmer Nigeria Implementation. Under the direction of the ADF Technical teams, the consultant will be responsible for the following key activities and is expected to provision for 10 man-days per month.
Partner Engagement Support
This project implementation shall be fully consultative with key stakeholders and all learning outputs will be developed in close coordination with ADF and related partners to ensure recommendations and final learning outputs remain strategically aligned the program strategy.
The consultants will provide ADF with the following deliverables, with specific timelines to be agreed in the approved consultant workplan:
Project Learning Agenda
The following Key ADF Learning Agenda questions will be addressed:
Ownership/Control of Work Product/Publication
Matters relating to ownership and control of work product and publication of materials produced during course of this engagement are addressed in the main contract agreement entered into between Mercy Corps and the Consultant for performance of services for AgriFin Digital Farmer.
Authorship and Acknowledgement
Matters relating to authorship and acknowledgment of any materials produced by the Consultant during the course of this engagement are addressed in the main contract agreement entered into between Mercy Corps and the Consultant for performance of services for AgriFin Digital Farmer.
Interested candidates in the provision of consultancy service should share below information before close of business on 19/6/2019 Kenyan Time:
Provide information on their qualification and experience demonstrating ability to undertake the assignment as illustrated in the scope of works and meet required deliverables.
Provide your Detailed CVS ,Cover letter and references.
All responses should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org