Facilitation of Regional Trade of Staple Foods (Rice, Maize, Beans, Cowpeas, Green Grams, Pigeon Peas and Chick Peas) through Buyer missions

Organization: Development Alternatives, Inc.
Closing date: 06 Dec 2016

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) is an initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) implemented by Development Alternatives, Inc., (DAI). Its fundamental purpose is to boost trade and investment with and within Africa. The Hub partners with East African and U.S. businesses to attract investment needed to transform the East African private sector into vibrant global trading partners. Improving the region’s trade competitiveness, encouraging the diversification of exports beyond natural resources, and promoting broader, more-inclusive economic growth will lead to a more food secure and resilient East African Community (EAC).

The goal of the Hub is to deepen regional integration, increase the competitiveness of select regional agricultural value chains, promote two-way trade with the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and facilitate investment and technology to drive trade growth intra-regionally and to global markets.

The project achieves these ends by working with the private sector and local governments to find practical solutions for trade and investment constraints that lead to a pro-investment environment. It also builds awareness of opportunities for African and U.S. firms to increase trade, expand business partnerships, and invest in East Africa.

In support of the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, the Hub looks to increase access, availability and utilization of East African-grown staple foods in the region. It supports regional initiatives that improve market information, increase access to inputs, and reduce non-tariff barriers that can hinder trade across borders.

This assignment aims at creating sustainable market linkages between organized smallholder producers from EAC member countries and regional/export market opportunities. This is to be achieved through a rapid mapping of aggregation centers and warehouses for each major commodity, developing a practical marketing plan, carrying out regional buyer missions and thereby enabling organized producers access regional and export markets. Identifying the location and quantifying the volume of tradable staple crops, coupled with the identification of effective demand and technical assistance is expected to result in large volumes of staple food commodities being traded within and between the regional economic blocks.

Introduction, Background and Justification

Agriculture is a core sector and pillar in the EAC integration process. It is predominantly the main stay of EAC economies and livelihoods. The sector contributes as much as 42% in Burundi, 24% in Kenya, 32% in Rwanda, 28% in Tanzania and 25% in Uganda to the Partner State Gross Domestic Products (GDPs). The EAC has enormous potential, not only to feed itself and eliminate hunger and food insecurity, but also to be a major play­er in global food markets.

Smallholder produce aggregation process unlocks value, increases profitability, fosters inclusion and decreases risk. Aggregation brings together small holder farmers and buyers to achieve economies of scale, create market signal and provide access to adjacencies to reduce friction with third party ecosystem partner marketplace such as financial services. Cited as one of the most important frameworks for powering smallholder farmers, aggregation in agriculture has the potential to empower local agricultural communities across global markets in developed economies as well as emerging economies such as Africa.

Call for Expression of Interest

The Hub is looking for an individual to Identify and quantify supply of staple crops, contact potential buyers, implement regional buyer missions and facilitate trade in staple food commodities. This will be accomplished by expeditiously assessing and mapping produce or commodity aggregation centres and quantifying the volumes and quality of the selected commodities and using this information to facilitate buyer missions and regional trade. Execution of the assignment requires an individual with the right combination of skills, knowledge and proven technical competencies in the implementation of regional agricultural market development programs, locating and quantifying supply of staple crops, thorough knowledge of trade networks, execution of buyer missions and trade facilitation, and commodity export/import logistics.

Interested individuals should provide information demonstrating that they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to undertake the assignment. The successful consultant(s) will be expected to prepare a detailed inception report which among others will include work plan, schedule of activities and explicit methodology for carrying out the assignment within one week after commencement of the assignment.

Objective of the Assessment

The main objective of the assignment is implementing and facilitating regional staple foods trade through implementation of buyer missions. This is expected to support a significant number of smallholder producers to access regional and export opportunities.

Scope of Work

This assignment will involve the following tasks and activities:

  1. Carry out secondary data analysis of production and trade statistics of selected commodities in the EAC region to identify major production and trade dynamics in the region.
  2. In partnership with trade associations, collect data relating to each warehouse, geo reference, type of warehouse (isolation from pests, protected from vagaries of weather), type and variety of commodity, stocks available, quantity, packaging, storage system etc.
  3. Using a well-developed criterion, identify and select warehouses and stores that have adequate volumes and the right quality to participate in buyer missions.
  4. Develop a production and harvesting seasonality calendar for each warehouse, showing peak and low seasons.
  5. Identify and map key buyers/traders/exporters in EAC and internationally who will participate in the buyer mission.
  6. Develop a strategy and program/work plan for carrying out a regional trade and buyer missions.
  7. Implement regional commodity trade and buyer missions in the EAC region, where producers and buyers will be brought together for regional and export markets.


  1. Prepare a detailed inception report which will include work plan/schedule of activities and explicit methodology for carrying out the assignment within one week after commencement of the assignment.
  2. Commodity and Warehouse data collection, stakeholder consultations and development of buyer mission plan.
  3. Carry out regional commodity trade and buyer missions in EAC.
  4. Submission of interim report for review and feedback.
  5. Presentation of the 1st Draft in a validation meeting with selected partners.
  6. Presentation and submission of the final report incorporating comments and feedback.

Geographical coverage

This assignment will cover the five EAC member countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The consultant(s) are expected to travel to all the commodity production and aggregation regions in each country. Country level bilateral and development partners will be consulted in the course of the work.

Methodology and approach

It is expected that the consultant(s) will develop and submit a proposed methodology and approach for carrying out this assignment. As a minimum, the methodology should include inception process and meetings, commodity field data collection and analysis etc. The consultant is expected to liaise with country level grains/staples development projects and organisations such as East Africa Grain Council, , Agricultural Market Development Trust (AGMARK), Cereal Growers Association (CGA), Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises (KAVES), Nafaka, public and private sector organisations, relevant NGOs etc. in each country, farmer producer organisations, staple foods buyers/exporters, processors and consumers etc. The Consultant (s) is expected to use checklists, questionnaires and other data collection methods to be proposed in the application.

Preliminary findings of the study will be presented to the agriculture/ agribusiness team for review and feedback, upon which the subsequent draft report will be shared through a validation meeting with selected stakeholders. The final report will be produced and submitted to the Hub after feedback and validation process has been completed.

Expected Deliverables

It is expected that the following deliverables will be realized:

Ø A detailed inception report

Ø Draft report

Ø Final report detailing results of the profiling of warehouses, list of interviewees, list of buyers etc.

Ø Evidence of buyer-seller linkages (contacts)

Ø Evidence of sales transaction


The overall assignment will be undertaken between the months of December 2016 and March 2017. It is expected to take approximately three months, split between inception phase, field data collection phase, buyer mission phase and final reporting phase.

Technical Direction

The tasks will be undertaken under the supervision of the Hub’s Director for Agriculture and Agribusiness or his/her designate.

Requirements of a consultant

The Hub invites eligible consultants to submit Expressions of Interests/bids to undertake the assignment. Interested individuals must exhibit the required experience, competencies, knowledge, skills and ability in the agricultural marketing and trade facilitation. They must comprise, but not limited to the following:

(i) Track record of experience in conducting agricultural marketing and buyer linkages through supporting smallholder farmer aggregation mechanism, market and business linkages for a period of not less than 10 years;

(ii) Developing and or executing agricultural marketing projects including strategies for smallholder farmers inclusion in staples food commodities trade in East Africa for a period not less than 10 years;

(iii) Demonstrate evidence of undertaking similar projects successfully and provide references for each project;

(iv) Excellent stakeholder mapping, analytical, reporting and presentation skills;

(v) Familiarity with the Agriculture Sector developmental issues, policy, planning, institutional and socio-political context in the region and especially in EAC;

(vi) Demonstrated experience having worked closely with regional organisations/associations in areas such as staple foods value chain development, market analysis and linkages with buyers/private sector and a deep understanding of staple foods market systems.

The issuance of this request does not in any way obligate DAI to award a contract nor does it commit DAI to pay for the costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal. Furthermore, DAI reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, if such action is considered to be in the interest of DAI, or the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should should their applications and curriculum vitae via the email tenderstih@eatradehub.org by December 6, 2016, 5.00pm East Africa Local time.

Visit http://www.eatradehub.org/individual_consultants_ic to view the scope of work and learn more about The Trade hub.

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