Project manager -High Value Crops and Apiculture Development Project Afghanistan



Location: Afghanistan - Badakhsan Province
Duration months   (Long Term)
Area of Activity: Agriculture, Rural Development, Forestry and Fishery
Job Description:

 

High Value Crops and Apiculture Development,
Kishem District, Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
Terms of Reference
Economic Development Package (EDP 4A)
      
                 Background to the required Services
Economic Development Package (EDP) for Kishm District
Kishm District of Badakhshan Province is located 110km to the south of Faizabad. The Kishm District Centre has good road connections to Faizabad, Taloqan and onwards to Kundoz. There have been no reports of significant poppy cultivation for some years.10.
Kishm District’s economic base is primarily agricultural, with approximately 82,340 hectares of which 52,540 hectares are being used for agriculture. With an estimated population of 124,000, there are around 21,000 households benefiting from farm and off-farm activities. Its economy centres on crops such as wheat, maize and rice, and the District also produces relatively small quantities of vegetables and fruits.
The climate, soil and water availability are well suited to agricultural cultivation during the peak seasons. The relatively harsh winter does not lend itself to unprotected off-season production. Honey production, while it exists in Kishm, is still small; however, the environment of Kishm is conducive to honey cultivation.
Kishm District farmers have the potential to sell their surplus products into the local and regional markets of Kishm District Centre, Faizabad, Taloqan and Kundoz. Currently the produce, surplus to household needs, is barely sufficient to supply the Kishm market. Cereal farmers (the predominant agricultural activity) currently sell their products into specialist wholesalers who then sell on to retailers, and ultimately consumers.
Key constraints for the farmers in Kishm are most likely to be a lack of technical knowledge, poor quality inputs, low yields and the lack of product diversity, no storage for some crops e.g. potatoes and onions and lack of infrastructure to extend the production season which has prevented farmers from capitalising on potential opportunities to develop added value crops/products.
Given its proximity and ease of access to major population areas and major trading hubs, the District potentially offers significant opportunities for economic growth based on competitive supply of vegetables and honey besides other agricultural products to its immediate target urban markets of Faizabad and Taloqan, and through effective distribution, potentially elsewhere in Afghanistan.
In particular, anecdotal evidence points to strong latent demand for locally produced vegetable and honey products. Focusing on these sectors does not involve the introduction of new products, thereby providing rapid benefits and reducing risk.
Appropriately targeted interventions, in the vegetable and honey sectors, could further promote the expansion of Kishm vegetables and honey, which are known to have strong demand in urban centres, especially vegetables during the off-season period which is currently being met predominantly by imports.


The realisation of these opportunities needs to be carefully managed. Any intervention instrument needs to be targeted to promote private sector activity that achieves: (i) economies of scale in production; and (ii) improved value from downstream processing and marketing. In turn, optimising scale and industrial organisation allows the development of other businesses through a multiplier effect, and will create incomes and jobs and facilitates a commensurate increase in returns for both vegetable farming and honey production.
Objectives of EDP for Kishm District
The goal of the EDP is to attain sustainable growth in legal rural incomes and employment in Kishm. The objective of the EDP is to deliver increased income and employment in Kishm district through expanding value-added vegetable and honey production.
EDP4 has two components:
·           Component A - High Value Horticulture & Apiculture
·           Component B - Infrastructure
Component A is further divided into five (5) sub-components:
A1.)          Greenhouse production of high value fruits and vegetables;
A2.)          Over-winter storage of potatoes and onions;
A3.)          Improved production of annual high value field crops;
A4.)          Establishment of a High Value Crop Producers Organisation (HVCPO);
A5.)          Development of beekeeping, including the establishment of the Kishm Beekeepers Organisation (KBO). These Terms of Reference (TOR) cover EDP-04 Component A (or the “Project”).
EDP-04 will be delivered by Consultants who will be procured with the support of CARD-F funds. In turn, funds for this EDP are made available by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).
Vegetable Production – Issues and Constraints in the Value Chain
The value chain for vegetable production comprises the following stages, shown here with their required inputs, and identifying where the outputs flow to. Within Kishm, this value chain is poorly developed and in particular at the input supply and production level. The climate and terrain is suitable for vegetable production as evidenced by the widespread presence of kitchen garden vegetable production. Kishm’s major crops are cereals (rice, wheat, maize etc) with relatively small production of vegetables for market.
Income generation through vegetable production is constrained by farmers’ inability to supply vegetables in the off­season, lack of access to markets in Faisabad, Taloqan and Kundoz, and lack of technical and post-harvest knowledge required to increase yields and supply quality products to these markets.


 

 
The vegetable and annual fruit value chain consists of input suppliers (seed, fertiliser, seedlings, insecticides, pesticides, packaging, greenhouses, equipment suppliers), producers, service suppliers (extension, financiers, agricultural contractors, transport) commission agents, wholesalers, processors, retailers, consumers. During periods of the year gaps in the local supply chain allow imports to capture almost the entire local market.

 

To develop the potential of the Kishm value chain farmers need access to better quality seeds and other inputs, together with technical assistance on good crop husbandry in order to maximise yields and returns. Protected cropping structures (greenhouses) will enable extended season production. Storage for field crops will enable producers to avail of higher price windows. Greenhouse development is ideally suited to the Kishm District as most farmers farm small pieces of land (with an average land holding of five jeribs), so the intensive production enabled by greenhouses offers the best opportunity for income growth. Greenhouse production offers the opportunity to produce products in demand at those times of year when prices for them are highest. Using greenhouses, farmers can take advantage of high off-season demand for tomatoes and cucumbers, for example. The better control of the environment can lead to increased yields, higher quality, improved land and water use efficiency, reduced insect and disease pressure, decreased use of fungicides and pesticides. Household incomes can increase as farmers are able to capture the higher prices for off-season produce.
Literature review, interviews with market traders and other knowledgeable informants have shown that there is potentially a high return on investment for storage of potatoes, onions and some other crops. In Kishm district the conditions necessary for bioclimatic storage are present.
Potatoes and onions have been identified as two crops that can be produced successfully in the area and which can give significant financial returns to an investor in storage facilities. However, reported yields of both these crops are well below what is achievable in the growing conditions of Kishm.
Input manufacturers and suppliers
Before acquiring bee colonies the prospective beekeeper needs a hive or box equipped with frames (known as a brood chamber) in which to keep the colony. A strong colony will usually need another brood chamber placed immediately above. The beekeeper may also need access to a supply of supers and frames just on top of the brood chamber in which the bees will store honey. Protective clothes and other equipment will also be needed. Most of this equipment is imported from Pakistan, so there are opportunities for local assembly and for manufacture.
Bee colonies
It is vital that new colonies be free from pests and diseases, so the services of a beekeeping specialist are essential to identify reliable suppliers. A decision also needs to be made on which bee species will be best adapted to the district. This will have a bearing on where swarms are procured. The most usual source of bees here is from other commercial honey producers rather than specialist queen raisers or dedicated swarm producers. Australia has been a major source of queens but it is reported that supplies are now insufficient to meet national demand. Depending on the chosen species commercial honey producers in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan or Russia are likely to be the supply source.
Wholesalers/Retailers
There is reported14 to be good demand for honey in Badakhshan; if this proves to be the case then most sales can be done directly or through retailers. As supply increases, local demand will be satisfied, with surpluses having to be exported out of the Province. The market channels for honey are poorly developed and need to be strengthened. There are five honey cooperatives active in Jurm and Baharak Districts15. The NGO TdH has supported the development of honey production in Takhar province and the beekeepers are organised into a cooperative. In 2010 that cooperative marketed eight tons of honey on behalf of the members with 700kgs exported to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at a selling price of 500 AFN (approx USD11.50) per kg. On this basis, there appears to be a strong role for a Beekeepers Association in marketing.
Technical and market support services
Currently there is no support for beekeeping in Kishm. There are no subject matter experts in DAIL, and any work being done on beekeeping is initiated by NGOs. Also, there exists no Association to look after beekeeping interests in the District. A "fit for purpose” association should be able to provide technical support to its members, along with support for the provision of post-harvest services and advice and support for marketing of honey & bee-derived products. Therefore, capacity building in the technical, managerial and marketing fields will be required.
Marketing
Different options for the marketing of bee-derived products should be considered. Once the value chain has been established, it is expected that there may be some investment in further post-harvest facilities by contractors or retailers. These will offer opportunities for export potential of products such as honey, propolis, royal jelly and bees wax. There is a contingency provided in the budget to support the Kishm Beekeepers Organisation to improve post harvest processing. Use of this would be dependent on the KBO having the necessary capacity.
It is expected that the KBO will be able to take the lead in forming linkages with wholesalers and can possibly act as an agent and facilitator for beekeepers. However, it would be essential that the KBO take the lead in ensuring that its members properly package and label their products correctly and meet quality standards.
Results to be achieved
The Project aims to achieve the following targets:
·           200 greenhouses established and 200 entrepreneurs supported in the production of high value horticultural crops;
·             100 bioclimatic stores established and up to 500 farmers trained in the storage of crops;
·           500 farmers trained in the production of high value field crops;
·           300 entrepreneurs identified and supported to establish bee farms
·           A High Value Crop Producer Organisation (KHVCPO) formed and providing services to the membership
·           A Beekeepers Organisation (KBO) formed and providing services to the membership
During the Implementation Period opportunities may be identified for the establishment of seedling nurseries. Depending on entrepreneurs providing proposals that withstand due diligence, recommendations of the Consultant and approval by the client, a contingency sum may be authorised to support the establishment of one or more nurseries.
Subject to satisfactory performance of the KHVCPO and it demonstrating the necessary management capacity, anticipated sustainability and other conditions outlined in Para 5 Section 4.3.A1.7, the project may support the construction of a facility that will serve as offices, meeting place, store and product assembly area for fruits and vegetables.
Furthermore, subject to satisfactory performance of the KBO and it demonstrating the necessary management capacity and other conditions outlined in Para 5 Section 4.3.A1.7 below, the project may support the construction and equipping of a facility that will serve as offices, meeting place, store and processing plant for honey and other bee products.
Technical support and grant disbursement for the development of these facilities may be undertaken by a variation of the existing consultant contract, or alternative contracting arrangements, subject to Client approval, and in compliance with the GIRoA Rules of Procedure for Public Procurement.
By achieving the above targets the Project will support delivery of the following outcomes:
·             Increase in greenhouse production of high value horticultural crops of 2,450 tons;
·             Increase in value of field crops as a result of over winter storage by 60%;
·             Increase in production of high value field crops by 2,200 tons;
·           Jobs created: 300 full time job equivalents in greenhouses; 500 full time job equivalents in field crop production; and 300 full time job equivalents in beekeeping;
·           Kishm district will have a dynamic and proactive High Value Crop Producer Organisation (KHVCPO); and
·           Kishm district will have a dynamic and proactive Beekeepers Organisation (KBO).
The project will be implemented over a thirty nine (39) month duration.

Consultant’s Key Staff
The Consultant will support all aspects of this Project’s implementation and comprise international and Afghan specialists of demonstrated technical competence and strategic capability, to suit the project implementation and delivery/output requirements as indicated in the TOR.
The consultant shall provide an appropriate team structure and mix of skills and technical disciplines which take account the objectives and deliverables. This is required to be a robust and effective team structure that is appropriately managed and resourced throughout the project, taking account of its need to be flexible and responsive to the findings of the data collected.
Listed below are indicative key personnel skill sets, that should be considered. The Consultant is, however, free to propose in their response to the RFP, alternatives that will achieve the project objectives, including combining skills within an individual specialist staff member where appropriate, and where the staff member is suitably qualified and experienced.
The Consultant shall specify in their response to the RFP the quantity/time proposed for each input, with man-months for staff. Full CVs in the required RFP format shall be submitted in any the response to RFP, for each key team member. Both the individual team members and the composition of the consultant’s team are subject to Client approval:
·           Project manager (international / regional), with a minimum of 10 years experience in managing rural development projects and with substantial experience of similar projects in Central & South Asia with experience of working in challenging environments;
·           Assistant project manager (national), with a minimum of 7 years experience in managing rural horticultural & apicultural development projects in Afghanistan;
·           Marketing specialist (international), with a minimum of 10 years experience in the marketing of horticultural and honey produce with substantial experience of similar projects in Central & South Asia with experience of working in challenging environments;
·           Business Development specialist (international) with a minimum of 10 years experience in developing SMEs and rural business;
·           Horticultural Production specialist (international), appropriate tertiary qualification with a minimum of 10 years experience in the production of horticultural products with substantial experience of similar projects in Central & South Asia with experience of working in challenging environments;
·           Training specialist (international), with a minimum of 5 years experience of designing training programmes for rural communities in conditions similar to Afghanistan;
·           Greenhouse design specialist (regional), with experience in design of Chinese Solar Greenhouses or similar structures suitable for all year round production in environments similar to Kishm;
·           Association development specialist (regional), with a minimum of 10 years experience in farmer organisation development with experience of similar projects in Central & South Asia, and experience of working in challenging environments. Experience in Afghanistan and a working knowledge of Dari or Pashto is required;
·           Apiculture specialist (international), appropriate tertiary qualification with a minimum of 10 years experience in commercial honey production and at least 5 of which should be in similar projects in Central & South Asia with experience of working in challenging environments;

·           Horticultural Production specialist (national) with a minimum of 7 years experience in dealing with community-based organisations and vegetable production improvements in Afghanistan;
·           Apiculture specialist (national); with a minimum of 7 years experience in dealing with community-based organisations and honey production improvements in Afghanistan;
·           Bioclimatic storage specialist; with a minimum of 5 years experience of bioclimatic storage of horticultural produce, at least 3 of which should have been in Afghanistan or in the region;
·           Grants Manager (international), with an accountancy or commerce qualification, and a minimum of 5 years experience of managing large and small grants in a similar environment;
·           Monitoring and reporting staff, in which the senior position shall have a minimum of 4 years relevant experience, including participatory processes, logical framework, stakeholder analysis plus monitoring and evaluation
·           Administrative and finance staff, in which the senior position shall have a minimum of 5 years relevant experience in similar positions tertiary qualification in finance and / or administration
 
 
If you are interested in this project please contact: flaminia.sferracarini@sim-spa.it and patrizia.giacchetti@sim-spa.it
 
 
 
                          
Minimum years of professional experience: 10
Salary Available on application
Valid until: 26 November 2911