EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FOR INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANTS IN THE FIELD OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
TERMS OF REFERENCE (TOR)
Summary: this Expression of Interest is about receiving CVs from individual consultants (not consulting companies) in the field of organic agriculture that may be prepared to offer their services for short periods (2-14 days) for short missions like to technically evaluating a grant proposal, or evaluate an individual agricultural enterprise. It does not require the consultant to be available on any specific date nor does it commit GRETA to offer a contract. Qualified individual consultants will be put on a framework contract short list and if available for an assignment a contract can be signed on short notice.
Georgia has been a priority country of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) since 2011 and since 2013 the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) has maintained a Coordination Office in Tbilisi. ADA’s experience in agriculture and regional development is complemented by its well-established relationships with key national and regional stakeholders as well as access to expertise in the public sector in Georgia.
ADA’s Country Strategy for Georgia identifies agriculture and forestry as priority sectors. Within these priority sectors, support for SMEs is considered as promising entry point for strengthening the rural economy and enhanced competitiveness.
The project “Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture” (GRETA) aims at facilitating an improvement of the business environment and the creation of new income opportunities in sustainable mountain tourism and organic agriculture to reduce poverty and exclusion in the selected regions of Georgia, which are comprised of the municipalities of Mestia, Lentekhi, Tsageri, Oni and Ambrolauri, Sachkhere, Chiatura and Tkibuli. The EU, Sweden and Austria jointly contribute to the Action (= the GRETA project).
The official definition of “Organic Agriculture” according to the European Union guideline is:
In the EU, there are some 80 key players that deal with organic farming and the exact definition of organic farming varies according to the institution or organization involved. Each institution uses between 100 and 200 criteria to identify its own organic or bio standard. For the purpose of this Call for Proposal, “bio” means “organic”.
In Georgia, organic farming is still in its infancy, with only around 150 or so agricultural entities being certified as organic. Even in the agricultural community not many agriculturists have been exposed to organic farming systems or have gained practical organic farming experience by themselves. Services like organic farming research and extension are not yet developed.
Private organic associations/ entities and several NGOs have organic farming experience as well as several consulting companies.
At the national level, GRETA aims at supporting the creation of a common vision and a long-term strategy for organic agricultural development at all levels (policy, legislation, research, strategy, organic standards, certification, legislation, teaching, vocational training).
Subsistence agriculture producing for the own household consumption prevails in the mountainous areas of Georgia. The major source of income of small households is dairy cattle, a few sheep (especially in mountain areas), potatoes, barley and vegetables. Most agricultural produce is for own household- consumption. Some households are engaged in bee-keeping. Small amounts of cheese, honey and potato are sold near larger cities. Agricultural holdings in the project area are often only half a ha to one ha. The younger population leaves the mountains for the larger cities as they lack viable economic alternatives to sustain their livelihoods.
The project Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture is being implemented in the period 12/2018 – 03/2023.
The overall objective of the project is that the business environment is meeting market demands by achieving the following outcomes:
Result 1: The legal and policy framework for organic agriculture is enabling sustainable and inclusive development.
Despite some initial improvements in the policy and legal framework as well as previous support to organic farmers, the organic sector continues to grow slowly. The share of organic farmlands is below 0.2% of the total agricultural area of Georgia. The Ministry of Environment and Agriculture estimates that regular consumers of organic products are fewer than 50,000 in Georgia – mostly higher-income and well-educated people.
Thus, the following necessary measures were identified and are foreseen for implementation within the project:
Result 2: Employment and income in organic agriculture is increased due to new and better products and services combined with better market linkages, locally, nationally and internationally.
Apart from local and regional markets, the European Union with its ever-growing organic market offers good opportunities for the export of high-quality food. Georgian farmers could take advantage of their unique products (wild plants, berries, herbs and spices) and obtain organic certification. However, Georgia imports some 50% of its food requirements and import substitution (and not export) should be the first priority for organic production.
In addition, tourism offers mountain farmers the potential to market their surplus agricultural production, providing opportunities not only for non-agricultural entrepreneurship, but also for greater income through food production and processing. Farmers could increase their production of local crops and varieties, processing them into local food products and directly supplying the tourism sector; thereby reaching stability in sales through shorter distribution channels.
To address these and further challenges, the following outputs have been decided upon:
Result 3: Access to capacity development measures for people and institutions active in the fields of organic agriculture is improved and a system of knowledge management is in place enabling joint learning among public, private and civil society actors.
Farmers lack sufficient knowledge and information on modern production practices or marketing experience. The local extension services are not in a position to advise on organic production and no trainings or short-term educational courses on organic agriculture are available. Even with advice obtained
from Tbilisi-based organisations, the lack of proper inputs (e.g. organic seeds, fertilisers and pesticides) is still one of the big obstacles for further development.
In order to ensure properly addressing the identified lack in capacity of certification bodies, producers and further service providers, the capacity development component with regards to organic agriculture within this project will include the following:
As an interrelated activity focusing also on tourism, this project foresees gender trainings for beneficiaries, project staff and other local stakeholders.
It is considered vital to undertake specific gender trainings for beneficiaries, project staff and other local stakeholders in the region. Dominant stereotypes in agriculture and tourism can only be changed with a higher degree of education, training and awareness of the inherent value of a gender mainstreamed approach. Therefore, the project includes a specific gender training component for relevant stakeholders involved, starting with the project staff to be competent and sensitive to the issue, but also the beneficiary farmers and guest house staff trained. Local administration from the target municipalities will also be invited, including local politicians and other decision makers who are mostly male.
In total, four training sessions are planned all over the regions from Higher to Lower Svaneti, Racha- Lechkhumi down to Northern-Imereti.
The UN Agenda 2030 explicitly mentions organic agriculture several times and the Action particularly contributes to several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 1 No Poverty, SGD 2 No Hunger, SDG 3 Good health and well-being, SDG 5 Gender equality, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 12 Responsible Consumption, SDG 13 Climate Action and SDG 15 Life on Land. There will be consistent monitoring of how the action contributes towards achieving the defined SDGs.
GRETA financing, organizational structure and management processes
ADA is implementing the project which is funded by the EU (EURO 3.0 mio.), SIDA (EURO 2.8 mio., and ADA (EURO 1.0 mio.).
A Project Implementation Team is responsible for the overall project management. It consists of staff from the ADA Headquarters (HQ), the ADA Coordination Office in Tbilisi, and a total of 9 GRETA staff. The implementation of the action requires establishing of three project offices, one in Tbilisi (main office) and field offices in Mestia and Ambrolauri. The day-to-day management of the action will be carried out by the GRETA project team.
1.GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE ASSIGNMENT
The goal of this “Expression of Interest for Organic Agriculture Specialists” is to create a roster of individual consultants who may be available on short notice to undertake a mission on a specific subject related to organic agriculture. It is not meant for consulting companies to register as the duration and value of the consultancy is not of economic interest for a consulting company However, individuals working at present for a consulting company can apply on an individual basis and not as a member of a specific company. Any contract will only be issued to an individual.
The type of studies that may be required from an individual consultant are as follows:
Determine the profitability of a crop or of an individual enterprise like potato production at a specific location (agricultural economists). Note: general studies are already available; this relates to the study of the profitability for one specific enterprise or one farmer group.
Draft a specific paper on a specific technical topic in the field of organic production (for technical writers deeply familiar with organic farming)
Develop a timeframe for organic registration for an export crop to a specific country (organic certification specialists)
Organic agricultural practitioners who have many years of experience in organic farming but may not necessarily be good writers in English but can write a good report in Georgian language. They may be prepared to go to individual organic farmer groups to develop a production plan. Consultants in this field should state in detail their practical experience on individual crops. If they are available and live in the project region they may be contracted for longer periods (like 3-5 days per month for 6 months or a similar timeframe) to guide a group of enterprises or teach a group of farmers. But their CV and application should still be in English.
Any other Organic Specialist not mentioned above. It is important that you give the exact description in which field you are technically qualified. This could be e.g. a highly qualified technical speaker in English and Georgian languages to give a presentation at a conference.
If you have written a study in the past pls add a study of your choice in English. The writing sample should be of your own, not that of a team.
The consultant should send a detailed CV that stresses the knowledge of a) agriculture in general b) organic agriculture in particular. It should especially show whether the consultant has practical experience with organic farming rather than having read about it. The consultant should be able to talk with farmers freely on technical issues related to organic farming.
The consultant shall fill out the attached form and shall state his/her expected fee rate per day, his expected per diem per day, and the cost charged for travel using his/her own transport on a km basis.
There is no deadline for submitting your letter of interest but the first consultancies may become available by August 2019.
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