Terms of Reference
Consultancy for In-Depth Analysis of Mulberries Produced in Mastung, Balochistan and Farmers Trainings
Location: Quetta, Baluchistan
Duration: 37 working days
The Market Development Facility (MDF) – supported by the Australian Government and implemented by Palladium – is a multi-country facility that invests in innovative businesses to stimulate economic growth across the Asia Pacific region, with the aim to:
- Create additional employment and income earning opportunities for poor women and men through broad-based and sustainable pro-poor growth.
- Make rural and urban sectors of the economy, in which the poor are involved as producers and workers, more competitive and make them grow.
- Trigger lasting 'systemic' changes in the markets systems around these sectors to reduce constraints to growth and to increase their capacity to innovate and deal with competitive, regulatory, social and environmental pressures, so that the benefits for the poor will sustain and expand in time.
The Facility is committed to implementing a systems approach to stimulating pro-poor growth:
- Rather than working with the poor directly, the Facility will seek to develop partnerships with players in the private and public sector with the ability and leverage to trigger lasting systemic changes that create broad-based, sustainable pro-poor growth.
- With each partner, the Facility will design and negotiate detailed action plans, which include clear financial and resource commitments, to arrive at appropriate, innovative and sustainable solutions.
- Sector players are intended to take the lead in implementation, with the Facility's role being limited and short-term.
MDF is currently operational in Fiji, Timor-Leste, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. In all countries the MDF programme operates across a range of strategic engagement areas, through partnerships with strategic private sector players, to create commercially sustainable innovations or business models and trigger systemic change.
MDF is currently looking to hire a short term consultant to undertake a study on constraints and opportunities within mulberry production in Mastung, Balochistan. Mulberry is a dry fruit with significant demand in winters, which is predominately filled by imported dry mulberry from Afghanistan and India. Mastung is the largest Mulberry producing region in Balochistan. Due to an inconsistent supply of quality mulberries, demand for Mastung mulberries remains low in dry fruit markets across Pakistan. On an average small farmers in Balochistan have 4-5 trees in their house and rely on incomes from dried mulberries, however their outdated harvesting, collecting and drying practices result in huge post-harvest loses and low price from the market.
The objective of this TOR is to outline the requirements for an in-depth analysis of the mulberry value chain in Mastung, Balochistan. The consultant will be achieving this through the following:
- Develop a work plan: based on the expectations regarding deliverables, field travel, and engagement with stakeholders to complete the task, the work plan should break down a process into small, achievable tasks and identify the things we want to accomplish. The consultant should plan on the notion that MDF and FAO will be heavily involved during the whole feasibility report development process, including participating in field visits and meetings with stakeholders.Since the consultant is expected to come up with techno-economic feasibility report, we would need to follow the work plan developed in order to ensure we achieve the target within the decided timeframe and keep track of progress achieved.
- Develop a feasibility report that covers two important aspects of mulberry value chain:
- Analyze market demand for dried mulberries from Mastung Balochistan: What do traders/market need, does the mulberry variety produced in Mastung have market demand or are farmers in Mastung cultivating the right variety? Is our variety cost-competitive with mulberries imported from Afghanistan? what is the appropriate packaging material and size? Etc.
- Analyze mulberry farmers’ current drying practices and recommend improvement: What are the current practices, what are the gaps, how these practices can be improved to ensure timeliness supply and better quality produce, what equipement are required for drying process, can it be made available locally or is there a need to setup a business model around technology provision? Etc.
- On the basis of the feasibility study prepared, consultant will conduct training workshops for mulberry farmers in Mastung. In these trainings consultant will demonstrate best drying practices and an appropriate packaging to farmers. Consultant will train FAOs female staff who will conduct trainings for the female farmer in Mastung.
To achieve these objectives, the consultant must go through the following steps:
- The consultant will meet MDF and AusABBA FAO representatives in Quetta to get an overall understanding and background of the Mulberry production in the region. A detailed work plan will be submitted by the consultant showing how and when he will identify and analyze the market demand, trader’s requirement, farmer’s practices, gaps in practices, recommend better drying practices and conduct trainings. The work plan will also contain the field activities, meetings with stakeholders, trainings and the deliverables.
- Meeting with traders in Quetta, and Karachi (large traders, importers and retailers) to understand the market demand and supply, constraints and opportunities.
- Meeting with research institutes and government agriculture department in Mastung and Quetta to understand the work being done in mulberry production and research on technical aspects in terms of introduction of any technology.
- Conduct an extensive scoping in Mastung to meet with farmers, local traders, FMC (Farmers Market Collectives), input dealers (if any) and understand current system around mulberry farming, logistics, packaging and credit needs. The consultant will identify the low cost technology as per farmers needs and affordability, and provides recommendation on better sun drying practices. With the help of FAO female master trainers, the consultant will also identify the roles of women in mulberry farming.
- The consultant will submit the first draft of feasibility report, and MDF and FAO will share their feedback on the report within 5 days.
- The consultant will submit a final report, which includes an in-depth analysis of mulberry value chain, market demand and supply gap, product and variety required by the local market, gaps in the production, cost benefit analysis of improving practices and adopting technology, farmer’s current practices, gaps and recommendation on the better sun drying practices.
- The consultant will conduct farmer trainings on the basis of findings and recommendation on better sun drying practices in Mastung. The consultant will also train FAOs female master trainers on sun drying practices to conduct training for the female farmers. Thus there will be 4 sessions for men and 2 sessions for women.
Steps, deliverables and approximate time allocation are outlined in the table below:
Step 1: Meeting with MDF and FAO representatives and developing work plan
- Meet with MDF and AusABBA FAO representative to understand the requirement of feasibility report.
- Discuss and finalize work plan for the consultant’s activities in accomplishing the objectives of the report.
- A work plan will be submitted by the consultant with the research methodology for accomplishing the objectives of report.
Due Date: March 2018
+/- 2 days
Step 2: Meet with Traders, importers, exporters and retailers in Karachi and Quetta
- Meet traders (importer, exporter, large traders and retailers) in Quetta and Karachi, to determine the market demand and requirement, acceptable quality standard, appropriate packaging, price, etc.
Minutes of meetings and first draft of feasibility report covering market analysis for dried mulberry.
Due Date: March 2018
+/- 10 days
Step 3: Meet with Research institute and Government departments
- Meeting with Agriculture research institutes and agriculture department’s representatives from Baluchistan to understand the current work being done in the mulberry value chain, information of better practices, constraints and opportunities to introduce low cost technologies, and potential alignment with government objectives.
Due Date: March 2018
+/- 2 day
Step 4: Conduct scoping in Mastung (meet farmers, traders, input providers, extension department)
- Conduct full-fledge scoping in Mastung and meet the major stakeholder including farmers, FMC, sharecroppers, traders/artist, input providers (if any) and extension officers, to evaluate current practices and opportunities to improve and increase the supply of better quality dried mulberries to the local market.
- Second draft of feasibility report will be submitted. MDF and FAO will provide feedback within 5 days on the submission.
Due date: April 2018
+/- 10 day
Step 4: Finalization of report and recommendations.
- Consultant submits final report incorporating comments from MDF and FAO.
- Reports includes recommendation of best sun drying practices as well as plan for conducting six trainings.
Due date: May 2018
+/- 5 days
Step 5: Conduct farmer trainings and train FAO female staff.
- On the basis of recommendation of report, consultant will conduct six farmer meetings on better sun-drying practices and packaging
- Consultant will train FAO female field staff and supervise them in conducting training for female farmers.
- There will be four sessions for men and two sessions for women.
Due Date: May 2018
+/- 8 days
The distribution of days between steps is indicative and can be changed if needed. The assignment cannot exceed a maximum of 37 working days.
The consultant will work under the guidance of Muhammad Ibrahim Khilji (MDF) and Ahmed J. Essa (FAO). He/she will update the team on the progress of the assignment and will inform the MDF and FAO team immediately if contract deliverables as defined above cannot be met.
Education, Skills, Knowledge and Experience:
The successful condidate should demonstrate:
- A university degree in business administration, international business or equivalent and with 8-10 years of practical field experience.
- Working experience in Baluchistan, or in similar geographic region.
- Strong relevant experience in the market studies, preferably for food processing industries.
- Excellent knowledge of dried fruit markets and fruit processing industries.
- Excellent communication and writing skills and fluency in English.