Agritourism Specialist - Coconut Tours

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 12 March 2020

Job Description

Dates & duration: April/May 14 days
Location: Honiara, Solomon Islands
ARF Level: B3

Background to the Strongim Bisnis program

Strongim Bisnis is an AUD14 million, three-year market systems development (MSD) program funded by the Australian Government in Solomon Islands, working under the umbrella of the Solomon Islands Growth Program. Its goal is to stimulate growth in specific sectors (initially tourism, cocoa and coconut) through activities that catalyse business innovation, change practices, strengthen collaboration, manage risks, build resilience and increase women’s participation and empowerment. It commenced in July 2017.

The program has three end-of-program outcomes (EOPOs) to June 2020:

  1. Business is demonstrating potential for increased productivity, greater resilience, better risk management, more income earning opportunities and access to high value markets, measured by higher agricultural yields, more efficient use of assets and labour, and new business models that favour employment, incomes or trade.
  2. The private sector and government work together to increase opportunities for trade and investment, and form external partnerships that accelerate business growth, measured by a more favourable investment climate and external partnerships that accelerate changing business practice.
  3. Women and youth have increased economic opportunity, measured by women’s and youth participation in the above outcomes, and specific measures for women’s and youth economic empowerment.

Background to the Assignment

The coconut industry is at a crucial crossroads. Traditionally the industry has relied on the production and export of copra. The price of copra and cost of production/transport are making it a less viable option to drive industry growth over the long-term. Many in the industry are increasingly focused on product diversification and value-addition; however, without sufficient information upon which to make investment decisions and appropriate support and expertise to capitalise on opportunities for value-addition; innovation and the potential for diversification will be stunted.

Our partner, Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI) has an established supply chain and steady bulk exports of organic virgin coconut oil (VCO). The company aims to provide sustainable livelihoods for rural communities through the production of high-quality virgin coconut oil and by-products. The company’s VCO is produced by a network of more than 50 village producers across Solomon Islands. Typically, a family owns and runs the oil making machinery, which uses the cold-pressed direct micro expelling (DME) method. The family buys coconuts from farmers surrounding the village. KPSI sources from over 3,500 ha of registered certified organic plantations owned by more than 1,000 farmers. More than 60% of oil revenue goes back to communities, providing an income to over 5,000 people. All oil is quality-tested and must meet strict standards. However, the increased world supply of bulk virgin coconut oil, means that the company has not been able to increase its prices paid to community-based DME production units for a number of years.

KPSI currently produces value-added coconut products, such as scented body oils and soaps in the domestic market but has limited exports of those products. KPSI continues to seek opportunities to expand its sales and to sell more VCO so as to support the VCO value chain.

In-line with Strongim Bisnis’ tourism and coconut market analyses and plans, we will support KPSI with its intention to diversify, by partnering to develop an agri-tourism product. Support will also include marketing, and facilitating commercial linkages with tour operators and booking services.

Objective of the Assignment

The objective of this consultancy is to work closely to support KPSI to develop an immersive coconut tour package and facilitate commercial agreements with tourism operators.

Scope of Work

  1. Review and analyse key KPSI documents to understand its products, history and approach
  2. Seek out information pertaining to similar products currently offered in Solomon Islands and other Pacific Island countries
  3. Work with KPSI to develop a script for the tours, highlighting KPSI’s competitive advantage such as village-level production, women’s empowerment, youth and disability inclusion
  4. Make recommendations to rearrange the facility so as to tell a logical story about the production process to visitors
  5. Develop hands-on activities and demonstrations to enhance visitor experience
  6. Recommend steps needed to ensure visitor and worker health and safety
  7. Provide marketing support to establish a pricing model; build a social media presence; write copy for print advertising material.

Skills and experience required

The consultant should have:

  • A university degree in the following or relevant field of study: business management, economics, agriculture or tourism
  • At least 10 years of experience in tourism, and previous experience reviewing and designing agri-tourism packages is desirable
  • Demonstrated experience of working with businesses in Pacific Island countries; coconut sector preferred
  • Good facilitation and coordination skills across a diversity of stakeholders
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills with the ability to develop high quality reports
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

How to apply
Expression of interests should include a CV and a cover letter, and should be sent to no later than 27th March 2020, with the subject title EOI – Agritourism Specialist – Coconut Tours.
Only shortlisted individuals will be contacted. Strongim Bisnis reserves the right to accept or reject any or all applications without assigning any reason.

About the Organization

ASI is committed to continually improve the diversity of our workforce through the attraction, retention and development of a diverse range of talented people. We want people to be comfortable bringing their whole self to work and recognise that inclusion brings further opportunities for innovation and creativity.

# Happy to talk flexible working

Adam Smith International is a strategic development company that helps people prosper by making economies stronger, societies safer, and governments more effective. Our clients are governments, international organisations, companies, and foundations. They come to us to develop strategies and to design, deliver and evaluate programmes that, in turn, stimulate growth, stability and good governance.

Our core team of managers and technical experts, in offices around the world, ensures the quality of delivery and high ethical standards that we and our clients require. We bring together a global network of specialist experts, who contribute their experience and know-how, where and when it is needed.

ASI is owned and operated by its employees, and we are all dedicated to making a meaningful difference in complex, challenging situations. We are committed to corporate integrity and a triple bottom line of social, environmental and financial performance.

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