The Livelihoods and Food Security Programme (LFSP) is a DFID-funded initiative which seeks to improve rural household incomes and their food and nutrition security. The program is implemented in Zimbabwe in ten districts drawn from three provinces, Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Midlands . The LFSP program has two main components as indicated below;
1.1 Agricultural Productivity and Nutrition (APN) Component
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) manages the implementation of interventions under this component. The interventions under this component seek to raise smallholder farmers productivity by promoting improved and climate smart agricultural practices and technologies, access to finance as well as the production and consumption of safe and more nutritious food. The APN component is also responsible for farmer group formation, and these farmer groups are important for the MD component in aggregation of produce and establishment of Farmer Group Enterprises.
1.2 Market Development Component
Palladium manages the implementation of the LFSP Market Development component (LFSP MD). The interventions under this component seek to strengthen smallholder farmers participation in agribusiness through improved linkages to various market services such as inputs, output markets, mechanization and other services. Following the Market Systems Development approach (MSD), Palladium works closely with local partners, the Agricultural Partnerships Trust (APT) and GRM Zimbabwe to facilitate implementation of inclusive business models which have potential for pro-poor economic impact in their respective communities. In this respect, various value chains and agribusiness models are continually assessed for pro-poor impact and commercial viability. The LFSP MD component provides targeted support to market actors designed to contribute towards reducing market constraints which limit potential for scale, inclusiveness and long-term sustainability. Market actors are supported under this component through a range of interventions including cost-sharing arrangements and / or provision of technical assistance (TA) to enhance the depth, scale and commercial sustainability of supported interventions.
2. Purpose and Statement of Assignment
The global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic forced many governments, including Zimbabwe to take drastic measures in order to curb the spread of the virus. The associated response strategies included international border closures and country lockdowns to limit internal and external movements, affecting the movement of goods and services in and out of the country. These restrictions immediately affected agribusiness activities regionally, nationally and local level (project sites). The Government of Zimbabwe prioritised Agriculture as an ‘essential services’ industry allowing the industry to continue with business so as to ensure that the food supply chain in the country is not disrupted.
COVID-19 has disrupted some activities in agriculture and supply chains as a result of the lockdown measures that are in place that significantly challenge the ease of doing business. The lockdown measures will continue to have far-reaching impact on the agribusiness sector in Zimbabwe. District authorities have to ensure that strategic agribusiness plans are developed and adapted to ensure that there is continuity of business. Currently the district authorities are relying on strategies that are developed at a national level which are developed as a ‘one size fits all’. In reality, the national strategies provide a broad framework that require to be adapted depending on the comparative advantages that are within a particular district. This will enhance relevance, implementation and enforcement by the various actors within the district to reduce or curb the spread of Covid 19 whilst at the same time maintain economic agribusiness activities.
3.Assignment Delivery Approach
The STTA is required to perform the following tasks:
o Convene and engage with district authorities/stakeholders to discuss the current agribusiness measures that are being implemented in the district. The key output is to establish how district authorities have ensured that input, output and service markets remain operational
o Facilitate the development of a District (Covid Adapted) Strategies for Agribusiness Continuity. Working together with the District authorities, the consultant will work together with an identified developmental committee to develop the strategy document. The strategy shall document Covid compliant measures for implementation, possible partnerships that will need to be explored and forged as part of resource mobilization, detail timelines and government departments responsible for implementation
o Present the strategy document to identified district stakeholders for approval and implementation.
4. STTA Deliverables and Timelines
The STTA under this assignment will need to provide the LFSP MD with comprehensive District (Covid Adapted) Strategies for Agribusiness Continuity for the 10 operational districts as part of Local Economic Development initiatives by the program
5. STTA Management
· The STTA will operate from their home or offices but are free to use Palladium Office space in Harare for the work related to this assignment during the duration of the assignment. To allow for engagement with district stakeholders and other relevant project partners in the clusters, the STTA will also be expected to travel to the programme districts. The logistics related to travel and any required accommodation while in the field will be handled directly by Palladium LFSP MD team in Harare.
· The STTA will be supported on this assignment by the Provincial Market Leads
· The STTA will report on all technical aspects related to this assignment to the LFSP Market Development Team Leader in Harare, who will approve and clear the work with the Project Director.
Skills and experience Required
· Masters in Agribusiness, local governance, with health and safety being an added advantage
· Must be an agribusiness specialist with health and safety background being an added advantage.
· Experience working with government and private sector stakeholders
· Experience in working with local government
· A Zimbabwean national or has the right to work in Zimbabwe