Livestock Systems and Markets Consultant

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 28 July 2020
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Job Description

Project Description:

In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Land O’Lakes Venture 37 is responsible for implementing the project’s livestock-related activities, in particular goats, sheep and poultry, within the Maharo DFSA project in southern Madagascar. Maharo is a Development Food Assistance Activity (DFSA), a food security project funded by the United States Agence for International Development aimed at preventing and reducing acute food insecurity among the most vulnerable households in the Androy and Atsimo Andrefana regions. Maharo will improve access to basic and emergency services (food aid, health/nutrition, water, protection) and build household assets to increase resilience, protect property and reduce vulnerability to acute food insecurity. Maharo aims to reach around 60,000 households in the districts of Beloha, Tsihombe, Ampanihy, Betioky-Atsimo, and Toliara II.

Opportunity Background:

As part of the Refine and Implementation year of the Maharo project, Venture37 will conduct a Livestock Value Chain, Market & Health System Assessment in the project regions, which will inform project activities. The assessment will be divided into 2 Phases based on the planned activities and within the context of COVID-19. Phase 1 is the “Secondary research and preparatory work” stage that can be set up and started remotely. Phase 2 is the “Field work and in-person meetings and assessment activities in project zones” stage which requires in-person field work on the part of the field team. For this phase, the team have to wait to start until travel restrictions have been lifted.The Livestock Systems and Markets consultant will assist with both phases of this assessment.

Summary of the assessment goal

Land O’Lakes Venture37 (V37) will set up this assessment to deepen Maharo’s understanding of livestock practices, market barriers and opportunities, animal health services, and animal sourced food (ASF) consumption among Extremely Poor Households and Chronically Vulnerable Households, populations that typically have low levels of livestock ownership.

To achieve its goal, the assessment will be oriented to respond to 4 main research questions or global themes:

  • What types of livestock husbandry are practiced by each of the four targeted household types and what are the possibilities for improvement which will increase food security for a population consistently enduring stress?
  • What is the most suitable level of livestock ownership and management needs within households over the course of a year when considering the system of sale and restocking of animals? What and when are the most appropriate markets for livestock and how could the private sector be integrated more effectively to improve access for project participants?
  • What are the factors limiting the adoption of improved and innovative production techniques, in particular disease prevention measures, and what would the correct mechanism be to adopt to improve on the provision of animal health services and access to veterinary inputs?
  • What determines the use of animals and animal products within households (consumption, sale, ritual usage others)? An emphasis during research will consider the limited consumption of animal-sourced foods, what would be the best approaches/strategies to adopt to increase consumption? It is important to understand the varied reasons why farmers keep livestock (e.g. food, income, status)

Global theme one will address the analysis of the participants’ husbandry practices and how to improve them in order to improve household food security. Global theme two is focused on livestock management and market aspects, including the private sector. Global theme three analyzes animal health at the farm-level, as well as input & service supply. Global theme four will assess the use of animals and animal products at the household level.

The consultant will support the team throughout the process to gather information to answer these research questions. A more detailed description of the expected support will be specified in the Market System Analysis and Animal Source Food overview sections.

Scope of Work:

The goal of this consultancy is to provide guidance during the research, data collection and data analysis phases of the Livestock Assessment. Given limitations on international travel and travel within Madagascar, this consultancy is designed as remote assignment, meaning that the selected consultant will work from her/his current location.

The assessment is organized into two phases. For Phase I, a “desk review” stage, the consultant will work with the local project team to identify, review, analyze and consolidate relevant secondary data, reports, and other research that provide relevant information on livestock, animal health and animal sourced food consumption and food safety in southern Madagascar. They will contribute their outside perspective to enhance the analysis and assist the team to organize and prepare the findings. The project has already obtained a large body of information in French and English, as well as data from recent projects implemented in the region. For Phase II, a “field research” stage, the consultant will support the local team to prepare and conduct in-person (group and individual) research in the projects intervention regions. This support comprises reviewing and proving guidance and feedback on research tools, contributing to data collection tools and assisting with the analysis of qualitative information and writing the final report in English and preparing the presentation for project stakeholders.

This assignment will not involve any travel. The timing and approach to Phase II will depend upon the ability of the local team to travel in country and consider both safety considerations and any restrictions by local authorities on in-country travel among Regions and Districts. The local technical team includes an Animal Health Specialist, a Livestock Production Specialist, and Livestock Team Lead, all with extensive knowledge of the local context.

Level of Effort

20 working days

The LOE may be separated into two different time periods, i.e. not a continuous 20 days of LOE

Place of Performance

Consultant’s residence. This assignment does not require travel.

Primary Responsibilities

The consultant will be expected to communicate frequently with the team in Madagascar and Venture37’s HQ program support.

Phase I: Distance Research Review and Phase 1 Report

  • Become familiar with Livestock Assessment Statement of Work and project relevant documents
  • With the Livestock Team Lead, prepare an approach and methodology for team review and input into the assessment
  • Review secondary data, reports, and research with the Livestock Team Lead to provide an outside analysis
  • Identify gaps and provide feedback on secondary data research review
  • Prepare a Phase 1 report to consolidate the relevant information with recommendations that aligns with the project’s livestock activities and overall objectives

Phase II: Data Collection Tools and Analysis for in-country application

  • Provide guidance and appropriate examples for data collection tools developement
  • Review current data collection tools
  • Contribute to development of further data collection tools e.g. question selection and interview guides
  • Supply suitable guide and tools for qualitative data analysis
  • Assist with analysis of qualitative information e.g. code creation and coding data
  • Lead and support the team throughout the Market section of the assessment (analysis of desk review data, field data collection, data analysis and report writing).

Market System Analysis Overview

The consultant will assist the team through a market system mapping and analysis in the Maharo project areas to complete the following objectives:

  • Identify and classify the key players in the livestock market (companies, associations, and individuals) according to their capacity and potential, with an emphasis on those who may be able to collaborate with the project.
  • Identification analysis of the actors who can influence the market system in the area, including in the field of supply of production services and inputs.
  • Understand the functionality of each market player and identy action plans that could lead to their expansion. Note, the full value-chain will be included: input supplies and services, producers, fattening operations, slaughterhouses, processors, butchers, and consumers.
  • Analysis of the growth potential of the local market system including the growth potential of sales, investment, employment and profitability.
  • Identification of food safety concerns within each portion of the value chains for all livestock species: small ruminants, poultry, and cattle.
  • Analysis of the constraints at the level of each player in the market system and the market system itself which could impede the growth and development of fair sales / marketing.

Animal Source Food Overview

The consultant will also support specifically the team on Animal Source Food analysis, especially to lead inquiries to understand the human consumption patters in the implementation zone:

  • Identify the HH practices in term of ASF, along the year (. This will consider the ASF self production and purchase, the type and quantity of ASF consummed, the period, the frequences
  • Identify the main barriers and constraints of ASF at HH and community level.
  • Understand the local capacity in terms of ASF offer (market, butcher, processors) and to understand the local potentiality in terms of ASF offers.Know the price and cost aspect on ASF (HH and market level)


Phase I: Research Review

  • Report on secondary data research review
  • Guidance and appropriate tools for field team
  • Phase 1 feed back and instruction for secondary data research report

Phase II: Data Collection Tools and Analysis

  • Guidance and tool for data collection tools development
  • Guidance and tool for data collection
  • Review of all findings from qualitative information analysis
  • SWOT analysis of the market system

Required Skills and Qualifications

The following criteria are required:

  • An undergraduate degree (e.g. BA/BS) in agribusiness, international development, economics, business management, agricultural or rural development [specify area(s) of study], or other relevant field.
  • Experience with research or projects that develop livestock for smallholder and vulnerable persons; Livestock health services, marketing, and animal source food promotition
  • Significant experience in assessment approaches targeted to smallholder farmers/livestock producers.
  • Relevant experience with Rural Market Assessment, preferably in an African context.
  • Experience in qualitative questionnaire design and analysis.
  • Experience with remote and in-person interview techniques and approaches.
  • Master’s Degree in Livestock, Agriculture, Development Studies that includes work experience with field-based assessment.
  • Good knowledge of USAID FFP and its general approaches for Agriculture & Livelihood strategy to improve food security.
  • Professional-level of French

The following criteria are preferred:

  • Research experience in Madagascar

Candidate Evaluation

Candidates that apply will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Experience in relevant area (25%)
  • Technical and financial proposal (25%)
  • Experience in market system analysis, especially in the context of rural areas in developing country (25%)
  • French knowledge and capacity to conduct research in French (10%)

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls will be accepted.

Land O’Lakes never requests money or payment from candidates for any position type. Please report any such requests to Land O’Lakes.

Land O’Lakes Venture37 is an equal opportunity employer and an organization striving to help global communities thrive through agriculture. We consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status, among other factors. Our culture values a diversity of voices. So bring us your unique experiences, your workstyle, and your dreams — they’ll only make us stronger.

About the Organization

Land O'Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening local agriculture, helping agribusinesses create jobs and linking farmers to markets. Since 1981, it has implemented over 315 integrated dairy, livestock and crops development programs in nearly 80 countries — creating lasting impact by linking farmers, businesses, and the public and private sector in local and global contexts. Land O’Lakes Venture37’s long-standing affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc. sets it apart. Land O’Lakes, Inc. is one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives. It supports Land O’Lakes Venture37 project implementation with nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights and technologies. This gives Land O’Lakes Venture37 development projects a unique global view of agriculture, food and the power of well-functioning market systems. Land O’Lakes, Inc. supports these efforts as part of its enterprise purpose of Feeding Human Progress at home and around the world.

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