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TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE SUPPORT TO MESPT CAPACITY BUILDING INITIATIVES FOR VALUE CHAIN ACTORS UNDER THE AgriFI PROGRAMME
Micro-Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT) has since the year 2002 developed a niche in supporting the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by providing integrated business solutions for sustainable development. The Trust is a multi-donor entity jointly founded by the Government of Kenya and the European Union who later relinquished their position to the Royal Danish Embassy in Kenya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA).
About AgriFI Programme
AGRIFI programme is an EU-Danida funded Programme whose objective is to support production initiatives for smallholder farmers that are adaptive to the changing climate and market requirements. The 6-year programme runs from 2018 to 2023 where MESPT is the Implementing Partner of TWO and THREE of the four overall programme Results Areas.
Result area two of the project is aimed at strengthening the capacities of actors along selected value chains through the Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) system approach. To ensure compliance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) measures by the country, AgriFI Programme has set up a series of capacity building initiatives to empower and equip the responsible inspectors and certifiers with the proper knowledge and tools to regulate SPS compliance of Horticulture (with special focus on beans, mango and avocado), Aquaculture and Dairy produce. Activities under the result area inter alia include supporting upgrading, development, and upscaling of agricultural value chain-based training curricula under the ATVETs.
Under result area Three the programme has undertaken several capacity building interventions of the private sector and the selected counties to implement and enforce standards on animal health, food safety and plant health. Activities under the result area three include translation of sanitary and phytosanitary regulations for value-chains supported under result area two into user-friendly sector guidelines tools and practices for use by the sector; and training private and public sector on SPS, food and animal product safety requirements and supporting the development of quality management systems.
Through the programme, Counties have also been supported in setting up mechanisms for testing, surveillance, and enforcement of SPS regulations. Broadly, the programme is involved in strengthening the capacities of value chain actors, bolstering commercial farming and improving food security. Generally, through all the above-mentioned initiatives it is expected that the investments demonstrate the existing potential in the enhancement of food safety systems as well as the ATVET model in order to trigger investment from both the public (especially the counties) and the private sector.
In numerical terms, the programme intends to achieve the following results:
i. 4 curricula reviewed and Training and Learning guides developed, addressing food safety, animal and plant health.
ii. At least 13,000-value chain actors (drawn from 13 counties) trained broadly in selected value chains
iii. 3,000 trained specifically in SPS.
iv. At least 330 ToTs trained in both broad value chain curriculum as well as on SPS
v. 13 Counties strengthened with tailored capacity to enable them to establish and operationalize SPS enforcement systems.
Ultimately, the above is expected to increase productivity of the selected Value Chains, improve food safety systems, and increase access to both local and export markets
1. Rationale of the assignment **
In the Last three years, MESPT through implementation of the AgriFI Programme Result areas two and three have managed to scale up the capacities of County government and private sector actors through several initiatives. Key milestones achieved during the period is the sensitization and mobilisation of relevant stakeholders to embrace the food safety agenda, the review of 4 curricula and the development of training and learning guides that is key to addressing food safety, animal, and plant health. Additionally, the programme has trained 415 ToTs on both broad value chain curriculum as well as on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS). Consequently, this has laid a firm pathway to achieving the remaining programme outputs, key to this is the strengthening of 13 Counties with tailored capacity to enable them to establish and operationalize SPS enforcement systems and secondly the training of 13,000-value chain actors (drawn from 13 counties) broadly in selected value chains and a further 3,000 specifically on SPS.
The implementation of the programme activities is quickly gathering pace, the scope is increasing, and the timelines ahead require additional technical support. Key to this is the training of the 13,000 Value Chain Actors, strengthening Market Linkages, Commercialization of the ATVETs, capacity building of the Private Sector Lead Firms, policy dialogue and capacity building of the Central Competent Authorities (CCAs). Due to this MESPT therefore requires technical assistants on the ground to support AgriFI program staff to facilitate the planning and coordination of specific activities at county level.
2. Objective of the Consultancy
The overall objective of this consultancy is to provide coordination of Value Chain Actors (VCAs) across the selected Counties, support value chain development, reporting and monitoring, where applicable provide agribusiness support to VCAs within specific programme regions of Kakamega, Kilifi, and Makueni.
Most specifically, the Technical Assistant will:
i. Support Project officers in coordinating all activities within the counties of focus to ensure that AgriFI project activities are fast tracked and implemented within the project timeframe.
ii. Together with the programme officers and relevant county staff, provide relevant agronomic support and value chain development support to targeted agro-enterprises
iii. Support the project in organising meetings, field days and facilitating market linkages
iv. Work closely with POs to ensure that all agro enterprises supported under the programme have proper governance structure in place.
v. Promote formation and/or strengthening of relationships among key players
3. Scope of Work
Reporting to the Project Officer the technical assistant’s work will be within the following scope:
i. Sensitize VCAs and other stakeholders on food safety, Plant and animal Health.
ii. Conduct VCAs Training Needs Assessment and undertake the analysis to guiding the training using the reviewed curricula.
iii. Facilitate the coordination of training for 10,000 VCAs in selected Counties using the reviewed curricula.
iv. Organize and conduct technical meetings and training activities for VCAs and officers as will be guided by project officers concerned.
v. Support the organization of technical workshops, consultative meetings, seminars, and training sessions for value Chain actors in selected Counties.
vi. Support the programme team in facilitating and maintaining good relations with VCAs, County officials and private sector players
vii. In liaison with the Project Officers facilitate communication with VCAs, County officers and private Sector players regarding key MESPT initiatives.
viii. Facilitate dissemination of information or guidelines as may be guided by project officers on County based activities at community level.
ix. Collect data and information on work progress of activities carried out in the Counties of focus.
x. Compile and submit monthly field activity progress reports on programme activities implemented in each of the county of focus.
xi. Provide support in data collection.
The Technical Assistant will be required to produce the following reports:
iii. Final report to MESPT, at the end of the contract period using the template that will be provided.
5. Duration of the assignment/Time frame
The assignment is expected to start in February 2021 and should not go beyond 31st December 2021. There will be monthly review of progress and the consultant is expected to work for 20 days every month from the contract signing date. The activities undertaken should be within the framework of practicable work plan, checked by the Project Officers and approved by the Programme Manager and will be accounted for through signed timesheets.
6. Desired Competencies
· Preferably a bachelor’s degree qualification in Community Development, Business Administration, Agricultural Education and Extension or related field
· Knowledge of the devolved county governance structure and experience in working with small holder farmers
· At least 3 years practical experience in community development
· Good organizational skills, good attention to detail, ability to work alone and as part of a team, and excellent communication skills
· Strong report writing and presentation skills.
· Effective facilitation skills in value chain activities.
· Ability to work under pressure
· Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
· Conversant with result-based facilitation.
· Good training ability.
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