- West Africa (WA) and the Sahel region are home to about 387 million inhabitants, which represents over 5% of the world’s population. The average annual growth rate of the population in WA stands at 2.7% against an annual agricultural productivity growth of less than 2% (CORAF, 2017). Much of the concern over feeding Africa by 2050 relates to the relative slowing down of food production in the face of rapidly growing populations. Food demand is projected to increase, especially in the growing urban centres of West Africa to about 60% to 80%, but agricultural yields are not keeping pace, with gaps estimated to be 75%. As the population grows and fields shrink from generation to generation, farmers must produce more food on less land. As a result, African farmers have faced an inexorable pressure to intensify their production (Jayne et al., 2016).
- Intensification of production requires increased use of agricultural inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizers, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) etc. A multitude of constraints are the cause of the high yield gaps at farm level including increasing land degradation, pests and diseases, climate change, etc. Against this background, poor access and availability of farmer preferred and market-oriented agri-inputs continue to undermine farmers’ efforts towards increased and sustainable agricultural productivity and production. Despite the efforts of stakeholders, the use of agri-inputs remains low with negative consequences on agricultural productivity in West Africa. The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research (CORAF) and the International Fertilizers Development Centre (IFDC) through their respective five-year, regional USAID-funded projects, PAIRED and EnGRAIS, will develop and disseminate agro-input packages, including improved seed, appropriate fertilizer recommendations suitable for the main crops and the different agro-ecological zones of West Africa to contribute to sustainably increasing agricultural productivity. The input packages are being developed together with the private sector, who will following their development promote, market and disseminate them to end users, including producers and agro-business actors (men and women). The specifications for the agro-input packages will also be disseminated through an on-line map.
- CORAF and IFDC now invite individual consultants from ECOWAS countries for the mission mentioned above. The two institutions will co-finance related costs through their respective projects. Interested consultants may obtain further information from the respective websites: www.coraf.org and www.ifdc.org. Individual consultants will be recruited on a competitive basis according to USAID procedures and on the individual consultant (IC) method in accordance with the World Bank guidelines on “Selection and Employment of Consultants under IBRD loans and IDA Credits & Grants by World Bank Borrowers, January 2011, revised on July 2014”.
- The consultant shall consult agriculture references and agriculture actors (breeders, agronomists, seed specialists, seed companies, farmers organizations, food processors and food industry and any other relevant actors) in target countries to:
- Hand draw the different agro-ecological zones in the country;
- Make an inventory of crop varieties (maize, millet, sorghum and rice) currently existing and/or used with their characteristics in target country by agroecological zone;
- Based on information collected from agriculture actors, assess the scalability potential of the different crop varieties by agroecological zone and rank them according to their scalability potential; The consultant should focus on recently released varieties (<= 10 years past), that are being used by farmers; and also consider isolated cases of old varieties still in use for preferential reasons when in the field.
- Compile and analyze the collected data and develop a database allowing to have information on five best crop varieties (maize, millet, sorghum and rice) by agroecological zones;
- Write the report and present the main result during the sub-regional validation workshop.
- Period of completion of the study
- The study will take place from April to May for a period of 10 working days;
- Master's Degree, Agronomist, or Breeder and related fields
- Required Experience:
- At least 10 years’ experience in seed development and seed technology upscaling and adoption
- Knowledge of GIS mapping;
- Experience working in West Africa with research and development organization;
- Possess knowledge of target country agriculture/agro-ecological zones/seed crop varieties;
- Relevant experience in agro-input sectors in target country;
- Good understanding of seed industry in target country and/or West Africa;
- Proven record in preparing technical documents; and
- Previous experience at country or international level in seed varieties mapping (appreciated).
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