Policy Consultant – Agric Inputs Markets at Palladium Group

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Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Policy Consultant – Agric Inputs Markets

Ref Id: req7852
Location: Abuja
Name of project/programme: Propcom Mai-karfi

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Individual consultant to support policy intervention in Agricultural Inputs Markets.
  • The service to be delivered is detailed in the schedule-Terms of Reference. The service will be delivered over a period of time, effective from April 2020.

Terms of reference for:  

  • Individual consultant to support policy intervention in Agricultural Inputs market

About Propcom Mai-karfi

  • Propcom Mai-karfi (PM) is a market-driven program funded by UK aid which aims to reduce poverty in northern Nigeria by intervening in markets that matter most to poor women and men.
  • Partnering with the private sector and government agencies, Propcom Mai-karfi uses a ‘making markets work for the poor (M4P)’ approach to create systemic changes in agricultural and rural markets in northern Nigeria so that poor people get a better deal for their businesses and have access to vital goods and services. During its first phase which ran from 2012 to 2017, Propcom Mai-karfi raised the incomes of 628,000 poor men and women in northern Nigeria by a cumulative NGN 9 billion.
  • The program also stimulated more than NGN17.6 billion in private sector investment into the rural economy. Now in its 3-year extension phase which runs till March 2021, PM is focused on post-conflict market development and climate smart agriculture initiatives in the north east (Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Bauchi states), as well as continuing markets for the poor interventions in the DFID partner states of Jigawa, Kano, and Kaduna. During this phase, the program aims to increase the incomes of an additional 350,000 rural poor people by 2021

About the Ag-Inputs Market

The appropriate use of quality inputs can have a significant impact on the yield and incomes of farmers. In Nigeria, however the use of these inputs by small-holder farmers still remains low. This is as a result of a number of constraints which include:

  • Unavailability or insufficient quantities of quality inputs at the required time in the growing season from planting to harvest and storage.
  • Poor distribution channels to rural communities and failure to invest in rural distribution channels by input companies which limits the access to and use of quality inputs by small-holder farmers.
  • Poor quality of inputs available and low knowledge/adoption of good agronomic practices (GAP) among small-holder farmers undermines the potential impact the inputs should make.
  • Lack of finance on the part of small-holder farmers
  • Lack of packaged units of inputs that are affordable and are appropriate for the area / crops being cultivated.
  • Policy and regulatory gaps at state and federal levels that hinder the growth of the sector.
  • Propcom Mai-karfi is partnering with stakeholders in the sector including private sector input companies, agro-dealers and the public sector to address some of these constraints in northern Nigeria.

Policy Constraints:

  • Existing policy, rules and regulation restrict market-led growth of the private sector. Policies are often designed to safeguard the interest of local input companies at the expense of the farmers and their needs and ultimately restrict competition between domestic and international input companies. Consequently, local input companies have become complacent and do not see the need to be aggressive in their seed production or distribution resulting in few innovations in the market that benefit farmers.
  • Despite the obvious value of using the right inputs, farmers are unable to reap these benefits due to some identified policy constraints; either the absence of one or the weakness in implementation;
  • Weak regulation by Nigerian Seed Council on product quality: For seed, the challenge of adulteration and counterfeiting is rife, mostly due to the absence of post-market surveillance activity by the seed council. Given the huge market opportunity, adulterators continue in their act as the Council has not lived up to its expectation in monitoring and meting out punitive measures on offenders.
  • Absence of regulatory body specifically for agrochemicals: Currently, the standard organisation of Nigeria and NAFDAC have been handling the registration of agrochemicals in Nigeria, focused mostly on importation and lacking the capacity to quality assure and control the inflow and distribution of substandard and banned agrochemicals. This has far-reaching effect on the lives of farmers as it directly increases their exposure to hazardous materials, direct negative impact on the environment and by extension, the safety and quality of food.
  • Absence of regulation controlling the handling and use agrochemicals: The safe handling of agrochemicals requires a specialized chain – adequate training and the use of personal protective equipment during spraying- without which it becomes a hazard to the handler, the food and the environment. So far, there is no regulation mandating companies to ensure the handling of their agrochemicals is done by a trained spray service provider. The absence of this regulation has led to the under-development of the spray service delivery chain; leading to several long-term health hazards, which may have been overlooked within our environment given the weak diagnostic structures. Although agrochemical companies have an umbrella body-CropLife that should drive the spray service delivery system, the absence of a supporting policy/regulation has been a disincentive for companies to invest in it. It is, therefore, necessary to have a law mandating the companies importing agrochemicals to present a list of trained SSPs as a prerequisite for importation. Also, the law should provide that only trained individuals can spray, to limit health hazard and pollution. Furthermore, the country will be able to achieve product trace-ability.
  • PM’s strategy focuses on policy change to allow entry of competent and reputed international input companies to the Nigerian input market to stimulate competition in the domestic market and to spur innovation in terms of product and service offerings. Focus is also on strengthening the regulatory environment to promote policy implementation and prevent the circulation of counterfeit and illegal products with a view to promoting food safety and quality, reduce farmer health and productivity risks and environmental pollution.

Purpose

  • PM is seeking a consultant with experience in policy development and advocacy to support the Ag-input market (Seeds and CPP) in identification of opportunities and to facilitate policy advocacy and regulatory reforms in the Ag-inputs market.

Activities:

  • Data gathering on the situation in the Seeds and CPP market to define key problems.
  • Define policy actions for the Seeds and CPP market.
  • Identify intervention nodes for policy engagement.
  • Develop policy and advocacy briefs for the Seeds and CPP markets.
  • Support stakeholder engagement in policy development and advocacy.
  • Any additional tasks and activities relevant to this engagement.
  • Outputs / Deliverables
  • Report; detailing the key policy and regulatory challenges of the Seeds and CPP market and intervention nodes for PM as part of a wider strategy involving PM and key players in the sectors.
  • Seeds and CPP policy briefs for key stakeholders and institutions.
  • Advocacy strategy
  • Stakeholder consensus and communique.
  • Tangible changes with respective agencies.
  • Support stakeholder roll-out

Location and duration of assignment:

  • The Consultant will work from home or from the Propcom Mai-karfi office in Abuja, with travel across Nigeria when required. This engagement will be effective from April 2020

Reporting:

  • The consultant will report to the Tier Lead and work closely with the Market Manager in charge of Ag-inputs.

Required Qualifications / Criteria
Qualifications:

  • Relevant academic qualification in Public Policy, Social Sciences, Development or related discipline.
  • Extensive experience in policy research and analysis and international development sector.
  • Good understanding of Nigeria Agricultural-inputs markets would be an advantage.
  • Previous experience in providing technical policy assistance to public sector organisations or international development interventions.
  • Excellent report writing and presentation skills.
  • Excellent time management, communication, interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Critical thinker and problem solver.

Selection Criteria:

  • Criteria Weights (%)
  • Detailed CV & evidence of previous work on policy: 40
  • Technical Expertise and proposed broad strategic activities: 40
  • Daily rate and Tax Identification Number: 20
  • Total: 100

Applications Closing Date
Not Specified.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Applications (Containing the following below documents) in Microsoft Word or PDF formats as one attachment to: info@propcommaikarfi.org

Documents include:

  • A detailed CV and cover letter.
  • Evidence of similar work done.
  • Tax Remittance Number and proposed daily rate(sent separately on attached excel sheet)
  • Proposed approach and broad strategic activities (not more than 3 pages)

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