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United Kingdom-East Kilbride: Foreign economic-aid-related services
Prior information notice
This notice is for prior information only
Section I: Contracting authority
Section II: Object
The Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme.
DFID intends to publish a new competition opportunity in November 2017 where we will be seeking partners for a medium sized programme which will stimulate agricultural transformation (Stepping Up) through improved productivity, increased market access for smallholder farmers and increased investment in agribusiness in DFID focus countries.
The Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme seeks to increase economic opportunities for smallholders by demonstrating the commercial viability of businesses with significant smallholder supply chains and attracting more investment into the sector. It will include several components, of which the following will go to tender:
A) Country level value chain activities
B) Smallholder Development Facility
C) Learning, Communication and Monitoring activities.
The Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) — Components A and C
The objectives of Component A are to enable more, poorer smallholders with moderate to good potential to access commercial markets through involvement in appropriate value chains and to grow these markets by attracting investment into SME agribusinesses that trade with smallholder farmers and their organisations. The delivery of the programme will require the suppliers to scope, design and implement technical assistance in a targeted number of value chains supporting:
— SME agribusinesses to improve their business operations and prepare for and access investment from impact investors and local banks;
— Smallholders and organisations that represent them (e.g. cooperatives, producer organisations and contract farming schemes) to increase their trade with commercial markets and improve the productivity
— Changes in the business enabling environment impacting on the target value chains
Attention to and demonstration of impact on the cross-cutting priorities of women's economic empowerment in agriculture, nutrition impacts and climate-smart approaches are a must.
Component A activities will take place in a limited number of target value chains (5-8) in up to 3 countries. Sector analysis studies are currently underway in 14 value chains in 7 countries and will be used by DFID to determine the final target value chains and countries.
The objectives of Component C are to draw together and communicate a compelling case for increased investment in smallholder related agribusiness and agriculture using the learning from all CASA components, from DFID's wider commercial agriculture portfolio and from the experience of other organisations. This component includes
— Conducting an annual learning programme of primary research, analysis and synthesis across a rolling set of themes and research questions
— Conducting and updating an annual review of DFID's commercial agriculture portfolio and the key lessons emerging from it
— Designing and implementing a communications strategy to influence investors, donors, governments, NGOs and academia to invest more resources and energy in smallholder related agribusiness and the commercialisation of smallholders
— Monitoring of the whole CASA programme (Components A, B and C) and maximising synergies and cross learning to achieve the overall goal and deliver value for money in a complex, multi-component programme.
The Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme — Component B — Smallholder Development Facility
The objectives of Component B are to increase the smallholder impact of existing development finance and impact investment deals and to thereby raise expectations regarding the level of development impact that can be achieved from future investments. The delivery of this component will require the establishment of a Smallholder Development Facility which will work with the investment community to identify, scope, design and implement projects with invested companies that benefit smallholder farmers. These benefits may include, amongst others, increasing the volume of purchases from smallholders, improving market access to poorer smallholders, including women in roles along the value chain, and improving the productivity and quality of smallholder suppliers and related to that their incomes. Component B also includes working with local communities to improve their engagement in agribusiness deals — these activities will be delivered through an accountable grant with IIED and are not part of this procurement exercise. However, the Smallholder Development Facility and IIED will work together to maximise impact wherever appropriate.
Section IV: Procedure
Section VI: Complementary information
It is anticipated that the above elements of the programme will go to tender in November 2017, with contracts to be finalised by April 2018. The programme will have a duration of up to 6 years.
DFID will be hosting an Early Market Engagement Event about the planned Programme and the services required from interested parties. The main objective is to elicit market views on the feasibility of the proposed delivery options and to discuss challenges and opportunities.
The event will be in the form of a two hour session that will take place in DFID, 22 Whitehall, London, on Monday, 18.9.2017 between 11:30 and 13:30. DFID will present the programme, its proposed outputs and delivery channels, as well as stimulate discussion around the following themes:
— Interest and/or capability in the market to deliver this program
— Ensure better understanding of business needs
— Thematic scope of the work and delivery channels
The event should also give suppliers an opportunity to create consortium linkages amongst suppliers and to network. Time will be set aside to allow this to happen.
Parties interested in attending or requiring any other information should first register their interest on the DFID supplier portal — https://supplierportal.dfid.gov.uk/selfservice/pages/public/publicBulletinSearch.cmd where they will find instructions on how to register their attendance. Registration for the event will close on Wednesday 13th September 2017 at 14:00 UK.