Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency

Ethiopian Herald Dec11,2020

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI)

Bid Reference No: ATA-TST-CON-2020-0001

Consultancy Services: Consultancy service for the provision of 8028 Farmer Hotline Push Call Service

Closing Date: December 25, 2020 @ 2:30PM

The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency invites interested consultant firms to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) to complete tasks for the provision of Consultancy service for the provision of 8028 Farmer Hotline Push Call Service.

1. BACKGROUND

The ATA is an initiative by the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) with the primary aim of promoting agricultural sector transformation by supporting existing structures of government, private-sector, and other non-governmental partners to address systemic bottlenecks and deliver on a priority national agenda to achieve growth and food security.

The ATA in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), and Ethio Telecom launched the 8028 Farmer Hotline Project, a national Interactive Voice Response) Short Message Service System (IVR/SMS) system, that has disseminated agronomic information to farmers, development agents (DAs), and agricultural officers throughout Ethiopia.

The objective of the 8028 Farmer Hotline project is to develop and deliver best practice agronomic recommendations across Ethiopia for farmers, DAs, and agricultural experts working on key staple crops, cereal crops, household irrigation crops, and cotton with the capacity to extend this to other essential needs from various stakeholders in the agriculture sector in future.

The 8028 Farmer Hotline was launched in February 2014 and piloted in 21 woredas, for five months in Oromia, Amhara, SNNPR, and Tigray regions. After incorporating feedback from the pilot, the system was scaled up to the national level in July 2014 to address the information needs of farmers across the country,

  • The system has been disseminating information to farmers through an automated telephone message and dial in hotline.
  • Various stakeholders in the agriculture sector were able to distribute pertinent agricultural information and alerts to a wide range of farmers instantly either through a voice message SMS.
  • Farmers can call in and obtain specific agronomic information based on the prompts they entered. The 8028 Farmer Hotline has five major components to disseminate information and collect data:
  1. An automated hotline to provide comprehensive agronomic best practices (on Cereal Crops, Pulse & Oil Crops, HHI Crops, and Livestock) to farmers, DAs, and experts.
  2. A helpdesk component to incorporate indigenous knowledge of the farmers and extension workers and give them solutions for the farmer’s or DA’s on-job questions.
  3. An alert mechanism to allow farmers to proactively take action on diseases, weeding, and weather changes. Also, agronomic advisories dissemination through push calls based on a crop planting calendar.
  4. A survey mechanism to gather critical information on disease outbreaks and other data needed at the federal or regional level for decision making

The information and content on the system is available in Amharic, Tigrigna, Oromiffa, Wolaitigna, and Sidamigna languages, and aims to ensure the maximum length of the messages does not exceed five minutes per message. This based on the main languages spoken in the four main regions the 8028 Farmer Hotline targeted to support

To date, the system has handled more than 45 million calls from over 5 million registered callers. Generally, 8028 Farmer Hotline users can access information about 17 crop types across cereals (Maize, Tef, Wheat, Barley, and Sorghum), pulses & oilseeds (Sesame, Fava Bean, Common Bean, Chickpea, and Cotton), and high-value horticulture crops (Potato, Carrot, Onion, Tomato, Garlic, Pepper, and Cabbage).

2. OBJECTIVE OF THE 8028 FARMER HOTLINE PUSH CALL SERVICE

The 8028 Farmer Hotline would like to implement a push call service, where the system disseminates agronomic advisories based on various crops based on agronomic crop calendars, agroecology, and meteorology information in the ATA intervention woredas. This service is designed to provide DAs and lead farmers with agricultural content adapted from the core IVR service to supplement and/or reinforce the content they already have, with the goal of improving the content they provide to farmers. Its main objective of this initiative is to:

  1. To tailor the agronomic advisory based on each region’s recommendations by utilizing specific regional and cluster crop calendar developed with support from the regions
  2. To maximize the adoption of agronomic best practices by the farmers through the provision of periodical and relevant information to their activities. These messages will act as reminders and/or alerts for the provide DAs and lead farmers on the most relevant recommendations
  3. To enhance provide DAs and lead farmers experience of using the 8028 Farmer Hotline as their fluency will foster the helpdesk system usage and allow them to obtain more relevant information based on their question

3. SCOPE OF THE 8028 FARMER HOTLINE PUSHCALL SERVICE

The assignment will cover Agriculture Commercialization Clusters (ACCs) Farmer Production Clusters (FPCs). In these woredas, a minimum of 500,000 farmers is expected to obtain weekly agronomic advisories via 8028 Farmer Hotline Push Service for the primary commodities in their cluster throughout the farming cycle. The commodities to be utilized as a part of the project should only focus on the ACC and FPC crops, which include: Tef, Maize, Wheat, Sesame, Malt barley, and Haricot bean. The ToR has a tentative list of the potential FPC woredas we plan to implement the project in; however, this list will be updated based on the input and direction of the ACC program team.

To implement the push call service, engagements are required with the ATA ACC/FPC, ICT, and regional office teams. External stakeholders at federal and regional levels should also be part of the engagement for the overall planning and validation purposes.

In addition to the push call service implementation evaluations and regional office staff capacity building are part of the scope of the assignment. The evaluations will be for the 8028 Farmer Hotline overall impact and a specific assessment of the impact of the push call service.

4. REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

The ATA now invites eligible firms to indicate their interest in providing the services. Interested firms must provide detailed information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (description of similar assignments, evidence of familiarity with undertaking consultancy service for the provision of 8028 Farmer should include track record and proven expertise in supporting multiple developing countries in providing Consultancy service

5. DURATION OF ASSIGNMENT

As a result of the current EOI, ATA will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for selecting the firm(s), only the selected firm will be awarded to sign an Agreement for the duration of 12 months, subject to successful contract finalization. The agreement may be extended for another one year with the possibility of extension upon satisfactory performances.

5.1 SUBMISSION

The Procuring entity has adopted a two-stage process (collectively referred to as the “Bidding Process”) for the award of the Consultancy Contract. The first stage (the “Qualification Stage”) of the Bidding Process involves qualification (the “Prequalification”) of interested parties who submits an EOI in accordance with the provisions of this EOI (the “Applicant’). The applicant shall be firm. At the end of this stage, the qualification Stage, the Procuring Entity expects to announce a list of all prequalified applicants (the “The Shortlisted Bidders”) who will be eligible for participation in the second stage (the “Bid Stage”) of the Bidding Process. Interested consultants may obtain further information in writing at the address below from 8:30 am hours to 5:30 PM Hours during working days.

The bidders are expected to examine all instructions, terms, and other details in the EOI document carefully. Failure to furnish complete information as mentioned in the EOI Document or submission of a proposal not substantially responsive to the EOI documents in every respect will be at the Bidder’s risk and may result in rejection of the EOL. The applicant may furnish any additional information, which is deemed necessary to establish a capability to successfully complete the envisaged task mentioned in the EOI. However, superfluous information need not be furnished, and no information shall be entertained after the submission of the EOI document unless specifically called for. Any information furnished by the applicant found to be incorrect either immediately or at a later date, would render him liable to be debarred from taking up the project.

6. QUALIFICATIONS OF FIRMS / CORE AREA OF EXPERTISE OF THE FIRM/

The firms shall have at least 5 years’ relevant experience in conducting similar assignments.

7. TEAM

The Project Team shall be comprised of Senior Researcher, Project Manager, Project Associate, and Data Scientist.

8. Conflict of Interest:

Where there is any indication that a conflict of interest exists or may arise, it shall be the responsibility of the Bidder to inform Procuring Entity, detailing the conflict in writing as an attachment to this Bid. A Conflict of Interest is where a person who is involved in the procurement has or may be perceived to have a personal interest in ensuring that a particular Bidder is successful. Actual and potential conflicts of interest must be declared by a person involved in a Bid process.

9. CONDITION UNDER WHICH EOL IS ISSUED:

The EOI is not an offer and is issued with no commitment. The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency reserves the right to withdraw the EOI and or vary any part thereof at any stage. The Procuring Entity further reserves the right to disqualify any bidder, should it be so necessary at any stage, Timing and sequence of events resulting from this EOI shall ultimately be determined by Procuring Entity. No oral conversations or agreements with any official, agent, or employee of Procuring Entity shall affect or modify any terms of this EOI and any alleged oral agreement or arrangement made by a bidder with any department, agency, official, or employee of the Procuring Entity shall be superseded by the definitive agreement that results from this EOI process. All communications between the ATA and the Bidder must be through an official letter or email or written communication

10. Last date of submission of EOI:

The last date of submission of EOI is December 25, 2020@2:30 PM.

The Address referred to above is:

Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA)

Senior Operation Director Office, 7th floor

Bole, off Meskel Flower Road /Behind Mega Building, Sterling Building 7″ floor

Tel. +251-115-570678/85 or cell phone +251911646029

Fax +251-115 570668

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia