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Consultancy - Analysis of Smallholder Producers Income Diversification and Resilience Initiatives for Tea Farmers in Malawi

Date Posted: Oct 26, 2020

Job Description

Provision of Consultancy Services for Analysis of Smallholder Producers Income Diversification and Resilience Initiatives for Tea Farmers in Malawi


Established in 2005, Fairtrade Africa is the independent non-profit umbrella organization representing all Fairtrade certified producers in Africa. Fairtrade Africa (FTA) is owned by its members, who are African producer organizations certified against international Fairtrade standards producing traditional export commodities such as coffee, cocoa, tea, cotton, bananas, mango, and non- traditional commodities including shea butter and rooibos tea. Currently, the organization represents over 1.18 million smallholder farmers and workers across 28 countries in Africa.


To mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Fairtrade certified producers’ health, well-being and economic sustainability, RECOVER AFRICA PROJECT: Fairtrade Emergency Initiative Fund, funded by the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ), is implemented by Fairtrade Africa (FTA) from October 2020 to May 2022. The project aims are twofold (i) provide immediate relief to and support prevention of the further spread of the pandemic on producers in nine countries in Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi and South Africa); and (ii) support producers recover from economic losses due to COVID-19, maintain and diversify their supply chain relations, and ensure business continuity, food security and income generation for their members thereby building producers’ resilience to future shocks and stresses.


To contribute to improved income and resilience of Fairtrade Certified Tea Producers in Malawi, FTA seeks to conduct baseline research to develop a robust proof of concept for the necessity of income diversification in the post-COVID-19 era. The research will explore existing marketing and service delivery structures in Malawi will explore diversification initiatives that will help tea farmers in Malawi recover from the negative economic effects of the pandemic. It will then be followed by the development of training modules and training of trainers in supporting the design of demonstration centres. The research will have the following aspects:

Tier 1 – Farmer Survey

The objective of the farmer survey is to collect and analyze data on the current diversification practices of tea farmers, their attitude towards products other than tea, and the market systems available to and utilized by farmers for production and sale of products other than tea. The consultant is expected to collect and analyze data through primary research. Anticipated results from this activity include:

  • An overview of the tea farming household socioeconomics:
  • Evidence of crops, livestock products, timber and non-timber forest products used for income, not only home consumption:
  • Evidence of which of these non-tea products provide or could provide profits for farmers.
  • Analysis of contribution to farmer income and cash flow from products other than tea:
  • Regional differences in farmer behaviour and attitudes;
  • Regional differences in service delivery for non-tea products;
  • Risks associated with market systems and farmer behaviour and attitude;
  • Recommendations for market systems research on a maximum of 5 non-tea products per country;

Tier 2 – Market Systems Analysis

Based on the results and recommendations from the farmer survey, the consultant will conduct research and analysis on up to 5 additional farm-based income sources for tea farmers in Malawi. The consultant is expected to combine primary and secondary research. Anticipated results from this activity include:

  • Mapping of supply chain structures and major actors, from inputs to (in-country) end-markets assessments of the market systems performance and key influencing factors;
  • Insights into market system opportunities and challenges;
  • Insights into market actors and their services to farmers;
  • Key risks and opportunities for the income source from the farmer perspective;
  • Key risks and opportunities for private sector investments
  • Recommendations for tea cooperative and/or exporter for investment, service delivery and/or collaboration with other market actors.
  • Selection criteria for the five 5 feasible activities that the cooperatives can engage 

Tier 3 – Support for Roll-out Initiatives

  • Developing training modules for the design of model centres for identified income diversification initiatives in tea farms as well as support to POs in the implementation of demonstration projects


FTA will give priority to consultants’ proposals that can demonstrate how the research objectives will be achieved within four months, starting in November 2020, without compromising the quality of outputs and deliverables of the research.


We invite interested and qualified researchers and consultants to submit proposals for this research study, no more than 5 pages. The technical proposal will include the following information:

  • CV of the researcher and relevant work in Malawi;
  • A Proposal with approach and methodology demonstrating how the consultant intends to conduct the assignment and tasks, along with likely sources of data, duration and order of each task;
  • A Financial Proposal detailed professional fees and other relevant costs. Fairtrade Africa will cater to all the direct logistical costs related to this assignment.

Diversification – will have the following qualifications;

  • Have a strong research background from any of the following themes: Sustainable agriculture, Climate change adaptation and mitigation agronomy, Smallholder farm income diversification, Value chain development
  • Proven experience in smallholder farmers income resilience, farm intensification is an advantage;
  • Solid experience in leading similar assignments;
  • A minimum of a master’s degree in Agri-business Management, Entrepreneurship, Economics or Agriculture Production.

Market Systems Expert – will have the following qualifications;

  • A strong background and experience in agribusiness or agriculture market systems development in Malawi;
  • A minimum of a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness Management, economics, Business Management;
  • An activity-based budget for the research study. Showing professional fees per activities and tasks under each tier;
  • Breakdown of the disbursements.


The consultant must include in their proposal the measures they will put in place for safeguarding staff, consultants, communities, service providers and the client from the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19. The consultant should also provide a clear contingency plan for primary data collection from farming communities and market actors, whose engagement in this process is crucial.


An Evaluation Committee set up by FTA COVID 19 Committee will check whether the Technical and Financial Proposals meet the criteria as described in this TOR. The proposals that do not meet the set criteria will not be evaluated.


The successful individual consultant(s), firm(s) or institution(s) is/are expected to carry out the assignment in four months from the date of signing the contract.**

How to apply


Interested and qualified firm(s), institutions or consultants should submit their applications, which should include the following:

  • Firm(s)/individual/institutions profile;
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae of the team proposed to carry out the assignment;
  • Technical Proposal for implementing the assignment including the timeframes;
  • Financial proposal for implementing the assignment;
  • 2 References and samples of similar assignment conducted in the past.

The closing date for receiving the application is 10 November 2020.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Please send the applications to:

Email: recruitment@fairtradeafrica.net

Skills Required

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