Focus on Ecological organic agriculture (EOA) is gaining momentum due to its potential to contribute to better production and productivity of smallholder farming in a sustainable manner, improved food security and nutrition, and improved economic and social development. The recognition and focus of EOA received impetus at the policy level in 2010 when the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture held in Malawi in 2010 resolved that African governments make a concerted effort to support the development of sustainable organic farming systems under the guidance of the African Union Commission. The resolutions were further endorsed in 2011 in a decision by the Executive Council of the African Union (AU), at its Eighteenth Ordinary Session reading as follows;
The Executive Council’s decision on organic farming (EX.CL/Dec.621 XVII): DECISION ON ORGANIC FARMING Doc. EX.CL/631 (XVIII) The Executive Council requested the AU Commission and its NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency to i) initiate and provide guidance for an AU‐led coalition of international partners on the establishment of an African organic farming platform based on available best practices; and to ii) provide guidance in support of the development of
sustainable organic farming systems and improve seed quality. The decision also called iii) upon development partners to provide the relevant technical and financial support for the implementation of this decision. Further, it called iv) upon the AUC to report regularly on the implementation of this Decision. The EOA-Initiative translates this landmark decision into action.
To implement this decision, the AUC‐DREA (Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission), in partnership with African organic agriculture organizations and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), elaborated the concept of EOA leading to development of Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I). The action was piloted in 2012 in six countries – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia. The initiative was formally rolled out in 2013 with support from SSNC and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in 9 countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Rwanda in eastern Africa and Benin, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal in western Africa). Following the successful pilot a 5-year Action Plan (2015-2020) and 10-year Strategic plan (2015-2025) were developed under the guidance of AU led Continental Steering Committee (CSC) to drive the EOA agenda for transformation of the African agricultural sector in line with Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Strategic Focus and Implementation of the EOA Initiative
The EOA initiative envisions having vibrant systems for ecological organic agriculture that enhance food security and sustainable development in Africa. This is aligned with the continent’s agricultural vision of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Programme (CAADP) to achieve a self-reliant and productive Africa and deliver economic growth and sustainable development for its people. The aim is also consistent with the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods.
The EOA Initiative aims to promote ecologically sound strategies and practices among various stakeholders to safeguard the environment, alleviate poverty and guarantee food security through institutional capacity development, innovations, market participation, public policies and programmes, outreach and communication, and synergy creation.
Strategic Focus of EOA
Goal: The overall goal is to mainstream Ecological Organic Agriculture into national agricultural production systems by 2025 in order to improve agricultural productivity, food security, access to markets and sustainable development in Africa.
Mission: To promote ecologically sound strategies and practices among diverse stakeholders in production, processing, marketing and policy making to safeguard the environment, improve livelihoods, alleviate poverty and guarantee food security
- 1. To carry out holistic demand driven, multi-disciplinary, gender sensitive and participatory research, training and extension in support of EOA.
- To collate, package and disseminate research findings and other relevant information to various stakeholders using appropriate approaches and channels of communication.
- To increase the share of quality EOA products at the national, regional and international markets through value chain analysis and market development.
- To foster and strengthen synergies among stakeholders in Africa through building networks and partnerships.
- To lobby and advocate for the mainstreaming of EOA programmes, policies, plans in the agriculture sector as well as other related sectors.
- To strengthen the governance, management and operations of EOA institutions in Africa for effective functioning and service delivery.
The implementation of the Initiative’s five-year Action Plan (2015-2020) and ten-year Strategic Plan (2015-2025) is anchored on six complimentary pillars: (i) Research, training and extension, (ii) Information and communication, (iii) Value chain and market development, (iv) Networking and partnership, (v) Policy and programme development, and (vi) Institutional capacity development.
These pillars, guided by the four principles of Organic Agriculture (Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care) can form the basis for mainstreaming organic agriculture into all the agricultural agenda of the African Union and its planning agency, AUDA NEPAD within the framework of CAADP.
Proposed Indicators for Tracking Progress of EOA in Africa
Indicators enable policymakers, farmers, businesses, and civil society to better understand current conditions in a sector that may require policy responses, trends in performance across time and between countries, emerging “hot spots” or new challenges and guide in setting targets, monitoring progress, and comparing performance among regions and countries (World Resources Institute, 2014). In this context to monitor and track the implementation of the AU’s Executive Council’s decision on organic farming (EX.CL/Dec.621 XVII): DECISION ON ORGANIC FARMING Doc. EX.CL/631 (XVIII), the following indicators are proposed for inclusion in the AUC’s Biennial Review process for Implementation of the Malabo Declaration.
The proposed indicators are aligned with the seven (7) Malabo commitments and the associated performance categories. They complement the forty-three (43) indicators in use so far. They are also selected and connected to the “causal chain” of action that indicators can represent or seek to influence, namely Public Policy, Farmer Practice and Biophysical Performance.
In 2019, the AU Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment endorsed Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) as the host to the EOA Initiative Continental Secretariat which supports the AU chaired Continental Steering Committee (CSC) to oversee the implementation of its Executive Council Decision on Organic Agriculture by providing technical guidance, oversight, funding and progress reporting
SCOPE OF WORK AND METHODOLOGY
The EOA-I Secretariat (BvAT) commissions this study to test the proposed EOA indicators for tracking implementation of EOA in all five political regions of the AU (West, Eastern, Central, Southern and North Africa). Following a survey of the indicators, the findings will confirm the best indicator(s) to include into the BR process. The survey team will be provided with the BR country reporting template to avoid duplication of indicators and or parameters. The sampling frame will consider the distribution of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and member states, and available data collection mechanisms. The study will be administered physically in one country in each of the five RECs and remotely in the Member States (MS) that will be sampled.
The study will apply mixed methods to derive qualitative and quantitative data to test the relevance and appropriateness of the indicators. It will indicate data sources, data collection methods, and how to calculate the indicator(s) for consistency across all Member States. The quantitative and qualitative analyses shall show which indicators are measurable, have good preliminary face validity and discriminative power, and are useful in terms of quality monitoring the implementation of EOA at country level.
The study will additionally include mapping of EOA experts (A list of names, emails, telephone numbers and places of work) who will train MS teams and others on EOA data collection procedures and analysis of the indicators finally selected.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The consultant will be expected to:
- To pilot a list of proposed indicators of EOA across a range of Malabo Declaration dimensions with influence on public policy, farmer practice and biophysical performance. For each indicator to determine what is achieved in current practice, to facilitate the setting of standards and calculation of appropriate sample targets for assessment
- To classify the indicators into three groups according to the study results: indicators ready and recommended for implementation, those ready but not feasible for immediate implementation, and those desirable though requiring further developmental work.
- Identify at least 5 EOA experts in each Member State to undertake Training of Trainers (ToT) (names, emails, telephone numbers and places of work).
EXPECTED DELIVERABLES AND TIMELINES
- An Inception Report.
- Detailed report with findings and recommendations.
- Detailed report with findings and recommendations.
- A list of EOA experts by member state (names, emails, telephone numbers and places of work)
Duration: 4 Weeks
Coordination: The African Union led EOA-Initiative Continental Secretariat (BvAT)
Reporting: The consultant will report to the BvAT Executive Director or his designee
This assignment is expected to be conducted by a consultant with the team leader meeting the following requirements:
- Demonstration of having undertaken a similar task/ assignment either individually or with others in an organization like BvAT.
- Understanding of the organic sector. Preference will be given to someone who has worked in the organic agriculture sector and overseen successful implementation of projects.
- Knowledge and understanding of both BvAT and her key donor and development partners.
- Demonstration of understanding of the AUC CAADP framework will be an added advantage.
- Willingness and readiness to work consultatively and in participation with BvAT staff and management to successfully deliver on the assignment deliverables within the next 3-4 weeks upon official engagement.
How to apply
Interested candidates should submit the following:
- A concise understanding of the assignment, proposed methodology for conducting the assignment and workplan.
- Consultancy fee (including man days for each team member), travel and other costs associated to this assignment.
- At least one report of a similar assignment conducted in the past 3 years.
- Detailed curriculum vitae of the main consultant and proposed support team members to be involved in the assignment.
- Names and contacts of two referees (Telephone numbers and email).
- A one-page write-up justifying the suitability of main consultant to lead the assignment.
For a detailed Terms of Reference please visit the EOA-Initiative website on: https://eoai-africa.org/ Electronic copies shall be sent to email@example.com with the subject heading: Consultancy for a pilot study of indicators for tracking implementation of ecological organic agriculture (EOA) in Africa Application will be closed at 5pm on Friday 4th March 2022. Any applications submitted after the closing time will be disqualified
Find Attached below, documents for your reference.