RFP - Strengthening Agriculture Sector Growth By Assessing the State of Farmer and Marketing Cooperatives

Home Based & The Solomon Islands
Consultant, Short Term, Full-Time
Home Based & The Solomon Islands
Commensurate with Experience 
Job stage: Immediate Opportunity Wage: Commensurate with Experience
Position Type: Consultant, Short Term, Full-Time
Closing On: 07/17/2020
Posted: 06/18/2020
Country: Home Based & The Solomon Islands

The below description is a summary of the RFP - if you are interested please request the complete document at info@c-tif.ca. 


The Solomon Islands is a Pacific nation of approximately 700,000 people spread across six major and nearly 10,000 small islands. It ranked 153rd of 189 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index in 2019, placing it alongside Papua New Guinea as one of the Pacific’s least developed countries. That year, per capita GNI capita stood at USD 2,027 (2011 PPP), and population growth at over 2%.

Household income and poverty rates vary widely by island: as noted in the country’s latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) in 2012/2013 , poverty rates ranged from a high of approximately 32% in Makira, to a low of approximately 6% in Central and Rennell-Bellona. In this context, the country’s 2016-2035 National Development Strategy focuses on three primary long-term goals: (a) strengthening the foundations of well-being; (b) achieving inclusive and sustainable growth; and (c) managing uneven development.

Solomon Islanders’ nutrition and health has been influenced by changes in food production and consumption behaviour over the last several decades. Households currently spend on average 46% of their income on food, rising to 53% in rural areas despite the fact that most households engage in food and cash crop production, often on customary land. Much purchased food is imported rice, noodles, and flour of low nutritional value, but a significantly cheaper source of calories than traditional staples. In 2017, food accounted for 25% of total imports, with rice imports alone valued at over $50 million.

Introduction to CTIF

The Canadian Trade and Investment Facility for Development is a seven-year, CAD $11.6 million demand-driven program aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) to support sustainable trade and investment-related policy reforms and economic development initiatives that promote women’s empowerment and inclusive growth and have a high potential to reduce poverty in ODA-eligible developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. CTIF provides technical assistance based on the needs identified by potential beneficiaries and according to an assessment process jointly administered by the CTIF team and Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Technical assistance is provided by independent suppliers that specialize in the specific services being requested by the beneficiary. Cowater International (www.cowater.com) and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (www.ipac.ca) jointly implement CTIF on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Assignment Overview

Consultancy title:

Strengthening Agriculture Sector Growth by Assessing the State of Farmer and Marketing Cooperatives

Anticipated duration:

8 months

Anticipated start date:

August 2020

Location of assignment

Consultant’s Home Office (remote); Honiara, Solomon Islands

Summary of assignment

Agricultural cooperatives thrived in the Solomon Islands during and soon after its independence in 1978 after first being created in the early 1950s. At their peak, agricultural cooperatives were one of the country’s largest drivers of household revenue. Despite their past success, most cooperatives in the Solomon Islands have been in decline for many years, and few remain active as they were in the past.

CTIF has agreed to provide technical assistance to the Government of Solomon Islands, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour & Immigration (MCILI) in order to review the current state of farmer and marketing cooperatives in the country.

Terms of Reference

See Annex 1

Maximum budget, excluding HST

CAD $225,000


Description of the Assignment

Within the context described above, CTIF has agreed to provide technical assistance to the Government of Solomon Islands in order to review the current state of farmer and marketing cooperatives in the country, with a specific focus on the following key questions:

  • Which cooperatives are still active, and where are they located?
  • Can and should dormant cooperatives be revived?
  • What are the technical and operational capabilities and assets, broadly defined, of remaining cooperatives?
  • What roles are typically played by women and men farmers within these cooperatives, what challenges face women in assuming greater voice and decision-making roles with them, and how might these challenges be addressed?
  • What are the existing capabilities of cooperatives with respect to promoting climate-resilient agricultural practices?
  • What challenges and constraints are inhibiting the operations and sustainability of existing cooperatives, and their potential to facilitate climate-smart and inclusive rural development?
  • What possible interventions might the Government of the Solomon Islands consider to address these challenges and constraints?

With such information in hand, the MAL will be better able to design and implement future policies and programs that can facilitate sustainable and inclusive rural development through the growth of resilient farmer and marketing cooperatives. With greater institutional capacities, these organisations may then better serve as sources of youth employment, household income, and affordable, nutritional food for Solomon Islanders.

The direct beneficiaries of the TA assignment will be the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the MCILI. Its indirect beneficiaries will include the agricultural cooperatives assessed during its delivery and their members. Based on the Government of the Solomon Island’s most recent available data, approximately 120 cooperatives of all types remain either active, or in existence but dormant.

COVID-19-related travel restrictions

CTIF anticipates that COVID-19-related restrictions on international travel will remain in effect throughout the duration of this mandate’s procurement and delivery. In this context, potential consultants are expected to propose an approach and methodology in which activities in the Solomon Islands would be carried out by locally based partners or team members. Bidders are also expected to ensure that any staff working or traveling domestically will apply local COVID-19 health and safety guidelines at all times.

Consultant Profile / Expertise Required

The Consultant best suited to delivering this initiative will offer the following experience and key characteristics:

  • Deep experience working with and building the institutional capacity of cooperatives – preferably farmer/agricultural cooperatives – and expanding market linkages in developing country contexts.
  • Experience and expertise implementing market systems approaches to facilitate sustainable rural or local economic development;
  • Experience or capabilities to deliver large-scale organizational surveys of the nature described in these TORs using appropriate information and communications technologies;
  • Experience delivering effective online/off-site training and coaching to public sector officials using a variety of engaging approaches and tools;
  • Recent experience delivering international development project activities in the Solomon Islands.
  • Experience integrating environmental and gender equality/social inclusion concerns into recommendations and interventions.
  • Strong native-level fluency in written and spoken English.

Corporate Qualifications

Interested bidders must possess the corporate capabilities and experience described in Annex 1 (TORs), which can be evidenced through project profiles included in technical proposals using the form provided in Annex 2. Contracts for projects profiled by bidders must have been active within the last five calendar years dating from the date of the release of this tender document.


Bidders may submit to CTIF questions and/or requests for additional information, including, without limitation, inquiries related to substantive portions of the RFP, timing, clarifications related to definition or interpretation of this RFP. All questions and/or requests must be submitted in writing by email to Natalia Barankevych at natalia.barankevych@cowater.com on or before June 29, 2020. CTIF will respond to a timely submitted question and/or request for clarifications by issuing addenda and/or response, which will be sent out to all the parties, who expressed interest in bidding on this project.

RFP Timeline

CTIF will solicit proposals based on the timeline identified below:

  • Request for Proposals (RFP) issued: June 18, 2020
  • Deadline for confirming intention to bid: June 23, 2020
  • Bidders Clarifications Deadline: June 29, 2020
  • Proposal submission deadline: July 17, 2020, 5pm EST

The above description is a summary of the RFP - for more detalis and to acces the complete document please request it at info@c-tif.ca. 


With more than 35 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec, Paris, France, Pretoria, South Africa, and London, United Kingdom, Nairobi, Kenya in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.