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Terms of Reference - External Mid-Term Review of the Project "Inclusive PPA-Business Model for Developing Underutilised Plants to Improve Food Security in Zimbabwe"
Hilfswerk Austria International Zimbabwe (HWA Zimbabwe)

Deadline: 26 July 2013

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Introduction: Background

This document defines the Terms of Reference for the external mid-term review of the project ‘Inclusive PPA-Business Model for Developing Underutilised Plants to Improve Food Security in Zimbabwe’.

The project is an innovative approach to food security, funded by USAID and EC for implementation through the partnership of HWA (Hilfswerk Austria International Zimbabwe), BIZ (Bio-Innovation Zimbabwe), and KAITE. It is running from October 2011 until December 2014, and aims at commercialising various plant species (i.e. baobab and marula) in dryland areas of Zimbabwe for the local and global food, medicinal and cosmetics industry. It also looks at diversifying agricultural activities with high value crops such as chillies, rosella, cornflower or safflower. The goal is to create alternative income opportunities for 4000 smallholder farmers in Natural Regions 4 and 5 of Zimbabwe.

The overall objective is to contribute towards the sustainable reduction of hunger and poverty in Zimbabwe through the increased production and marketing of underutilised plants and high value crops.

The specific objective of this project is to explore and demonstrate the potential of underutilised crops to strengthen food security and livelihoods for vulnerable households in regions 4 and 5 of Zimbabwe.

Result 1 - High value and indigenous crops with commercial potential are identified: As a lot is already known about high value crops, the identification of the high value species with commercial potential can be done relatively quickly. When it comes to the under-utilised species, some more research is necessary. Having mapped the shortlisted species, a preliminary attempt is made at identifying the steps required to bring each species through to full commercialisation.

Result 2 - Marketable products developed and launched from targeted species: Building on the outputs of the short-listing exercise, a detailed gap analysis is undertaken on each of the 10 shortlisted species to identify the research and development gaps between what has currently been done and what needs to be done in order to develop marketable products. Once the research gaps have been filled, product development work will take place in conjunction with relevant private sector partners. Once the product development work is complete, the product would then be launched on the market.

Result 3 - Enduring commercial demand has been created for the identified species: The market development process starts with an understanding of the market. In conjunction with the process of identifying and developing links to relevant market partners, there is a strong need to raise consumer awareness about the products and their benefits. The final step would then be to undertake a branding and product positioning exercise, leading to the actual product launch on the market. Once the products have been launched, follow-up sales support and advice will be given to ensure that sales momentum continues to build.

Result 4 - Small-scale producers are actively engaged in efficient and biodiversity-friendly harvesting, production and processing of new crops from high value and under-utilised species: Once the market opportunity starts to emerge, the project will begin work with the minimum 4,000 households who will become the eventual producers. Some of the training and capacity-building will be generic, looking at broad conservation agriculture techniques, as well as community organisational dynamics and relevant topics of general importance (e.g. HIV awareness etc).

Result 5 - Knowledge is collected and disseminated through appropriate fora: Particular use will be made of virtual/electronic media (e.g. blog sites, You tube sites, Facebook sites etc), but more conventional media will also be used where appropriate. Finally, the knowledge will be disseminated through relevant channels.

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