Program Description of LADA
LADA is a four-year project that aims to improve the agricultural development and food security initiatives at the community- and national-level in Liberia. The LADA project aims to strengthen “aggregation clusters” through facilitating business relationships that link, suppliers, producers, processors, buyers, and investors so that all actors along the value chain can benefit from sustainable growth. To achieve this vision, CNFA will provide its Co-Investment Fund (CIF) to finance quality inputs, mechanization, agricultural equipment, and markets so that Liberian smallholder farmers (SHF)can increase their participation in the market. In order to participate in the processing that will be needed to transform the production of the SHF into saleable good, more attention needs to be paid to food safety standards and public health issues, particularly under new ECOWAS regulations.
To adopt a production-to-consumption (farm-to-table) perspective, requires traceability of animals, products, and raw materials. Responsible food businesses use Codex standards and guidelines as important references in setting product specifications and company policies, to ensure good safety and quality of products when trading in multiple countries and where systems are still in development. The private sector plays an important role in the development of Codex standards and guidelines.
The standards are developed for both primary production in the field and manufacturing in the factory and concentrates on building capacity. The food industry drives the development of standards in food labelling and the principles of food hygiene and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). They are based on practical operational experiences and alignment to international guidelines that can facilitate the flow of food products across borders and open new markets within and between regions.
The key to food safety is prevention at the source. The facilitation of safe production, handling, storage and transport of crops produced in developing countries allows the introduction of safe food to the public and exporting possibilities to developed country markets and elsewhere. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, HACPP, can be used to guide businesses through the process of identifying food safety hazards and controls and leads to a system that increases production and safe food. The Codex gives specific standards and guidelines for the post-harvest handling, transporting, processing, packaging and labeling for each industry. By following these guidelines and standards the food value chain will be compliant with International Standards and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to allow for growth and trade in Liberia and the industry.
In this vein, by improving the ability of Liberia to meet food quality and safety standards for horticulture products, LADA can facilitate greater international market access, reduce the impact of price competition, stimulate investment and mitigate risk, leading to increased exports. This increase in exports will stimulate commercial production and thus encourage employment creation and increased productivity, benefiting the poor through higher incomes and more jobs.
To achieve this vision and to remedy the above-mentioned constraints, training and capacity-building is required in the areas of good agricultural practices, good manufacturing practices, business development, and knowledge of national food law to function as sustainable businesses, which can attract additional capitalization and maximize profits.
Therefore, the assignment described above will be carried out in four components:
1. Assessment of Existing Laboratory Capacity in Liberia
- The consultant will provide an assessment of the current laboratories in Liberia and their capacities. This will include a focus on the needs of the producers to receive nationally recognized certification necessary for increased markets.
- The consultant will assess the types of crops being grown by LADA partners and examine the possibility of these to be examined in domestic laboratories. The tests necessary for each, to enable the safety of food produced and allowing potential exporting within the African Union and abroad, will be presented to LADA with recommendations about how to pursue this testing in line with the CNFA mandate.
- Gaps in existing laboratory capacity will be assessed, and a mitigation strategy to address these will be presented to LADA, MOCI and LOA.
2. HACPP and Codex Code of Practice (COP) Development for CIF Beneficiaries
- The consultant will train and assist LADA staff in developing a decision matrix for determining model interventions as needed or required by the program for CIF recipients.
- The consultant will conduct a summary assessment of HACPP and Codex COP for each CIF grant beneficiary, as needed.
- If merited, the consultant will train CIF recipients in these COPs, utilizing a Trainer of Trainer approach to increase the sustainability of the intervention,
3. HACPP and Codex Code of Practice (COP) Development for LADA Capacity
- The consultant will work with the MOCI, MOA and MOH to develop an acceptable program for local aggregators that reflects Liberia’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary goals.
- The consultant will also train these Liberian entities and LADA staff on how using the Codex regulations and procedures to evaluate existing processors and how to work with owners to implement improvements.
- The consultant will work closely with staff on how to involve women and youth in the process. and with assistance from the M&E staff how to record the various activities.
- With the assistance of the staff, MOCI, and MOA initiate meetings with aggregators on the goals and purpose of incorporating the Codex tools such as:
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
- Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
- Good Hygienic Practices (GHP)
- Good Agricultural Practice (GAP)
- Good Aquaculture Practice (GAqP)
- Review the existing CNFA Business Management Training for aggregators to include HACCP and Codex practices to improve production quality.
4. Conduct Organizational Capacity Assessments for LADA partners
- Conduct OCA assessments as needed for CIF grantees and/or new LADA partners
Duties and Responsibilities: In-country
- Conduct activities in accordance with the above tasks.
- Provide training and support services as outlined.
- Draft recommendations with consensus from MOCI, MOA and LADA on the requirements for implementation of HACCP and Codex practices, as it relates to Liberia’s food laws and WTO.
- Provide compulsory specifications and regulations needed for the producing, manufacturing, and exporting of agriculture products as being requested by LADA partners.
- Submit recommendations to add testing kits to CIF recipients, to do in-house pesticide and contaminant residue testing, ensuring the safe production of food.
- Provide training and support to LADA staff to increase the safety of agriculture in LADA projects.
- Design, coordinate and evaluate value chains using international best practices and incorporating into LADA project activities.
- Provide recommendations on the next steps for LADA partners to increase food safety and export guidelines, and give briefing to LADA COP and HQ on results and next steps.
Duties and Responsibilities: Post-assignment
- Write a final report detailing the results of the assignment, schedule, etc. (no more than 20 pages) detailing the achievements of the consultancy.
- Report to include recommendations to LADA, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Minister of Commerce and Industry on next steps.
- A master of science degree in Administration, Public Health or Food Law, with a knowledge of Codex including Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) guidelines and procedures
- At least 5+ years of experience working within Africa with a USAID or other donor-funded projects.
- Experience and interaction with Liberia’s Ministries of Commerce and Industry, Agriculture and Health
- Previous experience in African agricultural/agribusiness development programs
- Fluency in English, with excellent verbal and written communications skills as well as strong facilitation skills
- Prior experience with projects that used the value chain approach
- Prior experience evaluating organizational capacity systems
- Familiarity with FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius
Timeline: Duties to be conducted over a period of 75 work days from early January-late March 2017.
Location: Monrovia, Liberia and field locations (Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties)