Rikolto in Vietnam (previously VECO Vietnam) is a member of Rikolto, an international NGO with its International Office in Leuven, Belgium. Rikolto’s mission is to enable and support smallholder farmers to take up their role in rural poverty alleviation and to contribute to feeding a growing world population in a sustainable way. Rikolto is currently implementing the 2017 – 2021 programme “Supporting Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Value Chain Development Benefitting Smallholder Farmers in Vietnam” with a focus on vegetable and rice value chains.
In July 2018, Rikolto started implementing the project “Development of an integrated farming model combining climate and water-smart rice production with income-generating aquaculture for the youth and women in An Giang province, Vietnam”. This project is a first step to making our target rice value chains more gender- and youth-sensitive, environmentally-friendly and climate-smart. The current rice cropping model implemented in the project’s target area (Tan Tuyen commune in An Giang province) is that of triple cropping based on the succession of 3 rice growing seasons per year. Controlled by a system of dykes, natural flooding does not take place at all or comes via sluice gate operation, reducing the natural rate of sediment deposition. The sediment deposits brought by the flood contain many of the nutrients required for rice agriculture, estimated at 50% of the total nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus required for a crop (Manh et al., 2014). Furthermore, the additional 3rd rice crop results in a considerable increase in pest and disease outbreaks and workload for farmers and reduces their capacity to generate income from alternative sources. The loss of the “flushing effect” of the monsoonal flood is also a contributor to higher pest and disease costs.
Women and the youth are largely excluded from rice production in the project’s target area. Over 90% of rice farmers are male and about three quarters are above 35 years old. An integrated rice-fish farming system can be used as an alternative to the intensive threecropping system to reduce farmers’ financial vulnerability and to increase the sustainability of rice production in the area. It also has the potential to create job opportunities and income for women and young labourers through their involvement in aquaculture-related activities.
As part of this project, we are looking for a (team of) consultant(s) to design and assist the establishment of a rice-fish farming system that would benefit women and young labourers in Tan Tuyen commune, Tri Ton District, An Giang.
The overall objective of this consultancy is to provide technical and methodological guidance on developing an integrated rice-fish farming model in a participatory way.
Specific objectives include:
- Development of a rice-fish model coupled with Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) based on a participatory situational analysis;
- Facilitation of a participatory and gender-sensitive process to engage local communities, authorities and mass organisations (youth union, farmers union, women union) in the co-design and implementation of the model;
- Provision of technical guidance on the (i) identification of adequate fish species and stocking densities based on economic and environmental considerations, (ii) marketing for fish, (iii) infrastructure upgrades (i.e. dykes and canals), (iv) selection of the model (i.e. alternate vs. concurrent system) and appropriate sites, and (v) financial management.
- Identification of training needs for beneficiaries and delivery of the required training sessions to address the identified needs;
- Identification of capacity building needs for partners (including but not limited to Provincial Farmer Union and Commune Women Union) and, based on the identified needs, organisation of training sessions to build their capacity for future backstopping and follow-up of the rice-fish farming model; and
- Documentation of the co-design development process and pilot.
Reporting and Accountability
During the execution of the project, the Service Provider will regularly inform Rikolto of its progress, either via email or in-person meetings as determined by the project team at Rikolto.
A financial report, all original invoices and time sheets will have to be submitted to Rikolto at the end of the consultancy.
All information collected and/or used to generate the outputs of the consultancy remains the property of Rikolto and must be handed over in its totality when the consultancy is closed.
The consultant will provide Rikolto with the following deliverables in Vietnamese or English:
Before field work:
- A detailed work plan outlining the methodologies, timeline and division of responsibilities to a) carry out the multi-stakeholder co-design and development process, and b) the implementation of the integrated rice-fish model;
- An information checklist for the investigation of Tan Tuyen’s existing farming system, and potential for establishing the integrated rice-fish model.
During the co-design of the model in the target area
- Facilitation of two participatory and gender-sensitive processes: a) an analysis of the local situation and needs and 2) the co-design of the rice-fish model
- Preliminary draft of the rice-fish model based on the two processes above including:
- An operational description of the model
- The (pre)selection of the site(s) for implementation
- A risk assessment with risk management measures, including at least:
- Common fish diseases and treatments
- Weather conditions
- Pollution (i.e. from fish waste, unconsumed feed, chemical residues, medicine residues, etc.) and its impact on rice
- Fish safety for human consumption
- Identification of adequate fish species and stocking densities based on economic and environmental considerations
- Appropriate fish farming techniques, feeds and feeding management approaches
- Needs for infrastructure upgrades
- Marketing options for fish
- Recommendations for financial management to ensure that income from fish sales is reinvested into the subsequent year’s fish farming operations
- Key performance indicators and targets for the model
- A training plan for a) farmers based on the identification of their training needs (disaggregated between women and men) and b) partners
- An updated work plan for the implementation of the model
- An in-person presentation of items 4-6 to Rikolto, partners and local stakeholders for feedback and discussion.
During the implementation process:
- A technical training document for farmers participating in the model (one week after item 7: the presentation)
- Second draft of the rice-fish model, incorporating Rikolto, partners and local stakeholders’ feedback (two weeks after item 7: the presentation)
- Coordination and delivery of training sessions for farmers and partners (launched one week after completion of item 8: technical training document)
- Coordination of the implementation of the model (immediately after completion of item 9: second draft)
- Regular monitoring of the implementation, coaching of farmers and partners, and adaptation of the model based on initial results
- A final description of the rice-fish farming model based on the 2 previous drafts and incorporating modifications that were made throughout the process.
- A final report (max. 5 pages) presenting:A summary of results
- A list of activities and trainings carried out
- An overview of progress towards the KPIs and targets of the model (as determined in the first draft of the model)
- A description of challenges encountered and how they were (or not) addressed
- An overview of good practices and lessons learned
- Recommendations to Rikolto and partners on 1) how to ensure the sustainability and success of the model and 2) how to upscale the model to other locations
- A financial report following Rikolto’s financial regulations and cost norms (after consultation with Rikolto’s rice programme team, financial manager, and accountant).
- Participation in a one-day workshop in Southern Vietnam to present the project results to Rikolto’s partners.
Period of consultancy engagement
The deadline for submission of the proposal is 08 August 2018 and the planned starting date of the engagement is the signing date of the contract, around 15 August 2018. The deadline to submit all deliverables to Rikolto is 28 February 2019.
A detailed workplan for the study (see deliverables section above) is to be sent to Rikolto within two weeks of the consultancy’s starting date.
The Service Provider will be paid in the following way:
- 25% at the signing of the contract;
- 75% upon approval by Rikolto of all deliverables
- At least a master’s degree in aquaculture, agronomy or a closely related field;
- At least 10 years of practical professional experience in the sector;
- Solid experience in designing, leading and implementing participatory aquaculture or agriculture-related projects, preferably in the Mekong Delta region;
- Good knowledge of the Vietnamese rice and aquaculture sector;
- Excellent project and financial management skills;
- Ability and willingness to work closely with farmers, local authorities and mass organisations in the field;
- Strong analytical, synthesis and writing skills;
- Excellent written and spoken Vietnamese. Knowledge of English is an asset;
- Ability to work independently with little or no supervision;
- Excellent time management skills;
- Flexibility and adaptabilit.
Submission of proposal
Candidates shall submit the following documents in English:
- A technical and financial proposal that sets out the work plan for the consultancy, including a methodology and tentative timeline for the project;
- An up-to-date CV of the consultant, including relevant experience in relation to this consultancy. In case the applicant is an organization, an up-to-date portfolio of the organization should be included;
- Sample of previous work in relation to this consultancy.
Deadline for submission of applications: 8 August 2018, close of business. Rikolto in Vietnam will contact shortlisted candidates for personal interviews. Proposals must be addressed via email to Ms. Nguyen Khanh Linh, admin assistant at linh.[email protected]