• Cette offre est expirée !

    • Poste : DIGITAL SOLUTION MAPPING IN COCOA SECTOR (GHANA AND CÔTE D'IVOIRE)
    • Type d'offre : Consultance
    • Métier(s): Agriculture, Agroéconomie, Agronomie, NTIC, Télécommunications
    • Niveau(x): BAC+5
    • Expérience: 5 ans
    • Lieu: Côte d'ivoire and Ghana
    • Date de publication: 15/05/2024
    • Date limite: 22/05/2024 (Expirée)

 

AGRITERRA
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DIGITAL SOLUTION MAPPING IN COCOA SECTOR (GHANA AND CÔTE D'IVOIRE)

 

 

Description du poste

Background of the assignment

Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire are the world's leading cocoa producers, playing a pivotal role in the global cocoa industry. Cocoa farming is crucial to their economies, sustaining millions of smallholder farmers. Yet, both countries confront significant challenges that jeopardize the sustainability of their cocoa value chains. Inequality is the core issue, leading to extreme poverty, forced labor, illegal child labor, and widespread deforestation.
Low cocoa prices lead to scant earnings for farmers, often below the World Bank's extreme poverty threshold. This poverty compels them to take extreme survival measures, including engaging in illegal labor practices like child labor. The challenges of illegal labor and deforestation are closely connected to the concept of higher pricing. To effectively tackle these issues, the fundamental elements of pricing and income must be addressed. Without resolving these key issues, thorough solutions to counteract illegal labor and deforestation will continue to be out of reach. Addressing this fundamental issue requires paying a higher price for cocoa, specifically ensuring a living income for farmers.
TOC strategically centers its supply chain operations in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, recognizing their dual significance as major contributors to cocoa production who are also facing notable sustainability challenges. To address these challenges, TOC is committed to ensuring a Living Income Reference Price, unaffected by market fluctuations or certification premiums, set at $2.39 per kg of beans in Côte d'Ivoire and $2.12 in Ghana. This commitment has been upheld since 2013, with a living income defined as the net income of an entire household sufficient to cover basic living costs for a decent standard of living.
TOC sources cocoa from cooperatives with over 20,000 farmers, all of whom have equal access to support aimed at achieving a living income (including productivity packages, emergency funds, and child labour remediation support). As a company, TOC understands that ensuring the well-being of cocoa farmers and their communities is compatible with building a successful and profitable company. Improving social sustainability is not merely a strategic choice; it is the essence of their mission, reflecting dedication to fostering fair and equitable practices throughout the entire cocoa supply chain. This is one of the reasons why TOC’s primary strategy is paying a higher price to address living income and TOC has consistently paid the Fairtrade defined living premium to guarantee a fair price. Then, TOC pays a higher price to partner cooperatives, who then pass on these benefits in cash and in-kind to their members. While some farmers among their members are achieving a living income, others face barriers such as lack of financial literacy preventing them from advocating for themselves and leading to exploitation.

Financial exploitation, particularly among vulnerable families, primarily women-headed households, is a concerning issue. To fully integrate TOC sourcing and impact goals with all farmers equitably, innovative solutions are needed to address these barriers of financial literacy of farmers and digital exclusion.
As part of a global trend away from cash transactions, the global share of mobile money accounts in West Africa has increased from 11% in 2021 to 33% in 2022, with Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire leading this growth. The cocoa industry is recognizing the advantages of transitioning to digital premium payments for farmers. While this transition brings various benefits, such as reducing security risks, human error, and administrative burdens, there is a tangible risk of excluding certain individuals from this digital shift. These include female-headed households, illiterate families, and those living in particularly rural areas, such as on the periphery of protected areas.
However, there exists a tangible risk that certain individuals may be excluded from this digital transition. Vulnerable families – mostly women-headed households – are the most at risk of being left behind in this digital transition due to the lack of financial literacy.
To address this financial exclusion challenge, TOC in partnership with Agriterra, an international cooperative agri-agency, who’s mandate is to support farmer cooperatives, to improve the livelihoods and well-being of their members are embarking on the project “Enabling living income through an inclusive, farmer-centric approach to the digital revolution” to promote financial inclusion by leveraging technology, such as mobile banking, to ensure fair and transparent financial transactions.

Digital payments can be an actionable step towards lifting cocoa farmers out of poverty.
The cocoa industry increasingly acknowledges the advantages of transitioning to digital payment systems for farmers. For the cocoa sector, digital payment systems are new, and innovative, but limited in implementation and have far-reaching potential benefits for farmers.

This assignment is then proposed to conduct a mapping of potential digital finance solutions/services available in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to fully understand the pros/cons of services offered to farmer organisations in cocoa to find the right fit between the needs of the cooperative and the service/solution providers.


Main objective of the assignment

The assignment's main objective is to identify appropriate digital solutions and service providers within the cocoa value chain.
The main question to be answered is: What are existing, suitable and potential ICT based applications/solutions in cocoa value chain that can be adopted by cocoa cooperatives and contribute to improve farmers’ living income, financial literacy and transparency?
A particular analysis is needed on the cost benefit of digital financial tools versus non-digital financial tools (including cost of transfer, taxes, digital infrastructure) and financial stability of the service providers.

Thus, throughout desk research, and literature review, a consultant, expert in the domain of digitalization is needed to map and classify solutions and services providers by analyzing criteria below. The criteria will include at least the following elements:
• Are farmers (particularly cocoa farmers) customers of the service or solution providers?
• What products are currently available for farmers?
• What barriers have they identified to reach farmers? And what (untapped) opportunities?
• What is the accessibility for rural farmers?
• What are the KYC requirements (Know Your Customer)?
• Is the solution affordable for farmers?
• Is it Gender sensitive?
• What kind of services does it include?
• What are the criteria for opening an individual account?
• Is there any ceiling level and maximum transactions for digital solution for payments?
• What is the fee structure?
• What kind of support is provided?
• What's come out of the User-friendliness analysis?
• What is the availability of withdrawal points related to the payment solution?
• Is the digital tool easy to use for people who are illiterate?
• Does it work both online and offline?
• Is smartphone needed to use the solutions?
• Is there an opportunity to be used on feature (basic) phones (IVR, USSD, SMS, CALL)?
• Is it connected to local banks?
• If not connected to local banks, does it have its own integrated credit facility?
• Is there any proven business case existing and impact data available?
• Is the solution/service provider still operating in the rural areas?
• What are the challenges and lesson learnt of the solutions’ implementation?



Specific objectives of the assignment

• Through a desk research and literature review map prevailing and suitable digital solutions and service providers.
• Implement a stakeholder analysis to understand solutions available/are being developed in the value chain and what the uptake of the identified solutions are.
• Identify Conseil du Café et du Cacao and COCOBOD’s internal development on digital payments and solutions pro/cons
• Set up meeting with 100Weeks, Elucid and current service providers at targeted cooperatives to analyse the solution used in ongoing programs with TOC to identify pro/cons of the solutions, to determine the challenges faced and lessons learned.
• Prepare a presentation and a report on the digital solutions/services mapping with a conclusion on the most appropriate tools for the context.

Expected results
The expected results of this consultancy are:
1. A mapping of prevailing and suitable digital solutions and service providers is done through a desk research and literature review and presented.
2. A stakeholder analysis to understand solutions available/being developed in the value chain is implemented and the uptake of the identified solutions are presented.
3. Conseil du Café et du Cacao and COCOBOD’s internal development on digital payments and solutions pro/cons implemented are identified
4. Meeting with 100Weeks, Elucid and current service providers at targeted cooperatives is held to analyse the solution used in ongoing programs with TOC to identify pro/cons of the solutions, to identify the challenges faced and lessons learned.
5. A presentation and a report on the digital solutions/services mapping with a conclusion on the most appropriate tools for the context is finalised and made available.


Consultant's deliverables

As deliverables, we expect:
• Digital solution map
• Stakeholder analysis (in cocoa value chain) on use of digital solutions
• The report of the assignment on digital solutions/services mapping with a conclusion on the most appropriate tools for the context


Assignment details
• Composition of the team:
o 1 Consultant expert in digitalization and cocoa sector.

• Duration of the assignment: The time frame of the assignment will be 10 days in the period from May 27 to June 5, 2024. The final deliverables should be available by June 15th at the latest.

 

Profil du poste

General conditions

• She/He will be expected to discuss and meet with certain solutions providers
• She/He will have to cooperate and communicate closely with Agriterra in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.


Profile required

• Strong experience in the digitalization and cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana
• Fluent in French and English
• High attention to detail
• Having recently completed a similar study would be an advantage
• Immediate availability

 

Dossiers de candidature

• Candidates should submit their applications (CV with detailed relevant experiences including references and cover letter) to the following addresses: miessi@agriterra.org,  oduro@agriterra.org .
• Deadline of application: 22 May 2024.

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