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Call for Expression of Interest for the Provision e-solutions for resilient food supply chains in Zimbabwe
Procurement Process :EOI - Expression of interest
Office :Harare - ZIMBABWE
Deadline :25-Jun-21
Posted on :14-Jun-21
Development Area :URBAN DEV’T.  URBAN DEV’T.
Reference Number :79543
Link to Atlas Project :
00111631 - Urban Resilience Programme -Country Investment Facility
Documents :
Expression of Interest
Overview :

UNDP Zimbabwe invites interested companies/consultants to apply on the following:

Summary of proposal:

In Zimbabwe, the pandemic is impacting an already critical food-security situation resulting from the ongoing macroeconomic crisis and consecutive years of drought and is likely to result in a further increase in the number of food-insecure people. The economic impact of the pandemic is already observed through further currency depreciation, inflation and loss of income and livelihoods. Urban food insecurity has risen substantially with the impacts of COVID-19 (Urban ZimVac 2020), and in turn lead to an increase in malnutrition. COVID-19 mitigation measures are causing disruptions in logistics, rising import prices and income losses.

The agro-based food supply systems in Zimbabwe are vast and highly physically interactive hence, in the absence of strong measures, they can remain hot spots that perpetuate the pandemic impacting on poor households, and vulnerable youths and women entrepreneurs:  The food supply system is mostly informal and does not rely on sophisticated technology for trade.  According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the informal economy constitutes 60.6 percent to Zimbabwe’s economic activity where livelihoods of millions of people depend on it. The rural households, dominated by women, produces 70 percent of staple foods who often sell surplus. Knowledge Transfer Africa (KTA) estimates that more than 90% share of food produced by smallholders finds its way to consumers through mass markets, traders and vendors.

In 2020, UNDP has reprogrammed activities under Urban Resilience programme to provide covid-19 response in high-density urban areas and mitigate socio-economic stresses on informal sector. In particular, the project focused on supporting the resilient urban food supply chains as a means to ensure urban food security and create a safe environment for informal vendors to resume their activities. The project intends to support Government efforts towards decentralization/decongestion of mass markets through development of coordination mechanisms (strengthening of online platform and offline mechanisms), as well as refurbishment of market infrastructure with health safety measure in place.

In 2021, the programme has been scaled up to continue covid recovery through establishment of resilient food supply chains and continued focus on e-solutions. The end goal of developing online solutions to market aggregation is to mitigate against disruptions to national food supply chain system in Zimbabwe in the face of disease-related shocks.

Globally, digital solutions are emerging as a key pillar in the global fight against COVID-19 yet in Zimbabwe the progress towards harnessing this potential has been slow: Apart from increase in the level of use of ICTs for online meetings by government and corporates and grocery shopping for middle- and high-income market segments /households there is no evidence of widescale improved application of ICTs in fighting Covid-19 in E-commerce and market re-organisation by poor households, SMEs and informal sector players in Zimbabwe. Despite the overwhelming evidence that business solutions have transformed and happened in the digital platform, there is no corresponding evidence of increased use of ICTs by poor women in both urban and rural settings. The cost of internet, availability of mobile data and infrastructure as well as innovations that suit women food supply chain actors have remained a difficulty for many.   There is need for an online system that harnesses technology to link the food markets with the informal sector vendors who are currently on lock down and cannot easily move to purchase goods. The system will bridge the digital divide between the informal sector and the formal economy through data collection and sharing for linking vendors with suppliers, transporters, warehouses and other partners in the food supply value chain. While, there is need to establish an online system for women and youth in supply chain, there is also need to take into account women with disabilities, survivors of gender based violence and the elderly and an audit of the skills and capacities they have to participate in an economy that is now largely digitized due to COVID-19.

Zimbabwe has a relatively well-developed ICT infrastructure supported by a robust ICT Policy.  In March 2020 mobile network penetration in Zimbabwe stood at 90.6% of the population with mobile money platforms for cash transfers being widely adopted. The level of mobile penetration in Zimbabwe serves as an opportunity and a tool for the informal sector in Zimbabwe to leverage technology to actively participant in the food supply chain. Although containment measures are expected to slow the spread of infections and see some extreme lockdown measures gradually lifted, preventing new infections and limiting in-person interaction are likely to remain key policy priorities and a new normal in food markets for some time to come. In addition, as evidence Facilitating the digital economy should therefore be a major pillar of government strategies to recover and build resilient markets.

UNDP Zimbabwe is currently initiating support and capacitate the Ministry of Agriculture and Agritex extension officers to renovate existing platforms and to expand the scope to integrate new digital solutions. Upgrading the platform will help vendors and small-holder farmers to efficiently operate and trade agricultural produce during the national lockdown and beyond. In addition, ICTs can be harnessed to create a platform through which women can participate in the market by working with the private sector in value chain development, market search and entrepreneurship development through mobile and gender-sensitive web-based technologies.

However, to effectively support to the full extent the establishment of resilient food supply chains through inclusive e-solutions, a multi-stakeholder approach is required that gives adequate representation of the needs being addressed. Considering this, UNDP Zimbabwe is aiming to form a consortium of actors in the food supply chain who can assist in the implementation of the project. The consortium may consist of individuals, companies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and governments institutions that will work together to achieve the common objective of building resilience in the food supply chain. Entities that participate in a consortium pool their resources, expertise, data and advice towards the obligations that are set out in the consortium's agreement.

The Contractor shall provide the following goods/services:

The overall objective is to design and develop and scale up nation-wide a market aggregation platform for Agritex (Ministry of Agriculture) that would collect, process and portray real-life data on the food produce generated by farmers, its quantities, location and market prices:

  1. Value Chain Actors Data Collection and Management (farmers; transporters; buyers; input suppliers; financiers etc) - fluid data
  2. Supply Chain Nodes Data Collection; Analysis and Interpretation (aggregation centres; district and provincial markets; wholesale distribution centres and vending sites)
  3. Support the administration of the ICT-based Supply Chain Platform - including knowledge and information sharing (supply, demand and price trends; input and output market linkages; market-oriented advisory services; supply and distribution coordination and monitoring/tracking)
  4. Pilot an IT based market entry control systems in at least 1 market including instituting mechanisms for contact tracing
  5. Design and implement IT payment- based systems for space rentals and use of public toilets and other market facilities
  6. Training and roll out to supply chain players (farmers and associations)
  7. Training and roll out to demand side player (retailers/vendors/consumers and associations)

Outputs:

An IT based administration system for access to marketplace services is developed and is fully operational.

Submission details

Interested Companies/Consultants must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services:

  • company profile
  • 1-pager on proposed approach and how previous similar experiences and availability of appropriate skills among staff will enable them to deliver the required scope of work.

Given that the services will be delivered by a consortium of companies, the proposal does not have to address all the above-mentioned services. A company can focus on certain elements of the system they are best suited at developing.

Companies/Consultants are encouraged to associate to enhance their qualifications.

Companies/Consultants will be selected in accordance with the procedure set out in the UNDP Procurement Guidelines and UNDP Financial Rules and Regulations.

The EOI and accompanying documents must be received in one email no later than 15/06/2021 clearly labeled “EoI_Online solutions for resilient food supply chains in Zimbabwe”. The e-mail and its attachments should be virus free and no more than 8 MB per single email with a maximum of 3 e-mails.

EOI from suppliers failing to provide the request information will be disregarded. Invitations to bid and any subsequent purchase order will be issued in accordance with the rule and procedures of UNDP

Qualified applicants will be invited for a Q&A session before proceeding to development of full proposals.

This EOI does not entail any commitment on the part of UNDP, either financial or otherwise. UNDP reserve the right to accept or reject any or all EOI without incurring any obligation to inform the affected applicant/s of the grounds.

Interested consultants may obtain further information at the below address:  procurement.zw@undp.org