Kenya: Conduct and document a practical workshop in Agroecology as applied to farms, rangelands and other communal drylands

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Organization: Trócaire
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 19 Apr 2018

Terms of Reference to Conduct and Document Trócaire Africa Programmes’ Agroecology on Farm and Wider-than–Farm,

Practical Exchange and Training workshop,

Marimanti Kenya,

May 21th to 25th, 2018.

  1. Background

Trócaire is a 44-year old international development agency which works in 25 countries of Africa, Asia and Central America. Trócaire’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan1, re-iterates Trócaire’s commitment to support people living in poverty, particularly women, to exercise their right to access and control natural resources and to benefit from the sustainable use and management of those resources. In terms of sustainable use of resources Trócaire, through its NGO partners, has been supporting the most marginalised rural households to improve their livelihoods through sustainably improving production and through better care of the land on which they farm. Trócaire has become aware that the household/family farm approach needs to be complemented with wider-than-farm strategies and whole community efforts. Trócaire as a right based organisation is concerned with the right to food and the seed, water and land rights which underpin access to good nutrition and a secure quality life. Thus Trócaire has a transformative approach to agriculture which is most closely exemplified by agroecology. Experience with agroecology in Central America supports and encourages our belief that agroecology can also make rural life physically, economically and socially viable in African countries. Globally agroecology is gaining purchase but there are many barriers to its widespread adoption and forces which work counter to people’s sovereignty over their food. In the African countries2 in which Trócaire works, national economic development plans consider the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture as one of the main means to address both hunger and revenues for the exchequer. Government aid to farmers is mostly focussed on single commodity production for distant markets. Government and donor funds for smallholder improvement are spent on fertiliser, pesticide and herbicide input distribution and natural resources stewardship is disconnected from so –called ‘productive’ sectors such as livestock husbandry and the cultivation of crops. Thus, although farmers in some countries, such as Uganda, have made huge strides in the adoption of organic agriculture, in the main there has been little progress in countering the non-sustainable input-focused conventional agricultural drive into smallholder systems. Good traditional land management practices and much of the agrobiodiversity have been lost resulting in higher risks of whole crop losses which in turn drives rural-urban migration. Trócaire has been successful in supporting thousands of farmers to adopt soil conservation and fertility-raising practices which have resulted in improvements to their livelihoods. Also communities have successfully established landscape and watershed management practices. However we consider that most of our programmes are at Phase One or the beginning of Phase Two in terms of adoption of agroecology. Implementation of some good practices (Phase One) is taking place in most of the land holdings which we influence, however the dropping of unsustainable and damaging practices (Phase Two) is only at an early stage. Consideration of whole –farm re-design towards a closed system where resources are sustainably cycled, that is Phase Three, is still at the theoretical stage.

Justification for the Agroecology Workshop

Trócaire’s has only recently formalised its adoption of agroecology as a strategy therefore its embedment into policy and implementation programmes is at an early stage. Although there is interest, enthusiasm and successful strides have been made amongst staff and partners there is doubt about agroecology’s potential for the following reasons;-

· Few examples of successful implementation exist in Africa.

· Multi cropping is considered backward.

· Agroecology is thought to involve more drudgery than current farming systems.

· Simplistic, quick-fix solutions are aggressively promoted, available and attractive.

Most partner field officers come from a conventional agricultural background and are challenged to change completely their learning and experience of what successful agriculture is. Since in many countries’ education on agriculture is quite separate from natural resources management, many of the agriculturalists with whom we work have very little education in natural resources management or ecological or landscape thinking. Trócaire’s programme staff come from a variety of professional backgrounds which lean more strongly on the socio-economic than the biological sciences fields and therefore are new to the biophysical elements of agroecology.

Specific areas in which partners and staff need practical training and exposure are:-

  1. How to co-identify, with the farming family, and assess the whole resources of a farm, its wider use and influence and how to use this information to support farm planning towards a more agroecological system. How to make an agroecological farm plan.

  2. How to incorporate natural vegetation into the farm and household food system – how to resist clearing it all before starting to cultivate!

  3. How to take a whole landscape/ecosystem/ sub-catchment common resources stewardship approach to community development e.g. to water supply, to food and nutrition security, to wild resources security.

  4. How to take a food–systems approach rather than a commodity focussed value chain approach to agricultural production.

Therefore it is intended to conduct a practical training workshop with Resource Use & Rights Programme Officers and their partners from eight programme countries ;- Rwanda, DRC, S. Leone, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Uganda. The workshop will be hosted by the Trócaire Kenya Programme Office and three of its partners in Upper Eastern Kenya in the counties of Tharaka, Kitui, and Embu

  1. Objective of the consultancy

The objective of the consultancy is to conduct and document the proceedings of a participatory 5-day workshop for 25-30 participants in Marimanti Kenya. This will include:

I. Site preparations comprising consultations and site visits with farmers, agro-pastoralists, communities and partners in order to select suitable training examples for the participants to work on practically, analytically and to observe.

II. Resources and equipment preparations

III. Training materials preparations for each participant.

IV. Documentation equipment and personnel preparation for recording the proceedings and editing them to a format/formats which can be distributed to the participants and others.

Objective of the workshop

To raise participants’ practical capacity in on-farm, on-rangeland and wider-than-farm agroecology and sustainable natural resources use and management.

Outputs

There will be three major outputs from the training workshop as follows:

Participants will have

  1. Been exposed to and will have become familiar with;-

· The meaning and status of agroecology globally with practical examples, the status of agroecology in their colleagues’ countries, policies and laws which support or limit its adoption.

· The agroecological and natural resources activities of their colleagues in other countries, their experiences successes and challenges.

· Practical assessment of the natural resource base and agroecological adaptation status of farms and landscape e.g. sub-catchment status and design of management plans on sites in dryland Kenya.

· Natural resources laws and policies relevant to food sovereignty.

  1. Will have gained experience and skills in Agroecology by;-

· Performing a practical in-field of the whole resource assets of a farm, a farm family and its surrounding a landscape together with the farm family.

· Proposing a realistic practical plan for an agroecological re-design of a farm.

· Will have together with a community,

o Discussed and analysed and designed /re-designed a landscape/ sub-catchment plan (NR inventory & status, zonation agreements, legal instruments, managerial structures)

o Considered the legal and organisational opportunities and

o Considered the measures needed to implement it effectively in partnership with all relevant interests and stakeholders.

o Collaboratively designed a stepwise strategy for implementation including full enforcement of the sub-catchment plans.

  1. Observed and analysed, measured, compared, planted, prepared and/or constructed

· Vegetation cover on a farm or landscape

· Orphan/Wild food and/or veterinary or plant protection resources

· A planting design which nourishes the family all year round, protects and enhances the land

· A cyclical farm waste and fertility system

· A water saving, storage, distribution and soil protection system for a water supply programme.

· Level or soil organic matter

· Soil pH

· Soil moisture level

· A rain gauge.

· A water level meter.

Methodology

The experiences of supporting Trócaire’s Programme Officers and partners to exchange and learn in three such workshops since 2013 has clearly shown that practical in-field demonstrations are their most highly desired and effective learning tools. Hands-on practice is even more effective, followed by sharing experience and knowledge with peers. Therefore all three methods will be used as the chief tools. The location of the workshop will lend itself to directly witnessing and addressing the practical challenges faced by agricultural communities in drylands. Problem solving assignments will be set for participants and they will be supported to work out sustainable solutions. The language of the workshop will be English and translation to Swahili and Tharaka when working in communities. Documentation will be photographic, video and through English written reports and guides. A draft schedule of content for each the five days is appended (Appendix 1).

Venue

The workshop conferencing and accommodation will be based in Marimanti town in dryland Upper Eastern Kenya. The daily practical sessions will take place in village communities and a variety of farm and sub-catchment sites in Tharaka Nithi which will include a river, farms and a hill

  1. Consultant Team Profile

The consultancy team will bear the following expertise

  1. Agroecology and food sovereignty Specialist, who can lead practical exercises in making a draft participatory farm conversion plan and a catchment (or sub-catchment) management plan with selected farmers, community members and workshop participants and the community/ies. This will include practical assessment of the natural resources quality and quantity (participatory mapping) consideration of moisture, energy and nutrient cycling and of the human labour inputs and nutritional needs and facilitation of a process where participants learn how to apply agroecological principles to actual farm sites. The expert will be a passionate believer in agroecology and will be capable of fielding challenging questions on all aspects of agroecology.

2. Sustainable water catchment management specialist who has more than 10 years’ experience of commissioning and evaluating systems for catchment protection and efficient water usage on farms. The person will be capable of leading participants in assessing the condition of an actual catchment (through various observation and measurement methods) and calculating the potential for increasing water infiltration and conservation –total water quantity and length of water availability throughout the year. They will also be capable of training participants in participative planning for communal catchment management. The expert will also have skills in assessing and improving technological choices for water saving and soil protection on irrigated farms including storage, delivery and in-field shading and anti-evaporation design.

3. Reporting and documentation skills.

The consultancy team will have capacity and equipment to document the workshop photographically, electronically/digitally and in hard copy.

  1. Estimated Timeline

Date 2018

Output

April 20th

Contract and overall schedule of work agreed.

May 1st

Trócaire’s and partners reports and other secondary data on local area and the project, and relevant global state-of the-art literature reviewed. Preliminary consultations with Trócaire and other resource persons in Kenya complete. Inception report with draft training plan submitted.

May 14th

Materials such as sketches, maps, satellite imagery, hydrological data, community analysis and mapping reports and plans assembled. Training resource materials researched and drafted and shared with Trócaire.

May 16th

Equipment assembled. Materials prepared for each participant.

May 17th-19th

Dry/Practice run with Programme team and partners in communities and other sites.

May 20th

Final preparations materials and training room at the central venue at Marimanti town,

Evening – Dinner and meet and greet with participants and organisers.

May 21th -25th noon.

Conduct and document the five –day workshop

25th afternoon – Wrap –up feedback meeting with Trócaire.

May 31st

Submit Draft report –digital, hard and electronic copies for comments.

June 12th

Re – draft report with adjusted recommendations.

June 22nd

Final report submitted.

  1. Key Deliverables

The reporting output in English will comprise

  1. Inception report containing detailed training plan.

  2. Training hand-outs/resources/guidance/presentations and notes.

  3. An approximately 20-page report comprising sketches and photographs and text of the proceedings and the participants’ evaluation.

  4. Five to seven-minute video/DVD containing main learning points of the workshop.

  5. Reporting to

The consultancy will be managed by Trócaire.

The Consultant will report to the Trócaire Sustainable Agriculture Adviser.

  1. Financial

A budget to cover the costs of the proposed methodology will be submitted. The Programme will cover the living allowances during the field work including accommodation, food and communication costs. Therefore the financial offers from the consultants should not include these costs which will be managed by Trócaire day to day. The Tender Price shall be in Euro (€), inclusive of VAT, per consultant day and will be awarded on a fixed price basis for the number of consultancy days estimated to be required to deliver on the objectives.

9. Submission of proposals

Consultants are invited to submit proposals outlining their capability to perform the task and deliver the expected outputs by detailing their

  1. Experience of similar work and their

  2. Relevant qualifications.

  3. Methodology to deliver the required works

  4. An example of previous similar work by the consultants should be submitted.

  5. Proposed budget to cover these works

Only shortlisted consultants will be contacted.

  1. Appendices

Appendix 1. Draft Schedule for the Agroecology Exchange and Training workshop May 20th-25th, Marimanti, Meru, Kenya.

Sunday 20rd May Arrival of participants. Security briefing. Dinner with participants, resource persons and organisers.

Day 1, May 21st Morning – Introductions and pictorial presentations from each country. Consolidated listing of successes and challenges. Success and challenges in promoting the principles and practice of agroecology on farms, rangelands, ecosystems, with staff and partners and in broader policy and advocacy strategies.

Preparation/ guidance for farm visits to observe, assess and discuss the adoption of agroecology. Afternoon Participatory field exercise to assess and discuss adoption of agroecology on farms.

Day 2, May 22ndMorning – Agroecology, the principles, of agroecology, why it works, how it works biophysically, why are promoting it for change to the condition of natural resources (on farms and wider than farms), Examples of where it is working globally. Food sovereignty, what it is and what differences it makes to social and economic well-being of rural households. Practical challenges to applying the principles and to challenging the political status quo of agricultural in the participating African countries. How to get a break through at grassroots level and in community and civil society.

Preparations for site visit and farm re-design process. Afternoon- Field site visit and consultations with farmers who have begun the process of adopting agroecology. Consultations in order to gather data from the farmers re-designing the farm over a five year period in order to establish a self-sustaining system which can nourish the family and meet the other needs and aims of the family. Evening –participant team discussions and write-up of their farm re-design recommendations.

Day 3, May 23rdEarly Morning – 1. Presentation of farm re-design plans by groups. Plenary discussions.

2. Mid-morning. Applying agroecological principles beyond the farm –ecosystems, landscapes, catchments. Introduction to the need for a wider catchment approach, why Trócaire promotes it, what principles apply, what laws (international, national and local) and policies underpin the wise management of communal resources such as wild biodiversity and water.

Introduction through maps and photos, existing catchment plans, and Kenya partner presentations to the water catchment landscape which we will study but Ideally the area in Tharaka where 1,200 households have gravity water supply from the local river) and for which the participants will prepare a catchment/landscape management plan. The water cycle, the importance of perennial vegetation, the farm re-designs and a joined-up approach to land use. Introduction to the relevant sections of Kenya Water Resources Management planning guidelines. Preparation of participants for site visits.

3. Afternoon.

First site visit. Observations of the catchment resources, uses and their condition and what is being done to monitor their status. Observation of the river and the gravity flow irrigation project (water extraction, water protection, water usage and return to the catchment, opportunities for better use of the water etc.).

Day 4, May 24thEarly Morning – Second visit to the catchment to gather observations and information for designing an ecologically sensitive catchment management plan. Community consultations.

Afternoon Preparation of team’s recommendations for catchment management including better water resources management in the landscape which encompasses on-farm and off farm changes.

Evening Fun cultural and food event with relevance to the agroecological theme.

Day 5 May 25thMorning Presentations on catchment re-design.

Discussions; – Consider options for further addressing adoption of agroecology and communal catchment management in each country.

One-to-one consultation period with consultant facilitator and other resource persons.

Noon Evaluation of the week

Close. Lunch. Depart for Nairobi airport.

1 Web link to Strategic Plan https://www.trocaire.org/node/3253

2 Trócaire has long and medium term programmes with farmer and pastoralist communities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

How to apply:

Tender to be submitted to: infonairobi@trocaire.org

Please entitle your email submission as: Agroecology Training Proposal.

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