Inviting expression of interest for consultancy services 






APCNF              : Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming

GEF                    : Global Environment Facility

ILM                     : Integrated Landscape Management

KA                      : Karnataka

RA                      : Rainforest Alliance

RA SAS              : Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard

SLM                    : Sustainable Land Management

ToR                     : Terms of Reference

UNEP                  : United Nations Environmental Program

SLM                    : Sustainable Land Management

LDN                    : Land Degradation Neutrality

I.              About the project


The Rainforest Alliance is the lead executing agency for the Global Environmental Facility funded project Transforming agricultural systems and strengthening local economies in high biodiversity areas of India through sustainable landscape management and public-private finance” along with other executing agencies Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoAFW – national nodal agency); Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC); State government of Andhra Pradesh; State government of Karnataka; Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS); Foundation for Ecological Security (FES). 


The project operates in two landscapes, selected for their importance for agricultural production, land degradation and biodiversity conservation. In Andhra Pradesh, the landscape covers a 3.775 million ha area within the Eastern Ghats. The landscape covers 901,000 ha of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in Karnataka. It incorporates the major coffee-producing districts in Kodagu, Hassan and Chikmagalur districts and a large area of the Kaveri river’s 81,000 km2 watershed. 


The project has broadly four main objectives:

·      Component 1: Develop policy-level suggestions to integrate Biodiversity and participatory sustainable land management.

·      Component 2: Sustainable land management at both farm and landscape level

·      Component 3: Market mechanisms and public-private finance for scaling up sustainable agriculture and landscape-scale SLM

·      Component 4: Knowledgmanagement and learning



II.            Summary of the consultancy:


This consultancy is primarily intended to understand the opportunities and challenges in market demand, production, and access to finance from the sustainably managed farms and landscapes in the project. The consultant is expected to provide relevant market intelligence and suggestions to help us to plan and deliver on “Component 3” of the project, which has the following objectives:


III.          Background


About Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance (RA) is an international non-profit organisation working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal. RA is building an alliance to protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis in Asia, East Africa, West and Central Africa, South America, Mexico, and Central America.


Project Overview

The project seeks to address two critical challenges that have a negative impact on India’s environmental health and the well-being of its people: land degradation and the loss of biodiversity. The project also aims at enabling sustainable agricultural production systems, participatory land use management and responsible supply chains to reverse the process of land degradation and conserve biodiversity. In addition to building the skills and knowledge of small farmers, it will harness policy development, market demand and public-private investment to make sustainable land management (SLM) economically viable.


The project aims to demonstrate a model for a supply-chain approach to work within a landscape context, in which people use land according to an agreed plan, and investments by business and financial services organisations incorporate the larger land area beyond the individual farms and supply chains.


The United Nations Environment Programme is the lead GEF Implementation Agency, collaborating with IUCN as GEF co-Implementing Agency. Project activities will be led by Rainforest Alliance and Rythu Sadhikara Samstha, in cooperation with the State governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and partner organisations, which have been selected for their expertise in the project’s approach.


Through this integrated approach, the project aims to deliver significant Global Environmental Benefits: It will directly impact 1,150,000 ha of agricultural land, including the restoration of 75,000 ha of degraded land, and manage 100,000 ha of land for biodiversity and LDN, including conserving 25,000 hectares of HCVF. It will directly benefit an estimated 770,000 people (304,000 women), of which 765,000 are farmers and farm workers and 5,000 are other beneficiaries, including service providers to farmers, community members and other stakeholders who participate in or benefit from the landscape management activities.


At the farm level, two primary SLM practices are endorsed under this project: The first is based on the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard 2020 (RASAS2020) in Karnataka (KA). The second is based on Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming (APCNF) and/or RA SAS2020 as applicable.


IV.           Objectives of the study:


1.     To understand the status of production, and value chain of key crops in project districts in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

·       (Key Crops- Major cash crops with strong potential for RA certification and/or market linkages in international and national markets. Food crops that predominantly cater to local markets should be avoided.

·       The focus districts will be Andhra Pradesh (11)- Vizag, Chittor, West Godavari, Vizianagaram, Kaddapa, Karnool, East-Godavari, Guntur, Prakasham, Srikakulam, Krishna; Karnataka (3) -Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan)

2.     To understand the perception of key market players and stakeholders about the benefits of sustainably produced agricultural commodities.

3.     To understand the key drivers that can lead to driving the market update from the project, as well as drive engagement/ investment in the project.


V.            Scope of the study


This consultancy project will primarily help understand the key levers that can motivate companies to increase the purchase from sustainably managed landscapes under the project.


a.     Collate comprehensive information based on secondary/primary research (as required)  of key crops in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.


·      Production: Comprehensive data points related to crops (including the crops with strong potential of RA certification) in both the landscapes such as District-wise acreage/No of farmers, production/ productivities, wide varieties/ specification,  cost of cultivation, sustainability challenges, the status of access to finance, inputs and farm equipment, farmer P&L.

·      Value chain- Value chain farm gate onwards, key players, role, post-harvest and processing practices/Infrastructure, key buyers and markets local/ national/ export (Regions preferably), Value uptick across the value chain, farm gate prices vs the value chain actors, key crop specifications demanded by the markets vs the production.

·      Markets: Key market players, brands and stakeholders, their requirements, pain points in sourcing the agricultural commodities from project regions, and if sustainable sourcing could be a value addition for them. Are they seeing demand from consumers for sustainable products from their markets? Do their target consumers value the certification/ verification claims? What benefits could be attractive for the buyers, e.g. sustainability claims/impact stories,  product specifications such as MRLs, variety, Postharvest quality, and ease of sourcing, and what factors influence the farm-gate prices in general and premium over and above the base farm price?

·      Access to finance: Status of access to finance, what are the key challenges for farmers to access formal finance channels, and who are the potential players who can play a role in bridging the access to finance gap?


b.     Meeting with the project implementing partners in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and collating the following information.

·      Role of Community institution in the collection, processing, value addition and marketing of crops.

·      Roles of these institutions in sustainability initiatives in the farm/off-farm.

·      Understand the production and marketing-related concerns of the farmer- producer organisation managed by the project implementing partners.


c.     Suggested market linkages /Guidance for the project, considering the above pointers.


Suggested broad methodology:


The market study should use both primary and secondary data sources to generate evidence supporting the findings of the market study. This study should also adopt a mixed methodology, quantitative and qualitative, for data collection, validation, triangulation and analysis. The process will include desk reviews, surveys, FGD, key informant interviews (KII) and observation. The proposed methodology is suggestive and can be adjusted by the agency if necessary for the market study, in consultation with Rainforest Alliance. Rainforest Alliance will review the methodology during the inception stage and suggest required modifications so that all study objectives are met.



VI.           Substantive Activities

1.     Concise report covering the above aspects- inception report in 15 days  & final report with suggestions and market strategy for the project in 3 months from the project sanction date, after incorporating the feedback in the meeting below and by the RA team

2.     Organizing a stakeholder workshop (Hybrid mode), including project partners, to share the report findings & obtain feedback on any modifications required.

3.     Action taken report on the point-wise feedback received from various stakeholders will be added as an annexure.

4.     Provide in the report annexure the details of stakeholders met or contacted over email/ phone etc., meetings held, data sources examined, including internal reports, publications, media news etc., to make the report.

5.     Final presentation of the study findings and suggestive next steps for the project partners to deliver on the component 3 objectives.


VII.         Deliverables and Timeline



Peer review process, supervision, and RA support


1.     RA’s team member will supervise the consultancy.

2.     RA will evaluate the quality of each deliverable after the submission, before payment for that deliverable. The consultant must ensure the collected information is complete and valid, before delivery to RA.

3.     RA will review each deliverable and will provide feedback within three working days after submission

4.     The consultant will integrate the feedback and deliver the adjusted deliverable within three working days so that payment can be made ASAP.


VIII.  Budget and Payments Schedule


The consultant will be paid a total as per the contract , against delivery and acceptance by Rainforest Alliance, of each deliverable mentioned in section VII of the ToR. Subject to receipt and approval by RA of the respective reports the payment can be released based on the following milestones.


IX.      Required qualifications and grading criteria



Range of values for criteria

Max Points

X.        Proposal Submission Procedure and Format

Please include the following:

1.     A Technical proposal not more than 10 pages detailing the consultant(s) understanding and interpretation of the ToR, expertise and record of accomplishment, proposed methodology/ approach to carry out this assignment, implementation plan, abridged CVs of proposed personnel you intend to use for this assessment.

2.     A Financial proposal. Detailed budget that indicates the professional fees and any other related costs to be incurred by the consultant(s) while conducting this assignment. Please note that the contract price will be fixed regardless of changes in the cost components. The proposed budget should detail all relevant costs, such as transportation, professional fees, accommodation, stationery etc. An additional column could be added to the budget to help the evaluation team understand what each item will be used for.

3.     The financial proposal should be calculated in Indian rupees including all taxes and duties.

The letter of interest, technical, and financial proposal should be sent by email to Bhavit Pant,, with the subject line “Proposal: Market study for intergrated land management project in Andhra pradesh and Karnataka ”, by  15 April 2023.

Any questions and clarifications related to the assessment should be sent to the email mentioned above.

             Thank you for your interest in working with The Rainforest Alliance


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