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Consultant (Understanding the Drivers of Counterfeiting) at Mercy Corps Nigeria

Posted on Mon 07th Nov, 2022 - --- (0 comments)

Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on humanitarian assistance, economic development, and conflict mitigation. With the ongoing insurgency in Northeast Nigeria causing the displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. As the crisis has persisted, Mercy Corps’ strategy has also expanded to address the root causes of the conflict and seek to build the long-term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on governance, the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, youth empowerment, and local conflict management.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Consultant for Understanding the Drivers of Counterfeiting of Agricultural Inputs Market in N/East

Locations: Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe (The Consultant will cover for the four states)
Employment Type: Contract


  • Quality agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides can boost agricultural productivity, but access to high-quality inputs remains low and variable in many rural Northeast markets. Low quality inputs remain less desirable to utilize since they do not improve yields at the same magnitude as high-quality inputs.
  • Low quality and counterfeit products masquerade as being of acceptable or higher quality, recognizable brands but have been tampered with to reduce the potency or quality of the product. Therefore, improving farmers’ ability to detect low quality products or counterfeit products has the potential to increase adoption of higher quality inputs.
  • Similarly in the livestock and poultry sector, access to quality inputs such as animal health products and services, information and better genetics inhibit the productivity potentials and growth. Veterinary, animal health and productivity management make vital contributions to all stages of livestock and poultry production by reducing animal diseases and public health risks, improving levels of production, and attaining food quality and safety standards. To improve crop farmers productivity and harness the pro-poor benefits of a rising demand for livestock produce, an understanding of the primary inputs and services to support sustainable crop and livestock production is required.
  • In Northeast Nigeria, farmers and value chain actors complain of limited quality control system for inputs like Crop Protection Products (CPP), fertilizer, poultry Day Old Chicks, and veterinary inputs leading to proliferation of counterfeit and sub-standard products within the market with the resultant negative public health concerns, low farmer productivity and heavy loss for farmers and input suppliers. This depresses farm incomes and contributes to low agricultural productivity that continues to be hampered by poor agronomic practices, low-quality germplasm, declining soil fertility, and losses due to pests, disease, and postharvest handling practices.
  • A lack of farmer trust in the current inputs supply system, plagued by counterfeiting has compounded the low levels of agricultural technology adoption by counterfeit products range from fake or adulterated materials to banned substances that are harmful to crops and human health. Counterfeit agricultural inputs directly reduce productivity and, together with the perception of widespread counterfeiting, reduce demand for high-quality inputs. This lowers input prices and reduces profits for producers of genuine products, causing a form of “adverse selection” in which counterfeit products push high-quality genuine products out of the market.

Project Description

  • The Feed the Future Rural Resilience Activity is a five-year, $45 million initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) within the states of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, and Yobe in North Eastern Nigeria. The goal of the Activity is to facilitate economic recovery and growth in vulnerable, conflict-affected areas. The purpose of the Activity is to sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty in NEN.
  • This will be accomplished through expanded economic opportunities. Its overarching approach involves strengthening resilience capacities at household, community, and market-systems levels to ensure the sustainability of poverty reduction and economic recovery efforts.
  • Although Nigeria is home to one of Africa’s largest livestock herds, the country remains a net importer of meat, and its meat trade deficit is growing. Factors like inadequate finance, high cost of animal feeds, animal diseases, lack of infrastructure, cost of important resources such as water and other factors militating against animal production. Prioritizing investments in areas of quality control can trigger several benefits.

Consultant Objectives
The purpose of this assignment is to generate empirical evidence of the drivers of counterfeit agricultural inputs market in Northeast Nigeria.

The Objectives are to:

  • Consolidate all available information and integrate it with new data to build a subnational-level body of evidence
  • Analyze and make deductions from the new body of evidence and develop pathways to dealing with this problem
  • Package key pieces of evidence from the study to inform public-private dialogues and public campaigns on the issue of counterfeit agricultural inputs
  • Support the industry to come up with a common definition of a counterfeit agricultural input.
  • The outcome of this study will contribute to discussions and dialogues between states and federal governments, industry associations, suppliers, and private sector representatives that will develop solutions to these problems.
  • The results of the study will be presented to a wider forum of stakeholders, including government, private sector, other policymakers, experts, and donors, to raise awareness of the need to address the issues and to advocate for specific reforms to be implemented.
  • The study may also be used to catalyse debate about the importance of reducing counterfeits and suitable policy responses.

Scope of the Activities
The consultant should propose a detailed approach and methodology for undertaking the following activities:

Establish the economic impact of counterfeit inputs:

  • Conduct desk research to build on the body of knowledge already existing on the impact of counterfeits on the Northeast Nigeria agricultural input market
  • Profile key agricultural inputs, and estimate the size and trend of counterfeit inputs, by type of input (Day Old Chicks, veterinary inputs, seeds, fertiliser, agrochemicals ). The estimates should be based on a credible and widely used methodology that is suitable for the type of data that is collected and accessible, as well as survey data as needed.
  • Estimate of the current economic losses incurred through counterfeit inputs, such as lost yields, profits and quality and income there from, lost tax revenue, and other costs.
  • Estimate the potential effects from reducing counterfeiting in Northeast Nigeria to the level observed in any part of the country or other countries that the consultant will identify.

Identification of drivers of counterfeiting of agricultural inputs:

  • Identify the main drivers of counterfeit inputs.
  • Identify the prevalence of counterfeited products
  • Identify the most vulnerable products and why they are vulnerable to counterfeiting

Identification of priority obstacles and solutions to counterfeiting of agricultural inputs:

  • Identify the main causes and sources of counterfeit inputs.
  • Identify existing policies, laws and regulations that should be better enforced to reduce counterfeiting and new policy responses that are needed.
  • Build on identified weaknesses in government and other institutions (private sector associations, etc.) that enable counterfeiting to occur without sufficient enforcement and punishment.
  • Recommend a strategy and priority actions to counter counterfeiting, including improvements to policies, and regulation and to government and other institutions.

Consultant Deliverables

  • Inception Report. The Inception Report shall detail the approach, methodology, and realistic work plan for completing the assignment. The Inception report should include a list of potential key informants of the study.
  • Draft Study Report and Recommendations: The consultant will produce a comprehensive report of findings and actionable recommendations organised in a logical way and can be comprehended by readers with a basic understanding of the issues. The title, organisation and presentation of the report should be mutually agreed upon between the Consultant and the Activity once the initial economic research has been completed. The report should be of a quality that is publishable via hard copy and electronic media. In addition, a presentation of the report should be prepared in PowerPoint.
  • Validation Workshop: The Consultant will present (using the PowerPoint decks) the study findings and recommendations to a wider stakeholder audience for validation. The Activity will convene the validation meeting.
  • Final Study Report. The Consultant will incorporate feedback from the wider stakeholder meeting, finalise the Report and submit it to the Activity. The Consultant will include relevant annexes that add value to the report including an annex on Transcripts and Data Sources. The consultant will include an annex of transcripts and sources of data used for the analysis, as well as any models and analysis that were produced through the study. Notwithstanding any use or disclosure limitations imposed on the grantee by third third-party providers, the Activity will reserve the right to post the data on its website or use it for other research.,
  • Simplified Version of the Study Report: The consultant will work closely with the Activity to produce a simplified version of the report, easy to read for circulation to stakeholders and the public.

Timeframe / Schedule:

  • 20 days in 2 months (November 2022 - January 2023).

The Consultant will report to:

  • The Consultant will report to the Senior Intervention Officer-Livestock and Poultry Productivity/Senior Intervention Officer-Transaction Advisory Services.

The Consultant will work Closely with:

  • TheSenior Intervention Officer Livestock, Intervention Assistant Livestock, Senior Intervention Officer Transaction Advice, Senior Intervention Officer- Seed and Input Supply System and Deputy Chief of Party who will be providing oversight support functions throughout the duration of this assignment.

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience

  • University Graduate in Social Sciences, Agricultural Economics, Economics, Law or a related field (PhD preferred) with 10+ years of relevant experience in Nigeria
  • Work experience with USAID and/or other donor-funded projects is strongly preferred
  • Experience working collaboratively with institutional and private‚Äźsector partners and stakeholders in Nigeria.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of agricultural value chains and an understanding of the agribusiness enabling environment.
  • Excellent analytical, written and oral communications skills in English is a top priority.
  • Ability to work well in diverse teams but also able to work productively as an individual with minimum supervision
  • Well organized, strong analytical skills, creative thinker, innovative, demonstrated personal initiative, with unquestionable integrity and ethics.
  • Ability to communicate in other Nigerian languages is a plus.

Application Closing Date
14th November, 2022.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified Consultants, Consulting Teams, or Consulting Firms should send a Technical and Financial Proposal to: [email protected] using the Job Title as the subject of the email.

Application Instructions
In Addition to the Technical and Financial Proposal, Expressions of Interest should include the following:

  • For consulting firms, company profile demonstrating relevant qualifications, skills, and experience of similar assignments conducted by the firm, or CVs of individuals representing the consulting firm on this assignment. Please note that firms are allowed to collaborate with other firms to deliver this assignment, however, payments for any services will be to one firm and not multiple firms.
  • For consulting teams and individual consultants, CVs of Consultant or members of the Consulting team demonstrating relevant qualifications, skills, and experience.
  • Samples of evidence of previous experience in conducting similar assignments
  • A work plan showing an indicative timeline for each part of the assignment
  • Daily rate/fees.

Note (Related to Financial Proposals)

  • Mercy Corps will directly cover the costs of travel, accommodation, meals, and incidentals for a maximum of three people per consulting team or firm.
  • Other costs such as halls for conducting digital literacy training and associated logistics and refreshment costs will be covered by Mercy Corps. Thus, financial proposals should focus more on the overall daily rates while providing an indication of other costs which will be covered by Mercy Corps.


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