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Development of a Meat and Live Animal Classification and Grading System in the SADC Region

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Background

The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is a specialized technical Office of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the African Union Commission (AUC). AU-IBAR's mandate is to support and coordinate the utilization of livestock, fisheries and wildlife as a resource for both human wellbeing and economic development in the Member States of the African Union (AU). The mission of AU-IBAR is to provide leadership in the development of animal resources in Africa through supporting and empowering AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

AU-IBAR recognizes the adoption of a 10-year Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) by the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit. It further recognizes the continent’s transformation agenda which re-affirms the impact envisioned through the Livestock development strategy for Africa (LiDeSA) and Agenda 2063. Therefore as part of providing leadership and coordination in the sustainable development of the continent, AU-IBAR is implementing a 5-year project on “Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods in Africa - Live2Africa”. The project pioneers a coherent continental programme approach to build systemic capacity in seven livestock components, that include: Investment in Value Chains, Animal Health; Animal Production, Productivity and Ecosystem Management; Resilience Building; Technology adoption in the Value Chains to inputs, services and markets; and strengthening institutional capacities.

The overall objective of the project is "To support transformation of the African livestock sector for enhanced contribution to environmentally sustainable, climate resilient, socio-economic development and equitable growth" while the specific objective is to strengthen the systemic capacity of continental, regional and national Livestock Sector stakeholders for the economically, environmentally and socially sustainable transformation of the livestock sector.

Each of the five regions in Africa has prioritized a specific value chain(s) (Regional Livestock Value Chains – RLVC) and strategic actions to be taken in order to develop that value chain. Southern Africa Region chose the development of the Regional Red Meat (Beef and small ruminants) Value Chain.

Rationale

The issue of grading of live animals as well as carcasses in Southern Africa, has long been a contentious topic, mainly because of the grading systems appear to favour large-framed breeds which are predominantly the exotic breeds (Chingala et al. 2017). Some of the carcass grading systems, for example, in Zimbabwe, use carcass length as one of the key measurements for yield of the carcass. Most of the indigenous Southern African breeds are small-framed and therefore cannot compete favorably in terms of size with the large-framed exotic breeds. Most indigenous breeds would have a fleshing index (ratio of carcass weight and carcass length, Wiyatna, 2007) which is inferior to those of carcasses of exotic breeds of similar age. There are other carcass characteristics which are taken into consideration in carcass grading systems. These include: age, carcass weight, meat to bone ratio, fat cover, marbling, carcass percentage, back fat thickness, eye muscle (musculus longissimus dorsi) area (also known as rib eye area, taken between the 12th and 13th rib), and conformation, among others. Most of these characteristics affecting the quality and carcass yield of the meat clearly prejudice indigenous breeds which are generally smaller than exotic breeds. The existing grading systems for carcasses, use carcass yield and quality attributes, but do not predict or classify eating quality at consumer level (Chingala et al 2017). Therefore, these grading system does not appear to consider the eating quality of the meat from different types of animals as an important characteristic. Yet it is commonly accepted that some consumers prefer meat and other products from indigenous breeds which they consider to have better eating qualities and taste than those of exotic breeds. Admittedly, taste is a subjective parameter, but as a consumer preference, it is highly significant as it can determine whether meat and products are marketable.

Most animals from the smallholder sectors in Southern Africa are marketed live (on the hoof), mainly in informal and occasionally in formal live markets. However, even in these markets, physical characteristics e.g. size and live weight (where it can be measured) of the animals, play significant roles in determining the market value of these animals. This inadvertently discriminates against the predominantly small-framed indigenous breeds.

It is therefore, clear that the Southern African region requires grading and classification systems for both live or slaughter animals, which do not discriminate against the small-framed indigenous breeds. The systems should be tailored to take into cognizance other important characteristics and qualities of indigenous breeds which are largely ignored or neglected in the existing grading and classification systems. Size and body measurements, though important, should not be the predominant features determining the grading or classification of live and slaughter animals.

As part of the development of the Red Meat and live animals RLVC for Southern Africa, AU-IBAR in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) conducted a consultative stakeholder meeting in Victoria, Seychelles from 9th to 11th of March 2020 with the main objective to refine the implementation modalities of catalytic actions for the prioritized RLVC. One of the specific objectives of the meeting was to develop a Concept Note (CN). An intervention area in the CN “Develop mechanisms to enhance market access at local, regional and international levels” has an activity “Review and adapt existing grading systems to accommodate indigenous animal genetic resources”.

Therefore, AU-IBAR, working in collaboration with SADC, would like to engage the services of a highly qualified and experienced consultant to propose and develop a classification and grading system for live and slaughter animals in the SADC region along the Red meat and live animal value chain.

Objective of the Consultancy

Under the Live2Africa Project Result Area 1 (Investment in Livestock Value Chains (LVCs) increased) the overarching goal is to develop mechanisms to enhance market access at local, regional and international levels. Improved market access can be achieved if farmers receive fair prices determined by objective grading of their goods and products.
The main objective of this consultancy is therefore, to develop grading and classification systems for both carcass and live animals of cattle, sheep and goats with particular emphasis on indigenous breeds in Southern Africa.

The Specific Objectives of the Consultancy are:

  • To compile existing classification and grading systems for live and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats in Southern Africa.
  • To critically analyze and synthesize the existing classification and grading systems for live and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats in Southern Africa
  • To propose and develop classification and grading systems for live and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats in Southern Africa

Expected Output of the Consultancy

  • State of knowledge on classification and grading of carcass and live animals (cattle, sheep and goats) available
  • A critical representation of instruments for classification and grading systems for live and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats in the region, available
  • Classification and grading systems for live and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats for the Southern African region, developed and available

Methodology

The process of the executing the assignment will be guided by the SADC Consultative Process of developing policy and legal instruments. In brief, this will involve national and regional reviews and consultations, interviews and validation workshop. The report will have a vision and a mission to guide the regional and national strategic aspirations for livestock development in the region as embraced by the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy, Livestock Development Strategy and the Regional Animal Genetic Resources Strategy as well as the Regional Industrialization Strategy and Road Map among others.

In summary, the consultant is expected to use a variety of approaches including but not limited to:

  1. Desktop studies for review, collation and analysis of national policies, strategies, laws and regulation amongst other policy instruments with a direct bearing on the development of the red meat and live animal value chain in the target countries and the region
  2. In depth interviews with stakeholders from public and private sectors in selected representative SADC Member States
  3. Facilitate validation meeting(s) (physical and/or electronic) to present the draft regional report.
  4. Consolidate feedback and update the regional report based on input from the validation meeting(s).

Inception Report (IcTR)

An Inception Report (IcTR) should be submitted within 2 weeks of commencing the assignment. The IcTR of not more than 10 pages, should include the proposed methodology, the timeline/calendar and programme of activities and an outline of the contents of the Final Technical Report.

Progress Reports

An update on progress should be reported bi-weekly to AU-IBAR, SADC and CCARDESA technical staff.

Interim Technical Report (InTR)

The Interim Technical Report is perceived to be the First Draft of the Final Technical Report (FTR). The InTR should be submitted to AU-IBAR, SADC and CCARDESA after 30 working days of the assignment.

Final Technical Report (FTR)

The Final Technical Report (FTR) should take into account contributions and comments from the relevant stakeholders, including AU-IBAR, SADC and CCARDESA. The FTR must be submitted at the end of the period of implementation of the tasks.

Time Frame

The assignment will be conducted for a period of 50 (fifty) working days spread over 90 days including collection of secondary data and information, consultations, field visits (if feasible), presentation of the findings and submission of the final report. The final report should be submitted within 14 calendar days of the receipt of final comments on the draft.

The assignment will start immediately after signature of the contract by both parties.

Technical and Financial Proposals

Applicants should submit a Technical Proposal that should include:

  • Outline of the methodology, for conducting the consultancy as per the tasks and indicate the number of days to accomplish each task.
  • Profile and CVs of the consultant undertaking the work indicating relevant academic qualifications and professional experience
  • Information showing past experience in related fields, demonstrating an inventory of past and current assignments of similar nature.
  • Contact addresses (Postal, email and telephone) of at least three referees or any other information that may show the consultant’s ability to carry out the assignment to satisfaction.

Financial Proposal

This consultancy has a maximum budget allocation of USD 15,000.00. Therefore, the Financial Proposal should not exceed this amount.

The Financial Proposal should cover consultancy fees for the conduct of the assignment from the beginning (day of signature by both parties) to the end of the consultancy (when Final Technical Report is submitted), bearing in mind that the assignment is for a total period of 50 working days. There will be no other consultancy fees paid outside this period.

Management Arrangements

Location of Assignment

The assignment will be carried out in the SADC region from the consultant’s base. There will be a possibility of travel to selected countries in the SADC region subject to necessity and the lifting of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any necessary and feasible field visits will be carried out in after agreement with AU-IBAR, SADC and CCARDESA. AU-IBAR will cover the costs of field visits (DSA, airticket, travel, etc.) according to AUC Rules and Regulations.

Qualifications

The assignment is open to experienced experts with over 15 years’ experience in Livestock Value Chains in the SADC region. A Masters’ degree qualification in animal science, natural sciences, or related subjects is the minimum required for this assignment. A PhD is an added advantage.

A good command of both spoken and written English is essential. Knowledge of other AU languages (French, Portuguese and Arabic) will be an added advantage.

Competencies

Professionalism – good understanding and knowledge of animal resources development, agricultural economics, communication, advocacy or other relevant disciplines.

Planning and Organizing – Ability to plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Demonstrate effective organizational skills and ability to handle work in an efficient and timely manner.

Writing and Communication – excellent writing skills; ability to write in a clear and concise manner and to communicate messages effectively

Evaluation Criteria

Technical Scoring

The evaluation of the Technical Proposal will weigh 70% of the total rating and will be evaluated against the following criteria

  1. At least 15 years’ working experience in livestock development specific to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States
  2. Proficiency in the red meat and live animals livestock value chains
  3. Proficiency in classification and grading systems in the red meat and live animal value chain
  4. Familiarity of national or regional policies, strategies, laws and regulations on classification and grading systems for lives and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats in Southern Africa
  5. Record of successful accomplishments of similar tasks conducted
  6. Evidence of excellent writing and communication skills
  7. Proficiency in spoken and written English language
  8. Evidence of experience in stakeholder consultations and engagement
  9. Adequacy of the proposal, work plan and approach

The consultant must fulfil the above mandatory requirements and score at least 70/100 in order to be considered for further evaluation.

Financial Evaluation

The evaluation of the financial proposal will weigh 30% of the total rating. The financial proposal will be evaluated on the basis of total cost, cost realism and used in combination with the assessment of the technical quality to determine the best value for money.

Status and Responsibilities of the Consultant

By this contract, as a consultant, you are not engaged as an employee of AU-IBAR and therefore you are entirely responsible for your own medical and life insurances. There shall be no other entitlements.

You shall exercise a high degree of skill and care in the provision of the CONSULTANCY services and will devote as much of your time to the services as may be necessary to enable them to be carried out efficiently.

Your relationship with AU-IBAR shall be that of an independent consultant. You will have no authority to incur any liability or make any commitment on behalf of AU-IBAR, nor will you hold yourself out as being an employee of AU-IBAR.

As an independent consultant, you will be solely responsible for any tax, national insurance contributions and any other similar payments and will keep AU-IBAR indemnified against any claims or costs in relation to those matters.

Ownership of Information and Confidentiality

Any information arising out of this work is the property of AU-IBAR and should be available on request. You, as a consultant should obtain a written agreement from AU-IBAR before divulging information relating to the study to any third party.

Supervision and Coordination

The consultant will work closely with the Live2Africa Technology, Innovations and Skill Development Expert and the SADC and CCARDESA focal persons.

How to Apply

Please submit your CV including three references and a proposal latest 28th September 2020 to the Director of AU-IBAR, Kenindia Business Park, Museum Hill, Westlands Road, PO Box 30786-00100 Nairobi, Kenya or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. clearly indicating in the subject line consultancy to “Development of a meat and live animal classification and grading system in the SADC Region” Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

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Terms of Reference - Development of a Meat and Live Animal Classification and Grading System in the SADC Region
Date 2020-09-14 Language  English Filesize 759.17 KB