Request for Proposal for CSR Program Implementation
Organization: Corteva Agriscience
Apply By: 25 Jan 2021
Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, is a major agriscience company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio of agri-products such as high quality seeds, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system, as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come.
Corteva’s CSR division upholds the strong values of the group, which includes utilizing resources and capability to best fulfil responsibility towards the society and the environment, specifically in the domains of enriching lives of farmers, women empowerment and soil and water conservation. It is based in Hyderabad, but has numerous CSR projects spread across India, majorly in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The company works closely with local communities, district administrations, local governments and Non-Profit Organizations to reach out to maximum beneficiaries with the objective of functioning as a catalyst to enhance their quality of life.
Through this Request for Proposal (RFP), Corteva is soliciting applications from organizations to support as an implementation partner for its flagship program- AcreNext™ Farm School. With the objective of promoting sustainable livelihoods in agriculture through Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) farming, this program has been conceived to build the capacity of farmers on DSR through establishing training centers or ‘Farm Schools’ in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Program Description and Background
Rice is the staple food of more than half of the world’s population. As per International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), rice production needs to dramatically increase by 25 percent over the next 25 years to meet the growing demands. However, the process of growing rice is complex and requires more care as compared to other crops. Most farmers in India follow traditional cultivation methods for growing rice varieties, including transplanting established seedlings into rice paddies and flooding fields to control weeds. These methods require large amounts of water and labor resources and as such are more expensive. They lead to several unsustainable outcomes such as:
(i) water table depletion due to continued pumping, (ii) soil health deterioration due to wet tillage (puddling) for rice establishment, (iii) air pollution caused by methane emissions and loss of soil biodiversity, due to rice residue burning, (iv) increased cost of production due to labour and energy prices.
Therefore, they often result in lower productivity, reduced income and profitability for farmers. Smallholder farmers are more severely impacted by these challenges as they are dependent on rainfall for irrigation and often suffer from high cost of credit and absence of market linkages.
To help farmers overcome such constrains, Corteva aims to provide farmers with access to a more sustainable and resource-efficient technology of Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) that can improve the productivity and profitability of rice farming. In direct seeded rice farming, hybrid rice seed is planted directly into the rice main field. The hybrid seed has better yield, can be planted using mechanized sowing services and is compatible with crop protection solutions that do not require fields to be flooded. This will help rice farmers produce healthier rice crops that mature faster with increased yields, while being less water and labor intensive.
Therefore, in contrast to rice transplantation methods, DSR cultivation methodology offers various advantages such as (i) lesser requirement for labour, (ii) less water requirement, (iii) less drudgery, (iv) early crop maturity, (v) low production cost, (vi) improved soil conditions for subsequent crops and (vii) lower methane emissions.
Though there is a growing awareness of DSR farming in India, its adoption remains low. Hence, Corteva has designed the AcreNext Farm School Program to establish ‘Knowledge Centers’ and ‘Farm Schools’ that can serve to enhance the understanding, knowledge and skills of farmers in India, in undertaking direct seeded rice cultivation.
As per the program, the Company intends to establish Knowledge Centers that would function as advisory hubs to disseminate knowledge around DSR farming through demonstration of various cultivation practices such as field preparation, sowing, crop management etc. The knowledge centers would train large farmers, agri-entrepreneurs and channel partners. Each Knowledge Center would function as a hub for multiple Farm Schools (demonstration farms) wherein the large farmers/agrientrepreneurs will function as Lead Farmers to train smallholder farmers within their villages on correct agronomic practices for DSR cultivation.
Objectives of the Program:
Promote awareness among the farming community around Direct Seeded Rice cultivation and its advantages 2. Advance capacity building programs and deliver strategic training to enhance knowledge, skills and build capacity of farmers, including large farmers, smallholder farmers and marginal farmers, for undertaking DSR farming 3. Promote the adoption of rice cultivation through DSR farming and thereby increase the area of land under DSR 4. To help farmers increase crop productivity, reduce cost of cultivation and, increase income and profitability through DSR farming 5. Promote conservation of water, improved soil health and reduced GHG emissions through DSR farming
The first phase of the project is intended to commence from February 2021 and will be a two year-long project to begin with.
Criteria for Eligibility
The Company is looking to hire a competent and experienced agency to implement the program in all the aforementioned program geographies , specifically fulfilling the following criteria:
- The Team Leader must possess at least 5 years of demonstrated experience in undertaking agricultural development programs. An academic qualification of at least a graduate degree in agricultural science or any other related field is preferable.
- Substantial experience in conducting similar projects in the target states
- Experience in designing and delivering training/capacity building programs for farmers
- Experience in quantitative data collection, statistics/econometrics such as randomized control trials, regression, design effects, questionnaire design, etc.
- Experience in undertaking focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and survey design
- Experience in assessment design, collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, report writing in English, and supervisory capabilities of each of these competencies
- Experience and capability in producing survey reports
- Fluency in written and spoken English
- Field Researchers and Implementation Personnel in the team to preferably possess proficiency in local language for ease of project execution.
How to Apply
The agency must submit a Technical Proposal in English language as per the attached format (Annexure I) and Financial Proposal (Annexure II), along with the documents as enlisted under Annexure III, as an electronic report (pdf file format). The proposal must be prefaced by a cover letter including details on name of the point of contact, address, email and phone number. The proposal must be sent through e-mail to the following latest by 18th January 2021.
Nikita Verma: email@example.com
Aanchal Bhayana: firstname.lastname@example.org
In case of any queries, please send your queries on the above contact details by 15 th January 2021
To download the the full ToR, click here
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