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Call for consultants for the development of the Aflasafe commercialization strategy for Zambia


IITA has opened the opportunity for recruitment of consultants for the development and design of the Aflasafe commercialization strategy for Zambia

Deadline: May 7 2021


In response to the challenges posed by aflatoxins, USDA-ARS developed an innovative biocontrol solution containing non-toxin producing Aspergillus flavus strains. This breakthrough innovation reduces aflatoxin contamination during crop growth and post-harvest storage, and throughout the value chain.

In Africa, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in partnership with USDA-ARS and national research organizations, has so far successfully adapted this technology for use in Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi, using native non-toxin producing A. flavus strains commonly found in these countries.

This has led to the development of biocontrol products branded as Aflasafe. Field testing of Aflasafe across countries has produced extremely positive results: consistently reducing aflatoxin contamination of maize and groundnut by more than 80% and even as high as 100%. Adopting and applying Aflasafe in farmer fields to address aflatoxin contamination in Africa could dramatically improve the health and livelihoods of millions of families while reducing food losses due to contamination. The challenge is to get Aflasafe into the hands of farmers across sub-Saharan Africa.

IITA and partners through the Aflasafe Technology Transfer and Commercialization (ATTC) initiative have laid the foundation for scaling the production and distribution of Aflasafe to users across Africa. The approach involves developing country-specific commercialization strategies, competitively selecting investment partners, and supporting those investors to scale out the production, distribution, and use of Aflasafe in the country.

IITA in partnership with the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) and the Zambian Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) is now looking to extend the commercialization approach to the Zambian market. This is particularly important for Zambia given that Aflasafe was registered for commercial use in 2018, however, it is still not readily available in the county. In addition,

Zambia is a leading producer and exporter of maize and groundnuts in Africa. With the growing concern over the levels of aflatoxin in the regionally traded maize and groundnuts, evidenced by the recent maize trade bans in Kenya and Burundi, it is prudent that Zambia encourages farmers to control aflatoxin right at the farm level.

IITA is therefore seeking applications from competent and experienced organizations to develop the Aflasafe commercialization strategy for Zambia.

Scope of Work

Working collaboratively with IITA’s Aflasafe team, the applicant will leverage the standardized country analysis model and preliminary supply-demand hypotheses for Zambia, emphasizing risks and opportunities. This will be achieved by developing a clear country strategy that addresses, at a minimum, and by no means exhaustive, the following key questions:

Who are the main market players in the maize, groundnut, and sorghum value chains?

What is the demand for aflatoxin-safe grains in Zambia?

How might this demand change over time, and what drives that?

How are the production system for the focus crops organized in Zambia

What is the potential market for Aflasafe in Zambia?

What is the addressable market for Aflasafe in Zambia, over the next 5 years?

What incentive mechanisms can be put in place to increase the demand for Aflasafe?

Should the manufacturing and distribution be public or private sector-led?

What is the financial viability of Aflasafe production and/or distribution in Zambia?

Is it better to manufacture Aflasafe in Zambia or import and distribute it – considering cost, ease of entry and reliability of supply?

What are the pros and cons of a regional, single national, or multiple national manufacturing plant strategy?

What are the most ideal locations for setting up the Aflasafe manufacturing unit in Zambia?

How many Aflasafe manufacturing factories will make business sense to setup in Zambia, and what should be their respective production capacity and locations?

For potential investors already in the inputs supply chain, do they tend to have centralized or dispersed manufacturing facilities?

With reference to existing input distribution channels, how should Aflasafe distribution be setup?

What type of actors should be considered for each business opportunity along the Aflasafe distribution channels?

What types of investor partners for Aflasafe manufacturing and distribution should we consider working within Zambia? What are the top five qualities we should look out for?

What are the implications for the Technology Transfer and Licensing Agreement (TTLA) on the proposed business models and investor appetite?

What laws, regulations, and/or enforcement mechanisms could hinder the uptake of Aflasafe?

Guided by the above questions and deliverables outlined below, the applicant working closely with the Aflasafe team will develop actionable strategies for the commercialization of Aflasafe in Zambia.

For more details on project deliverables, Application & submission information, Eligibility Information, questions and clarification click this link to visit IITA website