Land O’Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening agriculture from farm-to-fork, helping businesses grow, and linking farmers to markets. Since our start in 1981, we have been leveraging nearly 100 years of expertise in crop inputs, agricultural insights, dairy and animal nutrition from our close affiliate, Land O’Lakes, Inc., a farmer-owned agribusiness committed to fulfilling its purpose of feeding human progress.
Our team is made up of nearly 350 employees who are committed to market-led approaches, and passionate about collaborating locally to create lasting inclusive economic growth. By unlocking the potential of agriculture for the last 36 years, the lives of more than 3 million people have been transformed through nearly 300 programs in more than 80 countries.
In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Land O’Lakes Venture37 (Venture37) is the technical lead for the project’s livestock-related activities, in particular for goats, sheep and poultry, within the Maharo Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) project in southern Madagascar. The DFSA, a food security project funded by the United States Agence for International Development (USAID), aims to prevent and reduce acute food insecurity among the most vulnerable households in the Androy and Atsimo Andrefana Regions in southern Madagascar. The project operates in these very arid and drought-prone regions, specifically in the Ampanihy, Tsihombe, and Beloha Districts.
To improve the knowledge and abilities in small ruminant production, Venture37 will strengthen the capacity of project participants to employ animal feeding improvement approaches, including natural pasturage and other resource management. Producers sometimes face fodder availability and quality issues, especially during the dry season. For example, during the lean season, producing households give burnt cactus to animals (to remove thorns) or other natural plants (e.g. Samata). These poor feeding practices promote overexploitation of sparse natural resources and decreases the ability of local breeds to maintain production throughout the year. On the other hand, in some areas, the natural resources available, but they are not used sustainably. To ensure the availability of forages, the community needs to manage their natural resources by considering the number of animals they can feed. In doing so, animal productivity will be sustained throughout the year.
In this context, V37 proposes to improve fodder use using the International Livestock Research Intsitute (ILRI) Gendered Feed Assessment Tool (G-FEAST). This particular tool is a gendered version of FEAST, known as G-FEAST. This tool allows project teams and stakeholders to collect quantitative information on overall feed availability, quality and seasonality which can be used to help inform intervention strategies. The FEAST and G-FEAST tools and application may be viewed at Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) | International Livestock Research Institute (ilri.org).
The goal of this consultancy is to build the knowledge and the ability of Project Team and local Ministry of Agriculture staff on the G-FEAST in order to allow them to support and orient communities on animal feeding management. This concerns not only theoretical knowledge, but also the practical application of the tools in the field, considering the local context and the particularity of the local community and the project’s target area.
The consultancy will be divided into two phases:
– Phase I: Training on the G-FEAST, including the computer application, to allow each participant to understand the tools and to know how all the elements are used.
– Phase II: Support for practical phase – follow up with the team on the use of G-FEAST at community level during three district level pilots.
Phase I: Participants Training
- Obtain a good understanding of the local context from project staff and select documentary review.
- Adapt G-FEAST training tools taking into consideration information collection from the field
- Organize a remote training for all participants
- Take into account trainee feedback throughout the training
- Draft a report related to the training
At the end of the training session, participants will be able to prepare and lead focus groups and individual farmer interviews in considering the full participation of farmers in the diagnosis. They will also be able to treat, analyze and interpret data using the FEAST application.
Phase II: Field Guidance and Follow up
- During the training session and with the involvement of each participant, prepare a guide or a protocol of the tools’ implementation. This includes the preparation of the community structure for implementation.
- Provide support to team by helping them identify three pilot locations to practice use of the tool
- Develop a plan and identify all the needs for implementation considering all steps.
- Assess progress of implementation
- Consider and incorporate feedback from particpants as implementation progresses. In this case, a remote question and answer (Q&A) session may be planned to ensure communication with participants
- With the participants, assess the implementation of the use of the G-FEAST tool. This will be completed with the main recommendations for future use.
- Develop a final report related to both phases of the consultancy.
Note: The preparative language used for both phases are French but latest version of each deliverable (included tools) need to be translated in English.
Place and Timeline for Implementation
The consultancy will be completed remotely. In this case, several virtual meetings, including the training sessions, will be required. Multiple virtual exchanges with the team also will be required. The project team uses Zoom and Teams for these events.
The Project’s target activity location is southern Madagascar: two regions (Atsimo Andrefana & Androy region) and three districts (Ampanihy, Tsihombe, Beloha).
This consultancy is expected to be implemented from February 2021 to September 2021, but not continuously. Some phases/steps will be planned in collaboration with the consultant.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
· Master’s degree in relevant area of study including Agriculture, Livestock, or Husbandry Sciences
· 10 years of experience in small ruminant production project implementation with training
· At least 5 years of experience with natural pasture management.
· Previous experience with ILRI’s FEAST tool in a project/program with a preference with experience using the G-FEAST tool
· Livestock experience in agro-pastoral arid environments similar to that southern Madagascar.
· Familiar with virtual training and remote supervision (use of appropriate tools).
· Professional French writing and speaking skills
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls will be accepted.
Land O’Lakes never requests money or payment from candidates for any position type. Please report any such requests to Land O’Lakes.
Land O’Lakes Venture37 is an equal opportunity employer and an organization striving to help global communities thrive through agriculture. We consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status, among other factors. Our culture values a diversity of voices. So bring us your unique experiences, your workstyle, and your dreams — they’ll only make us stronger.