Palladium Group is a privately owned real estate company. Its core businesses are Portfolio and Development investments. The Group invests for its own account and in partnership with private and institutional investors. Its knowledge and expertise allow for a combination of efficiency and quality of life aspects through a global approach to residential and commercial projects. Palladium Group covers all facets of real estate, from urban and architectural design to ownership, development, asset and property management, as well as maintenance of single assets and portfolios. The Company started as a general contractor over a hundred years ago. In the twenties, the Company evolved by beginning to construct several buildings in Paris together with associated property management business activities to enhance and create additional synergies and value for the construction company. Through the years, the Group expanded its activities throughout Western Europe, particularly in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, as well as the United States and most recently into Saudi Arabia.
Job Title: Policy Consultant: Agric Inputs Markets
About the Ag-Inputs Market
- The appropriate use of quality inputs can have a significant impact on the yield and incomes of farmers. In Nigeria, however the use of these inputs by small-holder farmers still remains low. This is as a result of a number of constraints which include:
- Unavailability or insufficient quantities of quality inputs at the required time in the growing season from planting to harvest and storage.
- Poor distribution channels to rural communities and failure to invest in rural distribution channels by input companies which limits the access to and use of quality inputs by small-holder farmers.
- Poor quality of inputs available and low knowledge/adoption of good agronomic practices (GAP) among small-holder farmers undermines the potential impact the inputs should make.
- Lack of finance on the part of small-holder farmers
- Lack of packaged units of inputs that are affordable and are appropriate for the area / crops being cultivated.
- Policy and regulatory gaps at state and federal levels that hinder the growth of the sector.
- Propcom Mai-karfi is partnering with stakeholders in the sector including private sector input companies, agro-dealers and the public sector to address some of these constraints in northern Nigeria.
- Existing policy, rules and regulation restrict market-led growth of the private sector. Policies are often designed to safeguard the interest of local input companies at the expense of the farmers and their needs and ultimately restrict competition between domestic and international input companies. Consequently, local input companies have become complacent and do not see the need to be aggressive in their seed production or distribution resulting in few innovations in the market that benefit farmers.
- Despite the obvious value of using the right inputs, farmers are unable to reap these benefits due to some identified policy constraints; either the absence of one or the weakness in implementation;
- Weak regulation by Nigerian Seed Council on product quality: For seed, the challenge of adulteration and counterfeiting is rife, mostly due to the absence of post market surveillance activity by the seed council. Given the huge market opportunity, adulterators continue in their act as the Council has not lived up to its expectation in monitoring and meting out punitive measures on offenders.
- Absence of regulatory body specifically for agrochemicals: Currently, the standard organisation of Nigeria and NAFDAC have been handling the registration of agrochemicals in Nigeria, focused mostly on importation and lacking the capacity to quality assure and control the inflow and distribution of substandard and banned agrochemicals. This has far reaching effect on the lives of farmers as it directly increases their exposure to hazardous materials, direct negative impact on the environment and by extension, the safety and quality of food.
- Absence of regulation controlling the handling and use agrochemicals: The safe handling of agrochemicals requires a specialized chain – adequate training and the use of personal protective equipment during spraying- without which it becomes a hazard to the handler, the food and the environment. So far, there is no regulation mandating companies to ensure the handling of their agrochemicals is done by a trained spray service provider. The absence of this regulation has led to the under-development of the spray service delivery chain; leading to several long-term health hazards, which may have been overlooked within our environment given the weak diagnostic structures. Although agrochemical companies have an umbrella body-CropLife that should drive the spray service delivery system, the absence of a supporting policy/regulation has been a disincentive for companies to invest in it. It is therefore necessary to have a law mandating the companies importing agrochemicals to present a list of trained SSPs as a prerequisite for importation. Also, the law should provide that only trained individuals can spray, to limit health hazard and pollution. Furthermore, the country will be able to achieve product trace-ability.
- PM’s strategy focuses on policy change to allow entry of competent and reputed international input companies to the Nigerian input market to stimulate competition in the domestic market and to spur innovation in terms of product and service offerings. Focus is also on strengthening the regulatory environment to promote policy implementation and prevent the circulation of counterfeit and illegal products with a view to promoting food safety and quality, reduce farmer health and productivity risks and environmental pollution.
- PM is seeking a consultant with experience in policy development and advocacy to support the Ag-input market (Seeds and CPP) in identification of opportunities and to facilitate policy advocacy and regulatory reforms in the Ag-inputs market.
- Data gathering on the situation in the Seeds and CPP market to define key problems.
- Define policy actions for the Seeds and CPP market.
- Identify intervention nodes for policy engagement.
- Develop policy and advocacy briefs for the Seeds and CPP markets.
- Support stakeholder engagement in policy development and advocacy.
- Any additional tasks and activities relevant to this engagement.
Outputs / Deliverables
- Report; detailing the key policy and regulatory challenges of the Seeds and CPP market and intervention nodes for PM as part of a wider strategy involving PM and key players in the sectors.
- Seeds and CPP policy briefs for key stakeholders and institutions.
- Stakeholder consensus and communique.
- Tangible changes with respective agencies.
- Support stakeholder roll-out
- Location and duration of assignment
The Consultant will work from home or from the Propcom Mai-karfi office in Abuja, with travel across Nigeria when required. This engagement will be effective from April 2020
The consultant will report to the Tier Lead and work closely with the Market Manager in charge of Ag-inputs.