RFI - Soybean Value Chain Research Innovation Lab

U. S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Resilience and Food Security Request for Information in support of the Soybean Research for Development Needs in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Issuance Date:
February 16, 2021 Response Due Date:
March 2, 2021 at 12:00pm EDT The United States Government,

credit: sheknows

represented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS), is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to interested organizations, particularly non-traditional partners, including Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), civil society, private sector, local partners, as well as new and underutilized partners[1].

This RFI was developed to seek innovative ideas to inform future research priorities that Sustainably increase the productivity of soybean and strengthen the value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

We wish to identify areas or topics of research on soybean or in soybean farming systems that hold the greatest potential to advance effective and sustainable development in USAID partner countries and contribute towards the Journey to Self-Reliance in target and aligned Feed the Future countries in SSA.

[1] New Partners are “an individual or organization that has not received any funding from USAID as a prime partner over the last five years” and Underutilized Partners are “an organization that has received less than $25 million in direct or indirect awards from USAID over the past five years.” https://www.usaid.gov/npi/npi-key-definitions USAID is conducting market research to collect supplemental information to develop the follow-on activity to the current award Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain.

Responses to this RFI will be used to determine the Research for Development (R4D) priority areas for soybean in SSA as they relate to the overarching goals and objectives of USAID and Feed the Future.

USAID requests that any interested organizations review the USAID/RFS Soybean Research for Development Needs in SSA attachment 1 and provide responses to the questions contained in the Attachment 2. Please note, USAID is particularly interested in hearing from all stakeholders involved in soybean R4D in SSA.

This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes.

Respondents are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this RFI.

Responses to the RFI will not be returned.

Respondents will not be notified of the result of the review.

USAID reserves the right to use any physical materials submitted by respondents for USAID’s own purposes.

Proprietary information must not be sent.

USAID reserves the right to, or not to, incorporate any, some, or none of the comments received from this RFI into any subsequent solicitations or design documents.

Submission Instructions:
Please provide one (1) electronic copy of your response in Microsoft Word format as a single email attachment to Mr. Kyle Davis (kydavis@usaid.gov).

Please submit responses via email only by March 2, 2021 at 12:00 pm EDT.

Use the following response guidelines.

Responses must not exceed five (5) pages (not including cover page) total typed, 11-point Times New Roman font, single spaced with one inch margins on the electronic equivalent of 8. 5 x 11 inch paper.

Do not submit applications, proposals, resumes, promotional materials, or statements of qualifications.

At a minimum responses must include the following:
(1) the name and address of the organization; (2) primary point of contact, phone number, and e-mail address.

This is a Request for Information.

This is not a Request for Proposals (RFP) or Request for Applications (RFA) and is not to be construed as a commitment by the U. S. Government to issue any solicitation or notice of funding opportunity, or ultimately award a contract or assistance agreement on the basis of this RFI, or to pay for any information voluntarily submitted as a result of this request.

Responses to this RFI are strictly voluntary and USAID will not pay respondents for information provided in response to this RFI.

Responses to this RFI will not be returned and respondents will not be notified of the result of the review.

If a Solicitation or Notice of Funding Opportunity is issued, it will be announced on the Federal Business Opportunities website http://www.beta.sam.gov or https://www.grants.gov, as applicable, at a later date, and all interested parties must respond to that Solicitation or Notice of Funding Opportunity announcement separately from any response to this announcement.

This RFI does not restrict the Government's acquisition approach on a future Solicitation or Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Responses Sincerely, Ms. Rachel Baltes Agreement Officer Office of Acquisition and Assistance M/OAA/RFS Attachment 1:
USAID/RFS Soybean Research for Development Needs in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Attachment 2:
RFI Questions ATTACHMENT 1 USAID/RFS Soybean Research for Development Needs in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Background Soybean (Glycine max) is an important crop globally with an estimated total cultivated area of 125 million ha and total production of 349 million MT in 2018 (FAOSTAT _4-24-2020).

Africa’s estimated annual soybean area of 2. 6 million ha and production of 3. 5 million MT is a mere 2% and 1% of global soybean area and production, respectively.

Africa’s soybean average grain yield of 1. 1 MT/ha is about 39% lower than the world average and 68% lower than that of the USA.

The rapidly increasing population in SSA countries (the fastest in the world) requires more output from agriculture and closing the yield gap to meet the human and animal nutrition needs now and in the future.

Soybean has been demonstrated to increase smallholder farmers’ income and productivity to fight poverty, add to nutritional gains by providing an affordable source of protein and micronutrients, improve soil health and contribute to resilience in the cereal-dominated cropping systems of SSA.

It is increasingly becoming a high-demand crop in Africa with an upsurge of demand in protein-rich feed for the poultry and fish industries and strong demand for cooking oil.

The goal of the anticipated new activity will be to contribute to the high level objectives of Feed the Future through increased soybean production and utilization in SSA by generating new knowledge, developing and disseminating improved technologies and practices, and building the capacity of partners across soy market systems.

The responses of stakeholders to the questions in Attachment 2 will help to understand the need and priority areas that require research intervention.

ATTACHMENT 2 RFI QUESTIONS USAID is seeking information from entities with a robust understanding of soy research for development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Respondents may respond to all or as many of the questions listed below that are within the bounds of their technical expertise.

In their response, the respondent should include the number of the question and the question as stated below.

1. Improved Variety Development and Seed Systems a) What kind of research and innovation will best lead to the development of improved varieties of soybean with enhanced genetic gain that are better able to overcome biotic and abiotic constraints? b) What kind of research and innovation will best establish a well-functioning soybean seed system in SSA? c) What research and innovation will ensure self-sustaining scaling and adoption of improved varieties continues into the future? 2. Agronomic Practices and Farm Mechanization a) What kind of agronomic research and innovation will best contribute to higher soybean yields in SSA? b) What kind of research and innovation will best meet the needs of smallholder farmers for mechanizing farm operation in SSA? c) What kind of research and innovation will best improve post-harvest practices and processing? 3. Nutrition and Market System a) What kind of research and innovation will best increase household nutrition outcomes through increased soybean utilization in the household in SSA? b) What kind of research and innovation will provide solutions that strengthen market linkages along the soybean value chain in SSA? 4. Youth, Gender and Digital a) What kind of research and innovation will best empower youth along the soybean value chain in SSA? b) What kind of research and innovation will best address gender disparities and differing needs and preferences between men and women while empowering women along the soybean value chain in SSA? c) What will be the role of digital technologies in soy research for development? 5. Private Sector a) What role can the private sector play in soy research for development in SSA? 6. Other a) Please add any other research and innovation needed for soybean development in SSA.
Related Programs

USAID Foreign Assistance for Programs Overseas

Agency for International Development

Agency: Agency for International Development

Office: Agency for International Development

Estimated Funding: $300,000

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Additional Information of Eligibility:
Eligible applicants are K-12 public and independent schools and school systems; institutions of higher education; community-based and non-profit organizations; state, county, local, or Indian tribal government agencies; and regional organizations.Priority 2 is available only to previous (prior to FY2017) New England B-WET grantees.

Eligible applicants must be organizations that have received awards or were formally recognized partners (i.e.

identified by either a sub-award or letter of commitment or both) for projects funded under the FY2008-FY2014 Funding Opportunities from this program, listed below:SEC-OED-2008-2001368SEC-OED-2009-2001648NOAA-NMFS-NERO-2010-2001868NOAA-NMFS-NERO-2011-2002569NOAA-NMFS-NERO-2013-2003467NOAA-NMFS-GARFO-2014-2004167Individuals, federal agencies, for-profit organizations, foreign organizations, and foreign public entities are NOT eligible to apply.

Federal employees can serve as uncompensated partners in a project.

If you wish to partner with a NOAA employee, in your application you must provide a written agreement documenting the participation, including details of the NOAA employee’s involvement, signed by their supervisor.

While applicants do not need to be located in New England, the work proposed must occur within this geographical region.The Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is committed to broadening the participation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in underserved areas.

New England B-WET encourages applications from, or applications involving, any of the above categories of institutions.

Information on minority-serving institutions and the demographics of K-12 schools can be found at:https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/edlite-minorityinst.html

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