Request for Proposal

For conducting Comprehensive study on ecological and organic markets for smallholder farmers.

Topic Title: Challenges and scope in marketing ecological products by FPOs and smallholder farmers

The above topic can be further elaborated into the following subtopics:

  • Challenges in obtaining licences and other statutory requirement by FPOs
  • Market infrastructure
  • Efficiency of  supply chain
  • Remuneration to the farmers
  • Quantity and quality of ecological & seasonal products
  • Authenticity of ecological produce from consumers’/market’s point of view
  1. Background: What is Bhoomi Ka (Clean, green and fair)

India’s food system is broken suffering from consequences of ecologically harmful agriculture practices and technologies adopted to boost production in a short span of time. These activities have taken a heavy toll on the environment and human health. Fortunately, there is a growing movement for producing and consuming food that is safe and healthy. Motivated by rising demand, many farmers in India are turning to chemical-free and sustainable agricultural practices. Additionally, a new generation of food-related “ecopreneurs” – encompassing farmer producer organizations, social businesses, restaurants, street vendors, food retailers, processors, and wholesalers – is emerging. These ecopreneurs are committed to transforming the food systems, aiming to create value chains that emphasize not only economic but also social, cultural, nutritional, and ecological values.

Despite the positive shift towards sustainability, ecological smallholder farmers face significant challenges in accessing markets and obtaining fair rates for their produce. They often struggle with inadequate infrastructure, lack of market information, and limited access to credit and financial services. These farmers also face stiff competition from conventional produce, which is often cheaper due to economies of scale and government subsidies. Additionally, there is a lack of consumer awareness and trust in organic and sustainable products, making it difficult for these farmers to secure a premium price. Moreover, the fragmented nature of the supply chain and the dominance of intermediaries often result in lower profits for the farmers.

Under the project ‘Bhoomi Ka – Co-creating Clean, Green, and Fair Food Systems,’ supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Welthungerhilfe (WHH)and implemented by CWS, Bhoomi Ka aims to improve the framework conditions for agro-ecological value chains and food systems. This initiative will benefit smallholder producer communities, ecopreneurs, and consumers by building capacities and establishing inclusive ecological value chains. The project will work with 100 FPOs and 100 ecopreneurs across seven states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab, and Uttarakhand – to create a more sustainable and equitable food system.

As part of this project, CWS seeks proposals from qualified consultants or organizations to conduct a comprehensive study on markets for smallholder farmers.

Scope of Work

This in-depth study aims to analyse markets of ecological products produced by the smallholder farmers . The study will provide actionable insights into market challenges and opportunities, supporting the development of sustainable and fair market access for smallholders farmers and FPOs.

Objective for Policy Study

  1. Analyze current market trends, opportunities, and challenges for ecological/organic smallholder farmers and FPOs to access markets.
  2. Assess the infrastructure and logistics requirements for smallholder farmers to access these markets.
  3. Recommend strategies to enhance market access and ensure fair pricing for smallholder farmers.
  4. Develop Policy Recommendations and Advocacy Strategies to be used in policy dialogues and national and state-level campaigns.


The methodology for the study should include a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the trends, opportunities and challenges associated with markets for smallholder farmers, especially dealing with ecological products. The study should provide an overview of the conditions across northern India with a deep dive in the market across 7states- Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi NCR.                  

The study should employ specific methods tailored to the objectives outlined.

  1. Literature/policy document Review and Context Analysis
  2. FGD with small farmers and Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO)
  3. Discussion with mandi, market committee and consumers
  4. Key Informant’s Interview with relevant market players
  5. Field Studies and Data Collection
  6. Data Analysis
  7. Reporting and Recommendations: Synthesise the findings and provide actionable recommendations.

Timeline: 60-90 days engagement is foreseen from the day of the contract.

Key Deliverables:

  • Inception Report
  • Questionnaire, methodology to be put as annex of the report.
  • Raw data in excel sheet with clean headers & sections.
  • Draft Report and Presentation of the Analysis
  • Final Report along with actionable recommendation and strategies
Required Qualification of the consultant/firm
  • An advanced degree or equivalent experience in Agriculture, rural markets, rural development.
  • Knowledge/experience on ecological farming and certification process/ PGS/Value chain  of ecological produce related topics is an advantage. 
  • At least 8-10 years of experience working on and evaluating development projects.
  • Knowledge of the country’s contexts, especially in northern India is a must.
  • Proficiency in data analysis (both qualitative and quantitative)
  • Clear, effective writing skills in in English.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee based on the following criteria:

  • Relevant experience and qualifications (30%)
  • Proposed methodology and approach (30%)
  • Cost-effectiveness (30%)
  • Timeline and feasibility (10%)

How to Apply:

The final proposal to be submitted to within 15 days from the publication of the advertisement.

Proposals should include the following:

  • Detailed organization/consultant profile, including relevant experience and expertise in similar study, knowledge about Organic agri/food market .
  • Detailed approach and methodology. The methodology section should cover
    • Research Design: Describe the overall approach, framework and sampling method of the study.
    • Data Collection Methods: Specify the techniques and tools for gathering data (e.g., surveys, interviews, experiments).
    • Data Analysis Plan: Outline the methods for analysingz the collected data (e.g., statistical analysis, thematic analysis).
    • Data Collection Instruments : eg surveys/ questionnaires, interview guides, Focus Group Discussions (FGD) guides, etc.
  • Terms of Payment

The payment modality will be as follows:

  • An advance of 20% will be made available on signing of the contract.
  • 30% will be paid on submission of interim narrative report (including case studies and testimonies) along with a financial statement of expenditure to be submitted within 45 days from the date of signing the contract
  • The balance 50% will be paid on completion of the activities and submission of final narrative report and an audited statement of accounts for the entire contract period.
  • The total estimated budget for the study is approximately INR 1,60,000.00 ( one lakh sixty thousand only)

Please note – The committee may ask for more detailed presentation from the shortlisted candidates before awarding the contract. The presentation is in no way binding on the contracting authority. Applicants will be informed of their selection & non-selection, but scores and other details of the evaluation committee will remain confidential.

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