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Empowering Agriculture and Agri-allied women entrepreneurs through ‘Digital Technology’

NASSCOM Foundation plans on implementing a project through NGO/for profit partners in the rural areas of Maharashtra. The objective of the project is to make agriculture and agri-allied women entrepreneurs digitally confident by the use of smartphones and other digital devices to bring them closer to the online business ecosystem.

BACKGROUND

As the social arm of NASSCOM, NASSCOM Foundation works with the technology industry in achieving its goals of social transformation and impact through technology. Since over two decades of its existence, the foundation has touched more than one million lives through its efforts towards providing digital literacy, skills for livelihood, supporting persons with disabilities, fostering innovation, empowering non-profits with technology and engaging in volunteerism.

NASSCOM Foundation’s ‘Skills Initiative and Entrepreneurship’ department works to bridge the skilling gaps and support in building and upskilling entrepreneurship ecosystem in India towards its goals of social transformation and impact through technology.

AN OVERVIEW

Asia and the Pacific is considered the “engine of global growth”, as it is home to six of the world’s top ten fastest growing economies. Yet, this growth is hampered by inequalities across the Asia-Pacific region, in particular gender inequalities. Hindrances, whether structural or social, limit women’s economic participation, denying communities and countries of greater socioeconomic growth that is of benefit to all elements of society. Entrepreneurship is a key means of redressing this inequality and the associated impediments to equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.

Agriculture, one of the largest contributors to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a driving force for country’s economic development, relies heavily on women employing the largest number of women in India. Women’s continued role in agriculture is well marked, well realised, however, it is often underestimated. Close to 75% of the full-time workers on Indian farms are women.
In rural India, the percentage of women who depend on agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 84%. India’s livestock sector, which is the world’s largest livestock production systems – over 70% livestock work is done by women. Despite their large presence and their contribution, women farmers, often, are not equipped with digital literacy and online market linkages for their produces. Studies have shown that women have less access to internet, digital platforms for market linkages /selling their produces, access to Govt. schemes to support their entrepreneurship ventures, online/digital payments and organised markets when compared to their male counterparts.

This inequality comes with a social and economic cost. Research has consistently shown that the inequity in access to online market place, credit and access to government schemes impacts both the economic well-being of women farmers as well as overall agricultural output of the country. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates that if women were to have the same access to productive resources as men, they would increase the yields on their farms by 20-30% and this would end up adding at least 2.5–4% to the total agricultural output in developing countries. Similar inequalities are evident in price realisation where in view of unequal access to formal markets, women often realise less price for their produce than their men counterparts.

One of the key areas for addressing inequality is to empowering the existing women agri-entreprenuers with digital literacy and support to get access to online market linkages.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

NASSCOM Foundation plans on implementing a project through NGO/for profit partners in Maharashtra. The objective of the project is to empower women agri-entrepreneurs through digital literacy by upskilling and enabling them to participate in the digital economy. The aim of the project is to reach out at least 200 women agri entrepreneurs in Maharashtra by increasing their online market access opportunities through leveraging digital technologies (ICT). The program aims to target from the following subsectors:
  1. Subsector 1: Production and sale of agri commodities e.g. vegetables, pulses, cereals, oilseeds, etc.
  2. Subsector 2: Production and sale of agri inputs e.g., vermi-compost, bio-compost, bio-pesticides, local seeds, etc.
  3. Subsector 3: Engagement in dairy value chain- production, sale, processing etc.
  4. Subsector 4: Engagements in value addition services of Agri products e.g., processing of pulses, small scale mills, etc.
200+ women will undergo 30-hour training over 8 days with 20-hours classroom training and 10 hours virtual in each district, training in 8 batches with 25 women agri-entrepreneurs per batch. The indicative timelines of the Project are as follows:
ParticularsTimeline
Project Commencement Date15th May, 2022
Project End Date30th September, 2022

INVITATION FOR PROPOSAL

Inviting proposals for executing women empowerment program for 200 rural agri- entrepreneurs on using digital devices and applications to enhance their income. We are looking at implementation partner/s with below mentioned criteria:

  • Local Know How /Understanding of rural agri-entrepreneur ecosystem, especially in Maharashtra
  • Experienced in implementation and training the rural women to enhance their digital capacity for upskilling their livelihood and handhold on the ICT linkages (minimum 3-5 years relevant experience)
  • Experienced  on  the  use  of  digital  devices  for  enhancing/generating  income (minimum 3-5 years relevant experience)
  • Knowledge and linkage of government schemes designed for supporting women entrepreneurship (focus on agripreneurship)
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Standard Adherence

With help of the implementation partners, we are looking at:

  • Upskilling existing rural based 200 women agri entrepreneurs on digital technology in the state of Maharashtra, India
  • 80% of these women are aware on how to use smartphones for their business
  • 80% of the women use any one digital communication tool every month to for training or their business
  • 80% women  agri  entrepreneurs  install  and  register  herself  on  at  least  one  e- commerce app
  • 75% women agri entrepreneurs receive or make orders digitally at least once a month
  • 75% women agri entrepreneurs use (pay or receive) digital payments for their businesses at least once a month
  • At least 75% of the women agri entrepreneurs enlist their business online on an e- commerce app/ website
  • At least 50% of the women agripreneurs start using an e-accounting app for their businesses
  • 80% women are aware of basic data and cyber security practices
  • 50 ‘Human impact stories’ (case studies) of successful agri enterprises led by women using digital technology to upskill their existing business

Interested Organization are invited to submit their proposals for the assignment, which must include the following, as detailed subsequently in this document.

  1. Implementation partner details
  2. B. Understanding, scope of work
  3. C. Proposal with Implementation Plan
  4. D. Detailed timeline
  5. Financial Proposal
  6. Monitoring and MIS tools and framework
  7. Basic ‘human impact stories’ (case studies) framework
  8. H. Details of relevant previous experience (budget, timeline and client/donor)

RFP SUBMISSION SCHEDULE & TIMELINE

The following table is an overview of the selection activities and timeline.

ACTIVITYTIMEFRAME
RFP Release Date14.04.21
Intent to proposal Email must be sent to  rfpforskills@nasscomfoundation.org18.04.22
Any follow up questions must be sent to  rfpforskills@nasscomfoundation.org20.04.22

One (1) electronic copy of the RFP Response must be submitted to NASSCOM

Foundation via email by close of business date 22nd  April, 5:30 PM IST to rfpforskills@nasscomfoundation.org

22.04.22
Bid comparisons / Vendor finalization26.04.22
Contract Declaration09.05.22

DETAILS OF RFP

S N.ParticularsDetails
Nature/ Scope of work Identifying 200+ women agripreneurs from the rural areas of Maharashtra.


Conduct baseline survey & need assessment of the women
beneficiaries along with preparation of implementation plan


Mobilization and enrolment agripreneurs (existing)


Ensuring basic education of the women beneficiaries, so
that they can understand/comprehend the training sessions (particularly digital onboarding)
Pre & post assessment of women beneficiaries


Setting up required Infrastructure for the batchwise training for the 200+ women beneficiaries.


Monthly progress report


Training of 200+ rural women agripreneurs on the usage of digital technology (ICT) for business communication, access to government schemes, market linkages, making online payments, and leveraging the use of smartphones to bring women closer to the online business ecosystem


End line assessment to measure and assess the progress
of the project against the desired output & outcomes.


Human impact Stories (case-studies)enterprises by women – 50 stories Weekly & Monthly reporting on all parameters of program execution along with Narrative and comprehensive reports.


Configuration and usage of UPI accounts for women
agripreneurs
2Proposals Requested byNASSCOM Foundation, Plot 7 to 10, Sector 126, Noida –2013
3Period of Validity of ProposalThe proposals shall be valid for a period of 120 days from the date of submission.
4Currency to be utilized (for submitting financial proposal)


Budget Breakup to be
enclosed as annexure
INR 21.40 Lacs (Rupees twenty-one lacs forty thousand only*)


*Project Proposal Cost to be under to INR 21.40 Lacs (Rupees twenty-one lacs forty thousand only)
– all inclusive
5Tenure of ContractTenure of Contract would be effective till 30th Sept’22 from the date of agreement.

LOCATIONS FOR PROGRAM REACH OUT

StateNo. of Women Beneficiaries
Maharashtra200+

DELIVERABLES & TIMELINES

S No.DeliverablesTimeline
1.Identifying 200+ rural women agripreneurs15thMay’22-31st May 22
2.Conduction of baseline survey, need assessment, of the beneficiaries with preparation of implementation plan, development of 30 hours training module15thMay’22-31st May 22
3.Mobilization & enrolment of 200+ beneficiaries15thMay’22-31st May 22
4.ToT of IP trainers on prescribed content15thMay’22-31st May 22
5.Training of 200+ rural women agripreneurs & mentoring the beneficiaries on markets, scheme awareness and the use of digital transformation in business and operation towards economic growth and empowermentJune-July 15th’22
6.For the trained beneficiaries – Identify opportunities – create roadmap, enablement and market linkage15th July-August’22
7.End line assessment to measure and assess the progress of the project against the desired outcomes.Sep’22
8.Human impact stories (case studies) of successful enterprises by women – 50 storiesSep’22
9.Weekly & Monthly Reporting on suggested formats along with Narrative and comprehensive reportsBased on agreed frequency

PROPOSAL FORMAT:

Following details to be included in the proposal:

  • Cover Page
    • Section 1 – Implementation Partner Details

To be filled in by the Requesting Organization:

i.Name 
ii.Registered Address 
iii.Tel.No./Fax No./E-mail ID 

iv.

Constitution (Society/Trust/Company – Please indicate.)

 

v.

Is the organization a “For Profit Organization” or “Not for Profit Organization”

 
vi.Tax Exemption Details (If any) 

vii.

Registration  details:  Act  under  which  registered, State, date of registration

 

viii.

Registration Number/ CIN Number with date of and address of registartion

 
ix.Does organisation has 80G Certificate 
x.Does Organisation has 12A Certtificate 
xi.Does Organisation has FCRA Certificate 

xii.

Has   a   Government   Department/   Ministry   ever blacklisted or imposed funding restrictions on the organization? (Please provide details, if yes)

 

xiii.

Does NASSCOM FOUNDATION & your organization have had/would have any previous parnership?

 

 

xiv.

Does  the  organization  have  audited  Accounts  & Balance Sheets for the last three years, indicating receipts, payments, closing balance, income – expenditure statements

 

xv.

Certificate of agency that members are not involved in political activities, nor being blacklisted

 

 

Section 2 – Approach and Methodology

–     Organizational Understanding of the objectives of the Project

–     Detailed approach & methodology to execute the project including work steps, Gantt chart.

Section 3 – Implementation Partner’s Training Centre Details & Technology

Infrastructure

  • Availability of required Infrastructure (PC’s/Internet/Office equipment & Furniture) in the training centre
  • Capability towards Data Analytics, Dashboards and real time reporting
  • Availability of community workshop centres

Section 4 – Implementation partner – Operation Structure

Major Content

  • Digital Skilling:  This will be the core of trainings. With the new age transitions world over on adopting digital technology; the need arises for rural women agripreneurs to learn digital ways of selling & managing their business /production and keep up with the emerging trends
  • Financial Literacy: online payment, UPI /QR code configuration, financial inclusion
  • Upskilling women agripreneurs on digital platform /access to online market and access to Govt. schemes (related to empowering rural women entrepreneurship)

 

RESOURCE REQUIREMENT

  • Project Lead/Manager – 1 (One)
  • Trainers and Mentors on Digital skills along with digital transformation.
  • Project Coordinator to capture and prepare execution related reports /data -1 (One)
  • Proposed Organogram with job description & responsibilities to be enclosed as annexure. The details of the resources (whether dedicated or shared resources to be mentioned). Please note that timesheet and proof of salary paid to resources will have to be shared with NASSCOM Foundation by the selected bidder who is awarded the contract for this Project.

Resume of management team and ground team to be enclosed as annexure.

IMPLEMENTATION PLAN:

Detailed activity schedule

ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND / OVERVIEW

FINANCIAL PROPOSAL FORMAT

Detailed  budget  breakup  to  be  attached,  including  personnel  cost,  mobilization  cost, infrastructure readiness cost, training delivery cost etc.

Points to be noted for submission of proposals:

  1. NASSCOM Foundation shall have a right at any time to validate, check and audit either itself or through an independent third party, the utilization of funds by the selected bidder who is awarded the contract.
  2. The selected bidder on award of the contract will have to furnish data validation and proof of completion of training etc.

For the interested organization, one electronic copy of the RFP response must be submitted to NASSCOM Foundation via official email address of the authorized person of the organization by close of business Date – 22nd April’2022, 5:30 PM IST to rfpforskills@nasscomfoundation.org. Please note that no personal calls or emails will be entertained in relation to the submission of the proposals.

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