JOB AT Palladium : Consultant for Maize Cob Valorisation : ( Deadline : 21 May 2019 )

JOB AT Palladium  : Consultant for Maize Cob Valorisation : ( Deadline : 21 May 2019 )



JOB AT Palladium : Consultant for Maize Cob Valorisation : ( Deadline : 21 May 2019 )



Vacancy Name Consultant for Maize Cob Valorisation (Rwanda)

Work Location Kigali, Rwanda

Location Country Rwanda

Company Overview

Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.


For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved – and is committed to continuing to improve – economies, societies and most importantly, people’s lives.


Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.
Project Overview and Role




The DFID Improving Market Systems for Agriculture in Rwanda (IMSAR) programme is a 4-year market system programme that will help to commercialise agriculture by improving the way agricultural market systems function, making them more effective, participatory (by including poor farmers and other disadvantaged groups), and more competitive. In so doing, it will contribute to increasing the incomes of poor households in targeted agricultural market systems.


The programme is identifying market failures – such as limited access to finance and technology, limited or poor storage, lack of access to inputs such as fertilisers – and developing initiatives to address them. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of farmers and private sector actors to engage with and benefit from the markets. It will provide both short term and long-term investments into small and medium size agriculture businesses – where possible, partnering with existing specialist financial institutions.


Kumwe Harvest Ltd is a post-harvest aggregator and processor of maize in Rwanda, founded in 2018 to eliminate aflatoxin growth in Rwanda’s maize value chain and improve smallholder farmers’ access to commercial markets in Rwanda as a result. Aggregating maize ‘on the cob’, Kumwe utilises large scale shelling and drying machines to process and produce Grade 1 dry grain ready for commercial agri-processors.




With 23% of a maize ear being its cob, an unexpected side effect of the process has been the accumulation of wet cobs post-threshing. With approximately 3,000 metric tons of cobs to be produced by Kumwe Harvest during 2019, this represents potentially usable biomass that can be valorised. The maize cobs are currently underused, being sold in small quantities (either milled/ unmilled) to local brick burners, and therefore represent an enormous potential as organic material to be used as an energy source.


The valorisation of maize cobs is key to boosting the productivity for Kumwe Harvest whilst tackling environmental issues at the same time. Currently identified business models to valorise maize cobs include: (a) heat production for use within Kumwe Harvest’s grain drying process, (b) compositing of maize cobs alongside other excess products to create affordable, high-quality compost for Kumwe’s farmers, and (c) creation of animal feed.


In order to select the optimal valorisation routes, Kumwe Harvest and IMSAR are seeking a consultant to further assess potential business models. The assessment of business models needs to include technical, economic and sustainability aspects covering the complete chain (from feedstock production to product end use).



The key objectives of the research are the following:
Provide research and technical support on selecting a business model out of the three options identified above, as well as others he/she may determine are viable. The selection process will include Kumwe team as well as IMSAR, developing key criteria such as demand, feasibility, commercial scalability among others.
Once selected and agreed, the consultant will develop a business plan to better understand demand, investment required to develop the new business line, and an understanding of supply.






The consultant will build upon work previously done by Kumwe Harvest. The consultant is expected to be based in Kigali, Rwanda throughout the work and to cooperate closely with the Kumwe Harvest Ltd team, IMSAR and relevant stakeholders

Final outputs for this consultancy will include:


Selection of the optimal valorisation route. This will include a detailed assessment of the valorisation technologies, and a determination of those with the strongest market demand and viability in Rwanda and the region.This should include an assessment of relevant technologies and options, including relevant case studies where possible. Assessment should include the following topics:
Technical: Overall conversion efficiencies, end-product quality and compliance with end user requirement (fuel specs, ash etc.).
Economics: Logistics (infrastructure, ports, roads), potential cost and sales revenues, potential markets size (local and international).
Sustainability: Overall emissions along the complete chain with emphasis on emissions of CO2eq, impacts on women and youth

Business plan for the selected valorisation route, which will include an initial testing of the technology as well as determining the finance, operations, equipment and marketing required. The consultant should identify and analyse potential and achievable business models for maize cob valorisation by Kumwe Harvest Ltd. This should include a detailed description of processing routes (e.g. overall masa and energy balances, conversion efficiencies, feedstock flexibility, overall costs and potential revenues to allow comparison), existing outlets and markets.


A business plan template will be agreed by Kumwe and IMSAR (see below for a sample of this), and financial modelling for the next 5 years will need to be developed as part of the business plan. A tentative template is identified below:
Executive Summary
Company Description
New product (technology)
Marketing Plan: Market demand, competitors, price point, distribution strategies, promotional strategies
Operational Plan
Management & Organisation
Start-up Expenses & Capitalisation
Financial Plan and projections



The consultant will work directly with Kumwe and IMSAR. All outputs will be channelled through and approved by both Kumwe and IMSAR ahead of any payment processing.



This work is expected to complete by end of-June 2019.


To undertake this work, the consultant will have the following competencies:
Educational qualifications in the fields of agriculture, business or trade.
Significant experience in conducting similar assignments within the East Africa region
Experience in Rwanda, or knowledge in the Rwanda context
Evidence of developing quality business plans in the East African region
Knowledge of private sector dynamics in the East African region
Excellent written and verbal English; understanding of Kinyarwanda would be a bonus (can partner with local researchers to fulfill this)
Proven track record of working in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment
Highly developed communication skills, including evidence of the preparation of high-quality reports


Job Description URL

Applications Close Date 21 May 2019








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