Terms of Reference (TOR) Business Strategy Review ECOBasic Seed Company (ECOBasic)


African Agricultural Technology Foundation

AATF is an African led technology transfer organization that was founded in 2003 to address Africa’s food and nutrition security challenges through the effective use of technological interventions across Africa. AATF also works to address some of the obstacles to technology transfer across the food value chain from research, production, processing through to market linkages. A priority area is to improve Africa’s seed system where one bottle neck is Foundation Seed. To mitigate the problem of Foundation Seed supply, the vital missing link in the maize seed value chain in most SSA countries, AATF with support from Gates Foundation (GF) established and is since 2021 incubating a foundation seed company called ECOBasic Seed Company (ECOBasic) operating in Nigeria.  There is a need to review the progress the company is making and to review the business strategy and plan.

ECOBasic Seed Company

ECOBasic Seed Company (ECOBasic) was operationalized by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation in 2021, with grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to offer a commercially sustainable foundation seed supply solution to seed companies. ECOBasic supports seed companies in Nigeria with the supply of high-quality foundation seed to ensure the subsequent production of quality certified seed by operating a centralised system that manages foundation seed production, quality control and storage, in a highly effective and efficient way. ECOBasic has its office in Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria.


General Objective

The main purpose of this consultancy is to provide recommendations towards an updated business strategy and business plan and to recommend critical steps towards company sustainability.

Specific Objectives of the consultancy

  1. Review the business plan and progress made towards the business plan, including the review of the marketing plan
  2. Assess strengths and weaknesses with the company supply chain, sales and marketing
  3. Assess the current market opportunities
  4. Provide recommendations on:
  5. The updating of the business plan and potential pathways to profitability and sustainability
  6. A draft plan of short team and long-term priority areas for company tracking towards success

Key questions

Below are some key questions to be addressed:

  1. What are the key parameters for return on investment and profitability?
  2. Does the current business model hold long term, where are the profit margins and where are the cost pressures and what is the target price/kg?
  3. What would be the impact for the company of owning its own farm?
  4. What strategies should the company put in place to develop the market and is the current marketing plan effective?
  5. Should there be more effort to expand the business services as the core business volumes ramp up?
  6. How can the company improve the synergy between production, sales, marketing and inventory?


The consultant in consultation with AATF, ECOBasic and BMGF will be expected to undertake the following tasks:

  • Conduct desk review of ECOBasic documents and other relevant documents.
  • Interview the ECOBasic team, the ECOBasic Board, AATF and GF
  • Interview other relevant key stakeholders agreed by AATF/ECOBasic/GF
  • Site visit to ECOBasic office, review of business operations, sales, marketing and inventory
  • Face to face interviews with relevant stakeholders.
  • Present draft model and modelling report of the optimal ownership and capital structure for QBS for discussion.
  • Submit to AATF a report on the findings and recommendations on:
  • The updating of the business plan and potential pathways to profitability and sustainability
  • A draft plan of short team and long-term priority areas for company tracking towards success


  1. A draft ownership model and capital structure including sustainability aspects
  2. A final report on optimal ownership model, capital structure, a plan to attract new investors, general conclusions and recommendations


  1. The consultant(s) should have 5+ years private sector experience in seed the seed system
  2. Demonstrated expertise and experience in business operations
  3. Demonstrated vast knowledge of the African seed sector
  4. Experience of start-up companies is preferred
  5. High degree of independence, flexibility and ability to meet strict deadlines.


Interested consultants should submit detailed technical and financial proposals (not more than 5 pages) covering:

  1. Capacity statement
  2. Demonstrated understanding of the terms of reference
  3. Proposed methodology to be used in undertaking the assignment
  4. A detailed work plan (time and activity schedule)
  5. A detailed financial proposal

The proposal should be accompanied by the below as annexes:

  • Profile and CV of the consultant (s)
  • Samples of two most recent related works (and/or references for the same with contact details of the referees.


This consulting assignment is expected to begin around mid-July and to be completed no later than September 15th 2024. It is estimated that the number of consulting days would be 30. Physical meetings are required in Nigeria, Kaduna and Abuja .


AATF will evaluate the proposals and award the assignment based on technical and financial feasibility. AATF reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal received without giving reasons and is not bound to accept the lowest or the highest bidder


Applications should be submitted to AATF Procurement Officer at: procurement@aatf-africa.org by COB 5th July, 2024 with the subject head ‘’Business Strategy Review- ECOBasic‘’