Funding grants : Call for innovative proposals offering solutions in the domain of Agro-Retailing ( $5,000 – $15,000)

The Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity (Hinga Weze, or “HW”) is releasing an Annual Program Statement (APS) to award matching grants in support of its activities. As a first step, Hinga Weze is seeking Concept Notes for funding of grant projects. The grants will be awarded and implemented in accordance with the USAID and US Government regulations governing grants and CNFA internal grant management policies.

This solicitation targets Agro-Dealers working in Rwandan high-value horticulture, maize, high iron beans, orange flesh sweet potato and Irish potato in Gatsibo, Kayonza, Bugesera, Ngoma (Eastern Province); Nyabihu, Rutsiro, Ngororero Nyamasheke, Karongi (Western Province); and Nyamagabe (Southern Province). Only potential applicants that are Agro-Dealers in these districts should submit concept notes in response to this solicitation.

IMPORTANT: The Hinga Weze (HW) activity will hold pre-application question and answer conference February 15, 2018 at the CNFA offices in Kimihurura, Kigali, at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. This conference will allow interested applicants the chance to ask questions about the APS. Interested parties that would like to attend this workshop must confirm their attendance by sending the participant’s name and the organization’s name to grants@cnfarwanda.org. A maximum of 2 representatives may attend from each SME, organization or association. No reimbursement for costs of attendance will be met. This event will start promptly at the indicated time.

These in-kind grants and HW technical assistance will provide support to SME’s, retailers, distributors  and agro-dealers’ cooperatives that are working towards one of the following goals: expand their businesses by selling agriculture equipment; establish model agri-inputs shops at district level in Hinga Weze targeted districts; start or improve output marketing business; expand their businesses by establishing agri-inputs outlets to farm gate or diversifying  agri-inputs they are selling to include climate smart inputs and/or seeds for nutrient-rich crops including lime, iron-fortified seed beans, orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) among other inputs; establish warehouse(s) of fertilizers and seeds in Hinga Weze’s targeted areas.  The overall impact of the in-kind grants and HW technical assistance must be to increase productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers and/or businesses located in the targeted districts.

Grant investments will range from $5,000 – $15,000.

Applicants are encouraged to propose fully justified grants budgets. Only exceptional applications and those with the highest impact on the rural community, small agribusinesses and household farmers will be awarded maximum grant in Kinds Grant and Technical Assistance.

The Hinga Weze crop value chains are:

  • High-Iron Beans
  • Orange Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP)
  • Irish Potato
  • Maize
  • Horticulture (Fruits and Vegetables)

Please note that concept notes are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the APS period of February 5, 2018 through September 30, 2018 .

SECTION I. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

IA. ABOUT HINGA WEZE

The Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity is a five (5) year activity of USAID that started in June 2017. The activity is implemented by CNFA. The primary objective of the Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze activity is to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve the nutritional status of Rwandan women and children, and increase the resilience of the agriculture and food systems to the changing climate. This is envisioned to be achieved through sustainable increase of agriculture productivity, improving farmers’ access to market and improving nutrition outcomes of agriculture interventions.  Hinga Weze will achieve results by combining capacity building with in-kind matching grants and technical support to strengthen agriculture extension, improve agricultural mechanized infrastructure, and facilitate linkages between value chain actors.

IB. COMPETITIVE MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Hinga Weze grant application process is a two-step, competitive process: Step 1 is the Concept Note; and Step 2 is the Full Proposal. Grants under Hinga Weze will be used to competitively support innovative proposals offering solutions in the domain of Agro-Retailing. Concept notes will support retail / distributor agro-dealers and Agro-dealer cooperatives in accessing appropriate needs to expand their businesses. These needs include but are not limited to: expand their businesses by selling agriculture equipment; establish model agri-inputs shops at district level in Hinga Weze targeted districts; start or improve output marketing business; expand their businesses by establishing agri-inputs outlets to farm gate or diversifying agri-inputs they are selling to include climate smart inputs and/or seeds for nutrient-rich crops including lime, iron-fortified seed beans, orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) among other inputs; establish warehouse(s) of fertilizers and seeds in Hinga Weze’s targeted areas.

 Hinga Weze will ensure that each grant project leverages a matching contribution from the grantee, and that it is supported by the technical assistance required for sustainability. Applicants will contribute a minimum of 25% of the total value of the grant project. Applications that will contribute more than the required 25% will receive special consideration.

Grant evaluation criteria will incentivize innovative solutions, benefits to women, and the use of agriculture technology and Information Communications Technology (ICT). Approximately 20% of the grant fund will be set aside for women entrepreneurs to ensure inclusivity of women in the marketplace. This policy will be provided to the applicants upon successfully completing the concept note phase of the grant process and should be incorporated into the full application that will be submitted at a later date.

IC.       AUTHORITY/GOVERNING REGULATIONS

Hinga Weze grant awards are made under the authority of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Act, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 2 CFR 200, and USAID’s Advanced Directive System (ADS) Chapter 303, “Grants and Cooperative Agreements to Non-Governmental Organizations.” Grants administered under Hinga Weze will adhere to the terms of the USAID Standard Provisions for Non-U.S. Non-Governmental Recipients, as well as the HINGA WEZE grants procedures.

Hinga Weze is required to ensure that all organizations receiving USAID grant funds comply with the guidance found in these regulations, as applicable to the respective terms and conditions of their grant awards.  Under the Hinga Weze grant program, USAID retains the right at all times to terminate, in whole or in part, Hinga Weze grant-making authorities or any grants in progress.

SECTION II. ELIGIBILITY

IIA.      Eligible Recipients

Applicants that submit Concept Notes in response to this solicitation must be legally registered entities, and must submit registration documents as a pre-requisite for receiving grant resources.  If the applicant is not registered, they must demonstrate a commitment to formally register the business with the submission of their Concept Note (Step 1) in the form of a written statement to that effect.

Formal Hinga Weze grant support under this solicitation may be extended to the following actors working in the Hinga Weze crop value chains:

  • Associations of Agro dealers
  • Women’s network of Agro dealers
  • Youth associations/network/enterprises of Agro dealers

IIB.      Additional Conditions of Eligibility

All applicants must show proof of their ability to meet matching contribution requirement. Capital investments are preferred; however, in some cases, existing assets can be used to meet matching contribution requirements as long as they are directly relevant to the proposed grant activity. In general, the Grantee’s Matching Contributions should adhere to the following criteria:

Are verifiable from the Grantee’s records; are not included as contributions for any other US Government-assisted program; are necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of this grant’s objectives; are allowable under the Standard Provision, “Allowable Costs; are not paid by the US Government under another grant or agreement and are included in the approved grant agreement budget.

Applicants are encouraged to meet the minimum 25% and will be considered more favorably.

Other eligibility conditions include:

  • Applicants must have the ability to impact a significant number of beneficiaries in their immediate market area, leading to increased employment and rural incomes.
  • Applicants must be legally-registered SME’s, NGOs, associations, or similar groups or willing to become legally-registered in the first year of operations.
  • Applicants that are Agro-Dealers must have a license MINAGRI (retailers and distributors)
  • Applicants that are cooperatives must have a certificate from the RCA (cooperatives)
  • Applicants must be committed to adherence to high ethical business standards, including transparency in business dealings and record keeping.
  • All grant recipients must be prepared to undertake an independent financial review or audit as requested.
  • Applicants must agree to abide to acceptable environmental standards and to present information regarding potential environmental risks and mitigation measures; however a negative environmental assessment can be a condition for disqualification for the applicant.
  • Applicants may not engage in alcohol and tobacco production and activities that support this will not be accepted.
  • Applicants must not engage in any activities related to Trafficking in Persons.
  • Applicants must not engage, transact with, or provide resources to individuals or organizations associated with terrorism.
  • By submitting an application, the Applicant certifies that it and its principal officers are not debarred, suspended, or otherwise considered ineligible for an award by the U.S. Government. CNFA will not award a grant to any entity that is debarred, suspended, or considered to be ineligible by the U.S. Government.

IIC. Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs

Hinga Weze Grant funds cannot be utilized for the following:

  • Private ceremonies, parties, celebrations, or “representation” expenses.
  • In accordance with the Mandatory Standard Provision regarding “USAID Eligibility Rules for Procurement of Commodities and Services,” as well as ADS 312.3.3.5 (“Pesticides”), and ADS 312.3.3.7 (“Fertilizer”), grant funds cannot be used to fund purchases of restricted goods such as agricultural commodities, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, used equipment, or fertilizers, without the prior approvals or waivers required by the applicable regulations. Additionally, in accordance with the Hinga Weze Initial Environmental Examination, procurement of seeds or seedlings of non-native or invasive species will require additional approval from USAID/BEO. As such, grantees are strongly discouraged from requesting project funding for these restricted goods and are encouraged to finance the purchase of any such goods from the grantee share of the grant program, as these limitations on restricted goods only apply to goods purchased with the project share of grant funds (see ADS 303.3.10.3 – Meeting Cost Share Requirements).
  • Prohibited goods under USAID regulations, including but not limited to: military equipment, surveillance equipment, police or law enforcement equipment, abortion equipment and services, weather modification equipment, luxury goods, and gambling equipment.
  • Any purchases or activities deemed unnecessary to accomplish grant purposes as determined by Hinga Weze, including any grantee headquarters expenses that are not directly linked to the implementation of the proposed project.
  • Previous obligations and/or bad debts.
  • Fines and/or penalties.
  • Creation of endowments.
  • Other costs unallowable under USAID and/or federal regulations, such as alcoholic beverages. Refer to 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
  • Indirect costs such as but not limited to overhead or indirect fringe (unless the applicant has documented proof of such rates through audits or USAID-issued NICRA).

SECTION III. APPLICATION SUBMISSION AND EVALUATION INFORMATION

Please download  Official advert before application.

Concept notes will be accepted only in the application format given in Annex A. Concept Notes, Annexes, and supporting documentation should be delivered by hand or express mail as a hard copy OR as a soft copy via emailAll submissions should be written in English and/or French. Hard copies of the Concept Notes can be delivered to the Hinga Weze offices at KG 28 AV, 7. Kimihurura-Gasabo District, Post Office Box 1270, Kigali.

Email submissions of the Concept Notes and other supporting documentation (e.g. Rwandan registration certificate, Organizational chart, Balance Sheet” and “Revenue & Expense Statement” for the prior fiscal year) should be sent to grants@cnfarwanda.org.  Applicants should be sure to request a confirmation of receipt from Hinga Weze when emailing the Concept Note and follow-up with Hinga Weze to be sure that their submission was received.

For more information,please download funding grants

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