RFA: PSDAG Institutional Strengthening for Private Sector Advocacy in Agriculture grants


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The Rwanda Private Sector Driven Agriculture Growth (PSDAG) is a 5-Year project funded by USAID Rwanda that started in August, 2014. The goal of PSDAG is to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes by promoting private sector investments that contribute to the Government of Rwanda’s (GoR’s) Vision 2020 aim of “transforming agriculture into a market-oriented, competitive, and high-value sector



USAID Contract No AID-696-C-14-00002


1.         Program Description

Rwanda Private Sector Driven Agriculture Growth (PSDAG) is a 5-Year project funded by USAID Rwanda that started in August, 2014. The project is implemented by International Resources Group (IRG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Engility Corporation. The goal of PSDAG is to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes by promoting private sector investments that contribute to the Government of Rwanda’s (GoR’s) Vision 2020 aim of “transforming agriculture into a market-oriented, competitive, andHigh-value sector.”

The PSDAG program is seeking to develop strategic partnerships with the private sector to increase investment in agriculture and to expand economic opportunities for smallholder farmers through more competitive value chain market systems. PSDAG will strengthen the capacity of agribusinesses, farmers and private sector associations to respond to market opportunities by supporting increased adoption of technologies and management practices, including ICT solutions, to upgrade productivity and strengthen relationships within the market system.

The PSDAG program is developing strategic partnerships with the private sector to increase investment in agriculture.As detailed in its Annual Program Statement (APS)No. IRG-APS-17-01, the PSDAG Value Chain Competitiveness Fund (VCCF) is a grant fund designed to leverage private sector investment by reducing risk in investing in innovative or new technologies or capacity building. Under the APS and this RFA, PSDAG will build private sector capacity to engage with government though strengthening the advocacy capacity of associations representing private sector actors throughout the value chain.

2.    Objective of this RFA

PSDAG seeks to improve the business enabling environment for prospective and current private sector investors in agriculture, especially for local investorsaiming to take advantage of local and/or regional market opportunities. To achieve this, PSDAG will offer technical assistance and capacity building aimed at strengthening the functional and operational efficiency of eligible institutions and associationsto engage with government. PSDAG interventions aimed at promoting the private sector will help ensure input of investors into GoRpolicy efforts to increase investment. These activities will complement efforts by the GoRandprivate sector institutions and associations, including the Rwanda Chamber of Agriculture and Livestockof the Private Sector Federation, related private sector agriculture-focused associations, and any other private sector entity interested in fosteringeffective Public Private Dialogue (PPD) and policy advocacy activities.

The expected outcomes from the partnerships formed as a result of this grant are the following:

  • Support of existing public-private dialogue process and other similar existing local forums to bolster interactions between Rwanda private and public sectors;
  • The reform agenda for agriculture adequately reflects private sector concerns and Interests;
  • Increased private sector contribution to business enabling environment policy making;
  • Improved dispute resolution mechanisms; and
  • Increased trust in business relationships (repeat customers, renewed contracts).

3.    Illustrative List of Activities to be Supported

Under this RFA, PSDAG may support between 4 to5private sector entities that are interested in strengthening the capacity of their institutions. Number of awards are limited by PSDAG funding availability. Activities may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Improve capacity of institutions to build membership base and provide services in a sustainable manner;
  • Improve outreach and policy monitoring capacity, including evidence-based policy analysis to support policy advocacy activities;
  • Conduct public/private dialogue activities;

Type of support PSDAG can provide through this grant are the following:

  • Technical assistance through local and international expertise;
  • Capacity building and mentorship for institutional staff and members;
  • Support for outreach programs to member base to support policy advocacy initiatives.

Examples of goods and services that are NOT funded by this grant: ongoing operational expenses such as salaries, rent, and utilities; seed, pesticides, fertilizer, and other agricultural commodities; land purchase or land rehabilitation; direct provision of inputs; direct provision of extension services; construction or rehabilitation of roads; any form of construction of buildings; procurement of vehicles, including motorcycles; provision of funds for on-lending; individual scholarships; pharmaceuticals; alcohol or other luxury goods; used goods of any type.

Private Sector Leverage: The applicant will be expected to contribute a minimum cost-share for the proposed activity. Cost-share requirements will vary on a case by case basis, but generally a minimum of 50% is expected. In certain cases, some goods and services ineligible for direct funding under the VCCF could be considered as part of the applicant’s cost share requirement. All projects related to the cost-sharing grant must have quantifiable goals and results that can be measured and reported.

4.    Evaluation Criteria

Applicants will be evaluated on:

  • How well the applicant defines the activities, how well the applicant presents the suitability of the activities to the purpose of this grant – i.e. strengthening their institution or association to provide sustainable services to their members and/or improving their ability to provide advocacy and public/private dialogue services to the private sector.
  • How well the investment aligns with PSDAG objectives to increase private sector investment that is inclusive of smallholder farmers.
  • To what extent the activities will be inclusive of women, youth and persons with disabilities.
  • Value for money; the number of beneficiaries and other expected results (see Section 6) relative to the size of the grant request.
  • The innovation of the activities to be financed.
  • The extent to which the applicant is leveraging private sector financing or partnership for their contribution (higher applicant’s leverage contribution will receive higher scores).

5.    Eligibility Requirements

  • Submit a complete application with required documents per Section 8 and Section 9 of the RFA;
  • Must bea legally registered organization. Membership-based associations registered with the Private Sector Federation’s Rwanda Chamber of Agriculture and Livestockare preferred. Types of eligible entities  are:
  • Agricultural based associations;
  • NGOs (non-profit);
  • Foundations, research institutes and universities; and
  • Legally-organized associations/syndications of the above organizations;
  • Investment contributes to PSDAG objectives under this RFA as detailed in Section 2;
  • Demonstrate willingness to contribute a minimum of 50% (in-kind or otherwise) toward the total cost of the proposed project activity.

6.    Expected Results and Indicators of Performance

Prospective grantees are expected to track some of the following results as indication of performance of grant activities. The nature and extent of the monitoring will be: i) determined by the type of project/investment; and ii) negotiated prior to approval and/or disbursement of grant but may include any or all of the following:

Direct indicators of performance:

  • Number of agricultural and nutritional enabling environment policies analyzed, consulted on, drafted or revised, approved, and implemented with USG assistance;
  • Number of public entities assessed for capacity in executing their roles and responsibilities;
  • Number of private and civil-sector stakeholders (organizations and individuals) responding to calls for input on relevant reforms;
  • Percentage of stakeholders agreeing that consultative process was effective in soliciting their input (%);
  • Number of beneficiaries with new market linkages as a result of USG assistance;
  • Number of for-profit private enterprises, producers’ organizations, water users’ associations, women’s groups, trade and business associations and community-based organizations (CBOs) that applied improved organization-level technologies or management practices with USG assistance
  • Number of members of producer organizations and community based organizations with USG assistance;
  • Number of for-profit private enterprises, producers’ organizations, water users’ associations, women's groups, trade and business associations, and community-based organizations (CBOs) receiving USG food security related organizational development assistance;
  • Number of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including farmers, receiving agricultural related credit as a result of USG assistance;and
  • Number of MSMEs receiving business development services from USG assisted sources.

Indirect indicators of performance:

  • Value of gross farm incomes of assisted farmers;
  • Value of new private sector investment in the agriculture sector or food chain;
  • Value of targeted agricultural commodities exported with USG assistance;
  • Value of domestic sales;
  • Value of incremental sales (collected at farm-level) attributed to FTF implementation;
  • Number of hectares under improved technologies and management practices as a result of USG assistance; and
  • Number of individual who have received USG supported short term agricultural sector productivity or food security training.

7.    Applications and Grant Award Process

The PSDAG project team will review applications submitted in response to this RFA on a monthly rolling basis for 3 months, or until PSDAG allocated funding has been fully obligated. The process for reviewing applications is as follows:

a)    Applications will be screened to determine if they meet the minimum eligibility requirements.
b)    Eligible applicationswill be reviewed by a Grants Evaluation Committee (GEC); it is anticipated that applications will be reviewed starting on the first of each month.
c)    Once all reviews are completed, the GEC will meet and select the most competitive applicants.
d)    Whether approved or not approved, the applicant will receive written confirmation of the result from PSDAG.
e)    PSDAG staff will complete due diligence and final budget negotiations, including site visits, interviews and evaluations to confirm eligibility and capacity of the applicant. This process will include environmental impact assessment of the project, financial viability and management capability of the organization, among other criteria.
f)    Approved grantees will sign a Grant Agreement. PSDAG staff will then begin to work with the grantee to implement and monitor all activities.

PSDAG may offer its support in-kind or in Rwandan France (RFW), and the disbursement may be staggered based on milestones reached and/or agreed upon financing schedules.

8.    Request for Application (RFA) Instructions

Organizations or associations which are interested by this specific grant opportunity and meet the eligibility criteria are required to request full RFA documents and application instructions by sending an email to: grants@psdag.org.

Applicants will need to complete and submit Attachment 1; Grant Application Template, Attachment 2; Budget and Payment Schedule, and their registration documents. Note that PSDAG will not contribute to funding the acquisition of assets or services already commissioned or ordered by the applicant when any payment has already been made to the vendor or is scheduled to be made before the grant is approved.

9.    Submission of Applications

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come rolling basis. Applications may be submitted to PSDAG at any point up to the closing date of this solicitation. Completed application forms should be submitted on or before December 31, 2017 at 17:00 hours Rwanda local time. Applications should be submitted electronically to: grants@psdag.orgor delivered to the PSDAG offices located at KG 684 St, No. 19, Kacyiru, Kigali.

Applicants who are selected will be notified and will be informed on next steps of pre-award assessment.

10.    Bidders’ Conference

The project will hold 2 pre-application question and answer conference on Thursday, September 21, 2017 and October 05, 2017at the PSDAG training room located at the PSDAG offices inKacyiru, Kigali, at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. This conference will allow interested applicants the chance to ask questions about the RFA. 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@psdag.org. Maximum of 2 representatives may attend from each organization. When confirming attendance, please indicate if the person has any special needs to access the conference. No reimbursement for costs of attendance will be met. This event will start promptly.

How to apply: 

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