(RFA) For Development of Progressive Terraces Grant

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CNFA is a not-for-profit international agricultural development organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. and dedicated to increasing rural incomes by empowering farmers and rural entrepreneurs. CNFA assists smallholders in increasing household-level food security and nutrition through improved agricultural practices, introduction of new varieties, diversification of crop production, food preservation and storage, development of farmer-based organizations, and strengthened linkages to markets. CNFA has a successful track record of implementing agricultural development programs in 43 countries.

Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity

Request for Applications (RFA) NO 2019/07/028


Development of Progressive Terraces Grant

 Issuance Date:                                    Thursday, July 11, 2019

Site Visit Date:                                   Thursday, July 18, 2019

Deadline for Questions:        Friday, July 26, 2019

Deadline for Submissions:    Friday, August 9, 2019, at 11: AM


Dear Applicant,

The Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity is releasing a Request for Applications (RFA) to award a grant in support of its activities in Karongi district in Western Province, Rwanda. Instructions for completing the application can be found in Annex A. The grant will be awarded and implemented in accordance with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and US Government regulations governing grants and Hinga Weze internal grants management policies.

This solicitation will target private sector actors in land husbandry services who seek to expand their clientele amongst smallholder farmers in vulnerable regions. Applicants must be able to provide sustainable land husbandry measures for hillside agriculture on a pre-selected site in Karongi District. These include the development and protection of grassed waterways, development of graded ditches, stabilization of ditches with trees, shrubs and grasses, as well as application of lime and compost at an appropriate rate (See specification below).

Applicants will have the opportunity to visit the pre-selected site. It is required (compulsory) to visit the site in order to submit an application. The site visit is an opportunity for applicants to ask for any additional information in accordance with the Deadline for Questions provided above. Further information regarding the site visit is provided in this RFA.

Hinga Weze investments in individual grant activities are anticipated to range from $50,000 to $200,000. The period of performance is anticipated to be for up to one (1) year, from September 2019 to September 2020. Grant agreements will be implemented in two distinct phases:

  • Phase 1: five (5) months for implementation of land husbandry services
  • Phase 2: six (6) months for required follow-up and technical assistance

Please note that applications in response to this RFA are due by August 9, 2019, at 11:00 AMThis RFA contains the following documents:

  • Annex A – Grant Application
  • Attachment 1 – Grant Application Checklist
  • Attachment 2 – Applicant Cover Letter

For any questions during the grant application process, please contact grants@cnfarwanda.org.

Section I. Program Description


Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity (Hinga Weze) is a five (5) year, USAID-funded activity that started in June 2017. Hinga Weze is implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA). The primary objective of Hinga Weze 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. These outcomes will be achieved through combining capacity building with fixed amount, grants and technical support to strengthen agricultural extension, improve agricultural infrastructure, and facilitate linkages among value chain actors.


 Hinga Weze is seeking to establish strategic partnerships with private sector actors in land husbandry services who seek to expand their clientele amongst smallholder farmers in vulnerable regions. Through these partnerships, private sector actors will establish working relationships with Hinga Weze selected smallholder farmers, to provide innovative, climate-smart land husbandry services during the first phase of the grant, with follow-on support and training during the second phase of the grant. Through this grant, Hinga Weze seeks to increase and establish dialogue between private sector actors and smallholder farmers, to empower smallholder farmers in understanding available services and resources for land husbandry needs, and to sustainably increase agricultural productivity on vulnerable land while fueling market demand of land husbandry services within the private sector.

Hinga Weze seeks to develop market demand of land husbandry services by linking land husbandry organizations with smallholder farmers.  To that end, Hinga Weze is currently accepting applications from eligible private sector actors who are able to provide sustainable land husbandry measures for hillside agriculture on a pre-selected site in Karongi district. These include development of grassed waterways, check-dams, development of graded ditches, stabilization of ditches with trees, shrubs, and grasses as well as application of lime and compost. Hinga Weze will award grant funds to private sector actors to provide technical services of progressive terracing on behalf of Hinga Weze smallholder farmer beneficiaries in Karongi district.


Hinga Weze grant awards are made under the authority of the US Foreign Affairs Act, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (2 CFR 200), and USAID’s Automated 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 applicable USAID Standard and Required as Applicable Provisions, as well as Hinga Weze grants procedures.

Hinga Weze is required to ensure that all applicants receiving USAID grant funds comply with the requirements found in these regulations, as applicable to the respective terms and conditions of individual grant awards. Under the Hinga Weze grants 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


 Applicants that submit applications in response to this RFA must be legally registered entities in Rwanda and must submit registration documents as a pre-requisite for receiving grants resources.

Formal Hinga Weze grant support under this solicitation may be extended to the following actors working in land husbandry:

  • Local private companies;
  • Local Service providers.


To be considered eligible for grant receipt, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be legally registered Rwandan entity;
  • Demonstrate a direct connection to target beneficiaries within Hinga Weze’s targeted zone in a Feed the Future district of Rwanda;
  • Have organizational objectives which contribute to Hinga Weze’s objectives and results;
  • Submit an application responding to Hinga Weze’s requirements and conditions;
  • Be committed to adhering to high ethical business standards, including transparency in business dealings and record keeping;
  • Be prepared to undertake an independent financial review or audit, as requested;
  • Demonstrate ability and/or willingness to update/modify business, financial, and technical records, either manually or electronically, to ensure compliance with Hinga Weze recording requirements, as requested;
  • Ensure compliance with relevant environmental protection requirements, including the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE), and verified through an Environmental Monitoring and Mitigation Plan (EMMP) or Environmental Review Checklist (ERC);
  • Complete and pass a site-visit of previously completed assignments of similar scope (as requested) and pre-award assessment;
  • Agree to and sign the applicable certifications, such as the Certification Regarding Lobbying; Certification Regarding Terrorist Financing; Prohibition on Assistance to Drug Traffickers; and Certification of the Recipient;
  • Agree to the terms and conditions of the Mandatory Standard Provisions and Required as Applicable Provisions for Non-US NGOs, if applicable; and
  • Certify that the organization/individual is not debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment from receipt of USG funds.

While Hinga Weze will consider all applicants, priority will be given to projects that impact larger numbers of beneficiaries, address under-served populations, including women and youth, the poor, and historically disadvantaged groups, and/or create significant numbers of sustainable new jobs when selecting potential awardees.


 Applicants may NOT use grant funds for any of the following:

  • Private ceremonies, parties, celebrations, or “representation” expenses;
  • Purchases of restricted goods, which include agricultural commodities, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, used equipment, or fertilizers, without the prior waiver and approval provided by Hinga Weze. 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.
  • Ineligible 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 applicant 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;
  • Profit or fee;
  • Any other costs unallowable per 2 CFR 200 Subpart E – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, for Federal Awards.

Section III. Application Submission Information


 As part of this RFA, applicants will have the opportunity to visit the pre-selected in Karongi district site. It is required (compulsory) to visit the site in order to submit an application for the site. The site visit is an opportunity for applicants to ask for any additional information. The site visit calendar is provided in the below table:







Area (ha)





Development of progressive terraces






July 18, 2019












80 ha




All interested applicants will have to respect the calendar above, as only one visit is planned for the site. Please email grants@cnfarwanda.org to confirm your intent on visiting the site by July 17, 2019. The departure will be from the field office of Hinga Weze in Karongi district and the location will be communicated to applicants upon their notification of intent to participate in the site visit.


 Any questions related to this RFA must be submitted to grants@cnfarwanda.org no longer than 5:00 pm, Kigali, on July 26, 2019.

Grant applications will be accepted only in the application format given in Annex A, Grant Application. Applications and any required supporting documentation should be submitted no later than 11:00 AM, Kigali, on August 9, 2019. Electronic applications should be submitted to grants@cnfarwanda.org. Hard-copy applications should be submitted to CNFA’s offices located at KG 28 AV, 7, Kimihurura, Gasabo District, P Box 1270, Kigali, Rwanda. Applicants should be sure to request a confirmation of receipt from Hinga Weze when submitting email applications, to ensure their submission was received.

Please reference the RFA number in any response to this RFA. Applications received after the specified time and date will be considered late and will be considered only at the discretion of CNFA. Applicants must strictly follow the provided deadlines to be considered for award.


IV. Evaluation, Selection, and Award Information

 Hinga Weze will evaluate applicants using the trade-off evaluation methodology to identify grant applications considered to be of best value and quality when considering both technical and cost factors. Selection criteria include the following:




Technical Approach

  • How well the applicant defines the Technical Assistance, and how the proposed technical approach meets the current best practices in terracing activity implementation;
  • To what extent the proposed Technical Assistance in terracing will equally benefit women, men, and youth;
  • How the applicant aligns the technical approach with the Hinga Weze Environmental Mitigation and Management Plan (EMMP);
  • The feasibility of the proposed monitoring and evaluation plan during the entire grant implementation period.


Management Personnel and Resources

  • The relevant background of proposed management personnel
  • Feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed Labor Resources Mobilization Plan.


Past Performance

  • The applicant’s experience in successfully conducting similar activities;
  • The applicant’s demonstrated organizational and financial capacity to meet the demands of implementing a grant.




  • The applicant’s proposed budget for implementing the grant.




Once applications have been submitted to CNFA, members of the Hinga Weze Grant Selection Committee will evaluate applications in accordance with the above selection criteria. Applicants will be notified within 45 calendar days following the Grant Selection Committee meeting whether they were acceptable or not.

A decision to engage in more in-depth and specific discussion following initial selection is not a commitment to funding; it is simply a decision to move forward in the collaborative and joint effort to develop an impactful grant project. If the in-depth and specific discussions do not result in the identification and development of a grant activity worthy of further pursuit, then Hinga Weze will inform the applicant that it is no longer interested in advancing the grant project. However, if the more in-depth discussions result in a promising design and concept, Hinga Weze will inform the applicant of that determination.

Applicants considered successful will be subject to a site visit from Hinga Weze staff for an applicant pre-award assessment to verify the accuracy of their submission, perform an administrative and financial review, and conduct environmental due diligence. If the site visit assessment uncovers no major issues, Hinga Weze will provide the necessary instructions, technical requirements, and next steps of grant award. CNFA anticipates awarding fixed amount award grants as a result of this RFA.

V. Terms and Conditions

 Applicants understand, by submitting a response to this RFA, that application submission does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of Hinga Weze, nor does it commit Hinga Weze to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. Further, Hinga Weze reserves the right to accept or reject any or all applications received, as well as issue amendments revising the terms of this RFA before or after receipt of applications. In submitting an application, Applicants understand that USAID is not a party to this solicitation and the Applicant agrees that any communications regarding this solicitation will be conducted with Hinga Weze, and not USAID. Applicants will be informed in writing of the decision made regarding their application.


1. Applicant Name:

2. Applicant Address:

3. Applicant    Telephone:

4. Key Contact person and title:

5. Briefly describe the organization, purpose, and past related experience:

6. Proposed Grant Activity title:

7. Describe your overarching approach to conducting the required land husbandry development and/or rehabilitation, including:
a.    Define how you would assess the sites;
b.    Define how you would approach the development and/or rehabilitation;
c.    Describe the equipment to be used;
d.    Describe how you will ensure the effective and efficient implementation of different land husbandry technologies, as per the respective technical specifications below, including any activities to ensure site-specific readiness;
e.    Does this application include lime, compost, or both?

8. Describe your monitoring and evaluation plan during the grant implementation. How will you evaluate progress made, and make corrections if necessary?

9. Describe your approach to management and personnel considerations, including:
a.    List the team members who will participate in this grant activity and detail their experience and qualifications (attach CVs);
b.    Detail who will manage the team;
c.    Describe how the activities will be monitored;
d.    Describe what organization resources will be used, and any partner organizations you propose to work with (if any).

10. Describe your plan to mobilize and supervise the required labor force and facilitate their timely payment through Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCOs) or any other microfinance institutions in the area. 

11. The following is the site for development of progressive terraces:







Area (ha)



progressive Terracing



Gikaranka, Bihumbe



80 ha


12. What are the proposed results to be achieved, and how do the proposed activities linkage to the grant objective?

13. Identify beneficiaries, disaggregated by gender if possible, number, and how they will benefit from the grant and their participation in the grant activities:

14. using the table provided below, propose a realistic deliverables schedule. Please only fill out the deliverable timeframes for this lot: 


Progressive terraces for 6 - 40 % land slope



Description of activities

Applicant Timeframe & Implementation Plan


Project startup

  • Establish a detailed Implementation plan and schedule (Gantt chart showing detailed activity breakout by start and end date).
  • Establish a descriptive list of field materials to be used during the implementation of technologies



Develop Grassed waterways

  • Develop waterways to effectively serve as safe disposal of excess runoff water at non-erosive flow velocities to stable outlets. Make sure the waterways dispose water to natural water channels.
  • Make sure the newly established waterways have a grade slope of 10 - 15 % depending on land slope gradient. Make sure that both the natural waterways and the man-made waterways have slope adjusted by live check dams spaced at most at 1m Vertical Interval.
  • The waterways are developed in the form of inverted trapezoid form with floor width of 40 cm and depth of 50-70 cm with both sides sloping at 2:1 (V: H) ratio respectively.
  • The floors and the sides of the waterways are planted with grasses; the latter should not be weeds.
  • Waterways are constructed with side pass for pedestrians.
  • The manmade waterways meanders over the landscape so that the same waterways connect to several ditches. However, it is necessary that sharp angles are avoided and a smooth arc is established at this section of the waterway. The length of manmade waterways should not go beyond 200m before changing the direction.
  • Make sure that waterways (natural or man-made) are developed in advance so that excess water from ditches is accommodated effectively.



Development of check dams

  • Develop strong and live check dams across the established waterways and/ or reshaped/resized natural gullies with perennial shrubs and trees.
  • The sides of the check dam are well wedged deep into the sides of the waterways or gullies to resist the turbulent flow of water that could cause collapsing of the check dams.
  • The check dams are placed at the right location for maintaining the right gradient of waterways as needed. The right position is 1m vertical interval bottom to bottom.
  • The check dam must have a spillway in its middle part (1 Third of the height) to allow run-off to flow with decelerated velocity over it way leaving behind the soil/silt.




Development of Graded ditches (2%)

  • Develop graded ditches with 2% gradient slope to retain and dispose excess runoff water. Use topographic equipment such as Clinometer, dumpy level for pegging. Within a graded trench line, two consecutive trenches are separated by reduced band to ¾ the depth of the trench. The Size of the trench: 50cmX50cmX4m (Height, bottom width and length respectively). The reduced bund has 30cm width.
  • Ditches are established in staggered fashion. No ditch should be constructed on the ground over 40% slope. Ditches should only be established on agricultural fields not in forests and pastures.
  • Trenches are constructed in such a way the soil is evenly piled on the upper side of the trench to avoid collapsing and facilitate the plantation  of grasses, shrubs and trees.



Establishing hedges rows with plantation of shrub, tree seedlings and grasses.

  • Plant trees and shrubs on the upper side on the trench,
  • The spacing between trees should be 10m, between trees, shrubs spaced to 2m from each other should be planted.
  • Trees to plant include: Alnus acuminata, Alnus nepalensis, Grevillea robusta, Maesopsis eminii
  • Shrubs to plant are:  Calliandra sp, Leucaena sp, Mimosa scabrela and Morus alba.
  • The upper side of ditches is planted with Kakamega species. 
  • Two rows of Kakamega separated by 50cmX50cm should be planted. The plantation should be done in staggered fashion in the way to cover properly the soil.



Application of agricultural lime

  • Apply agricultural lime at the rate of 3 tons of lime (active lime) per hectare of cultivable land The cultivable land is estimated at 80%  of the total land after the development of progressive terraces.
  • To supply whether grade 1or grade 2 of the burnt lime. Required fitness for grade1: 95%of material shall pass through 2mm sieve and 80%shall pass through 0.25mm sieve. For grade 2: 90% of the material shall pass through 2mm sieve and 60% shall pass through 0.25mm sieve,
  • Neutralizing requirements for burnt lime: calcium carbonate equivalent (CCE) should be at least 70%; the active lime (available as CaO, Ca (OH)2, MgO or Mg(OH)2 would be at least 50%
  • Moisture content should not be higher than 12%
  • To provide three months’ valid result of agricultural lime laboratory analysis




Application quality compost

  • To supply quality compost and make sure you have supplied 10 tons/ha of cultivable land in between two hedgerows. The cultivable land is estimated at 80% of the total land after the development of progressive terraces.
  • To ensure the compost supplied is equitably distributed to local farmers. The compost must contain at least the following nutrients (Dry matter):  
  • 0.5- 1.8% N,
  • 0.4-1% P and
  • 0.6-1.8% K nutrients.
  • Make sure that the compost ready to be supplied exhibiting more than 80% decomposition, friable and meet the requirements and characteristics of the Compost preparation manual of the reputable institutions.
  • Ensure the compost supplied reaches the nearest point of its application.



Table of highly recommended agroforestry trees, shrubs, and grasses species:

The applicant is required to mention whether or not they plan on using the below-recommended grasses in the technical specifications.



Recommended Agroforestry tree species

Recommended Shrub species

Recommended grasses



·   Alnus acuminata,

·   Alnus nepalensis 

·   Grevillea robusta,

·   Maesopsis eminii

·         Calliandra sp

·          Leucaena sp,

·         Mimosa scabrela,

·         Morus alba

·   Kakamega


  1. Describe the training plan for the pre-selected farmers, specifically on the development of progressive terraces and their maintenance:
  2. Describe how gender sensitivity will be addressed during the grant activities:
  3. Please provide a detailed cost proposal A sample budget template is provided below. An excel spreadsheet template for this information is available on request.





Number of Hectares


Applicant Name











Number of Ha

 Unity cost

 Total Cost 


Field equipment




























Site topographic Survey (pegging)



































Construct and strengthening the floor and embankments of water ways with grasses.



































Construction of staggered trenches



































Ditches stabilization with grasses



































Establishing hedges rows with plantation of shrub, tree seedlings



































Application of agricultural lime



































Supply and distribution of Compost









































































































Grand total







Attachment 1 – Grant Application Checklist

Attachment 2 – Applicant Cover Letter


 Grantees must ensure they submit the following documentation in order to be considered eligible for grant award:

  1. Cover Letter (Attachment 2) on Company Letterhead, signed by an authorized representative of the Applicant
  2. Grant Application (Annex A) with all questions answered. The following may be included as separate attachments if necessary:
    1. CVs for proposed personnel;
    2. Applicant timeframe and implementation plan for proposed lot;
    3. Cost proposal.
  3. Copy of Applicant’s registration or business license
  4. Three (3) contacts for references from organizations or individuals for which the applicant has successfully worked with/for before.



 The following cover letter must be placed on letterhead and completed/signed/stamped by a representative authorized to sign on behalf of the applicant:


To:                   Hinga Weze Activity

CNFA offices located at KG 28 AV, 7 Kimihurura

Gasabo District, PO Box 1270 Kigali.

Reference:      RFA NO 2019/07/028

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the undersigned, hereby provide the attached application to perform all work required to complete the activities and requirements as described in the above-referenced RFA. Please find our application attached.

We hereby acknowledge and agree to all terms, conditions, special provisions, and instructions included in the above-referenced RFA. We further certify that the below-named firm—as well as the firm’s principal officers and all commodities and services offered in response to this RFA—are eligible to participate in this procurement under the terms of this solicitation and under USAID regulations.

Furthermore, we hereby certify that to the best of our knowledge and belief:

  • We have no close, familial, or financial relationships with any CNFA or Hinga Weze project staff members;
  • We have no close, familial, or financial relationships with any other applicants submitting proposals in response to the above-referenced RFA; and
  • The prices in our offer have been arrived at independently, without any consultation, communication, or agreement with any other applicant or competitor for the purpose of restricting competition.
  • All information in our application and all supporting documentation is authentic and accurate.
  • We understand and agree to CNFA’s prohibitions against fraud, bribery, and kickbacks.
  • We understand and agree to CNFA’s prohibitions against funding or associating with individuals or organizations engaged in terrorism or trafficking in persons’ activities.

We hereby certify that the enclosed representations, certifications, and other statements are accurate, current, and complete:

Authorized Signatory:

Name and Title of Signatory:


Company Registration or Taxpayer ID Number: