Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rwanda Private Sector Driven Agriculture Growth (PSDAG),RFA for Asset Financing Grant Facility

USAID Contract No. AID-696-C-14-00002
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 s
ubsidiary 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.”
PSDAG has two main objectives: 1) Assist the GOR to Increase Private Sector Investment; and 2) Facilitate Increased Private Sector Investment in Upgrading Agricultural Value Chains. The project’s Private Sector Engagement Strategy is based on a facilitative, market systems approach to inclusive agriculture development that catalyzes investment in productivity-enhancing technologies, builds the capacity of partners to grow their businesses and contributes to improved livelihoods and economic opportunities for Rwanda’s farmers.
The PSDAG program is seeking to develop strategic partnerships with the private sector to increase investment in agriculture through expanding access to quality and quantity of assets required in Agriculture value chains.  PSDAG will strengthen the capacity of agribusinesses and farmers 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 and to expand economic opportunities for smallholder farmers through more competitive value chain market systems. 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. PSDAG’sPrivate Sector Engagement Strategy works to ensure the sustainability of investments in value chain upgrades after project assistance ends by taking a facilitative approach. While PSDAG can play a key role in piloting and building demand for new products and reducing risk to farmers or investors, PSDAG is committed to not taking on the direct role of any individual actor within the market system. The project will identify opportunities to facilitate key investment based around 5 principles of facilitation:
  1. Taking a market system perspective
  2. Driving growth through identified end market opportunities
  3. Fostering competitiveness through improved inter-firm relationships
  4. Upgrading technologies and practices at the firm and industry level
  5. Facilitating improved competitiveness within the value chain system.
Under its Private Sector Engagement Strategy, PSDAG is actively seeking committed partnerships with a wide range of private and non-private stakeholders and will select partners based on a competitive process.
Objective of this RFA
Value chain upgrades in equipment are needed to increase productivity, improve quality and access new markets. PSDAG will leverage VCCF funds to increase investment and facilitate value chain actors’ access to equipment through an asset finance scheme in collaboration with financial institutions and recognized suppliers/vendors.Default risk and collateral requirements are the main constraints to businesses and individuals being able to access financing to invest in these assets.PSDAG’s objective under this RFA is to facilitate private sector investment that is inclusive of smallholder farmers.
Technologies to be Supported
PSDAG’s goal is to facilitate private sector investment that is inclusive of smallholder farmers. Value chain upgrades, including irrigation, processing and transportation equipment, are needed to increase productivity, improve quality and access new markets.
Through this RFA, PSDAG is streamlining its process for identifying partners who are willing to investin specific technologies where a financial service provider is identified to provide asset-based lending or a lease financing.VCCF support is intended to de-risk investment in assets that aim at improving productivity, quality control and management, value addition and transportation.Mechanization services and equipment include but not limited to those used for land clearing, planting,fertilizer and pest controlling, harvesting, transportation, processing, drying and milling, and refrigeration.
Under this RFA, PSDAG is may support between 20 to35 percent of the asset cost over a period of 12 months with a total budget not to exceed $150,000 per investment (inclusive of the grantee and PSDAG contribution); the leverage requirement will be based on the following criteria:
  • The size of the investment
  • The scope of the investment as regard the number of beneficiaries
  • The length in terms of return on the investment
  • The accessibility to external financing and
  • The innovation of the asset
Applicants are encouraged to identify and detail their current efforts to raise the balance of funding through Partner Financial Service Providers (PFSPs). Applicants with higher leverage contribution will be more competitive and final contribution amounts required to be paid by the grantee will be negotiated between PSDAG and successful applicants before award.
The list of equipment to be supported shall include but not be limited to the following:
Small agri – equipment (Sheller, winnower, weighing scales, spreaders, sprayers, moisture meters, etc.)
Shelling maize from cobs to grains
Cultivation and planting
Irrigation equipment
Pumping for increased productivity and risk management
Storage and cold storage equipment
Quality assurance
Processing equipment
Value addition for income
Dairy equipment (milking, collecting, testing,
Milking and animal feeding
To specify
Evaluation Criteria
Applicants will be evaluated on:
  • How well defined the investment (technology or equipment upgrade) is, how well the applicant presents the suitability of the investment to their business, and the return on investment analysis.
  • How well the investment aligns with PSDAG objectives to increase private sector investment that is inclusive of smallholder farmers.
  • To what extent the technology will benefit 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 asset to be finance.
  • The extent to which the applicant is leveraging private sector financing for their contribution (higher applicant’s leverage contribution will receive higher scores).
Eligibility requirements
  • Submit a complete application per Section 8 and Section 9 of the RFA.
  • Be a U.S. and/or Rwandan or entity that is legally registered and recognized under Rwandan law. Types of eligible entities are:
  • Private enterprises or firms;
  • Agricultural based associations and cooperatives;
  • 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% cost-share in new project investment (most investments will require 65-80% cost share).
Expected Results &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:
  • 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 beneficiaries with new market linkages as a results of USG assistance
  • Number of private enterprises, producers’ organizations, trade and business associations and community based organization (CBOs) that applied improved technologies or management practices as a result of USG assistance
  • Number of people who have applied improved technologies or management practices to upgrade agricultural value chains as a result of USG assistance
  • Number of hectares under improved technologies and management practices as a result of USG assistance
  • Number of individual who have received USG supported short term agricultural sector productivity or food security training.
  • Number of micro, small and medium enterprises receiving USG assistance to access loans.
  • Value of agricultural and rural loans provided as a result of PSDAG grant
  • Number of micro, small and medium enterprises receiving business development services from USG assisted sources.
Application 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 and subsequent Grant Applications is as follows:
  • Applications will be screened to determine if they meet the minimum eligibility requirements.
  • Eligible applicationswill be reviewed by aGrants Evaluation Committee (GEC); it is anticipated that applications will be reviewed starting on the first of each month.
  • Once all reviews are completed, the GEC will meet and select the most competitive applicants.
  • Whether approved or not approved, the applicant will receive written confirmation of the result from PSDAG.
  • 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.
  • 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 Francs (RWF), and the disbursement may be staggered based on milestones reached and/or agreed upon financing schedules.
Request for Application (RFA) Instructions
Firms, Cooperatives or organizations (NGOs) which are interested by this specific grant opportunity and meet the eligibility criteria are required to request full RFA documents (including the application template and procurement and Financing Projections) and application instructions by sending an email to: grants@psdag.org.
Applicants will need to complete and submit Grant Application Templateand Budgetand Payment Schedule, and their registration documents. It is highly encouraged for Applicants to also submit a pro-forma invoice from the vendor including terms and conditions for the acquisition and the service after sale.Note that PSDAG will not contribute to funding the acquisition of assets 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.
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 August 31, 2017 at 17:00 hours 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.
Bidders’ conference
The project will hold two (2) pre-application question and answer conferences one onThursday, April 27,2017and the second one on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the PSDAG training room located at the PSDAG offices in Kacyiru, Kigali, at 11:00am to 12:30pm. 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.

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