Agro-BIG News

Enthusiastic response to the first call of proposals for AgroBIG grant funds

 

AgroBIG has launched three grant funds: Innovation, Demonstration and Research Fund (IDRF), Value Chain Fund (VCF) and Matching Grant Fund (MGF).
Response from stakeholders been very encouraging and a large number of applications has been received. A total of 160 concept notes (20 for MGF, 100 for VCF and 40 for IDRF) have been received from primary cooperatives, research centers, universities, private processors, cooperative unions, local and international development agents, small and micro enterprises and traders.
The proposed projects include a wide variety of concepts such as construction of product collection centers, procurement of weighing scales, processing of potato and onion, demonstration of different technologies, to name a few.

Active promotion of the grants was crucial

The opening of the Funds for proposals was promoted through the regional local newspaper Bekur for potential applicants who have an interest to work in onion and potato value chain development.
In addition, an awareness campaign organized for participants from the regional, zonal and woreda level government representatives, research centers, private sector stakeholders such as cooperatives, traders, processors.
Promotional flyers and posters were distributed to potential grant fund seekers and posters were placed in selected government offices, where many stakeholders visit every day. The first call of concept notes closed on 15 August, 2014.

The way forward

Technical and Steering Committees in Mecha and Fogera woredas have reviewed and ranked the concept notes and endorsed 105 proposals for the next stage of preparation of full project proposals.
As some of the applicants, especially primary cooperatives and small and micro-enterprises need support to develop the required business plans, AgroBIG has assigned four consultants to assist the applicants in developing their full proposals.

After the full proposals have been received by end of October, grants will be awarded and implementation of the proposals will start. It is expected that AgroBIG will launch the next call for proposals in early 2015

Picture: Grant Fund promotion workshop at Debre Tabor