Grant Opportunities

Investment Grants: Collaborating with the Private Sector to Strengthen Agricultural Value Chains in Myanmar

Investment Grants: Collaborating with the Private Sector to Strengthen Agricultural Value Chains in Myanmar

Deadline: 5 November 2019

Advancing Community Empowerment in Southeastern Myanmar (ACE) is seeking to fund projects that improve farmers’ productivity and improve access to markets in Southeastern Myanmar. Pact has announced the intention of this request for applications (RFA) to identify private sector company partners for the ACE project.

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ACE seeks to partner with private sector actors to undertake interventions in three selected value chains: Vegetables, Maize and Sesame. The grant from ACE will fund activities that address systemic market constraints for smallholder farmers and other actors in the selected value chains. The grant program intends to invest in two intervention areas: improving farmers’ productivity and improving access to markets. ACE will support projects that strongly emphasize sustainability of the business model. Please note that applicants may apply to support intervention areas, only one intervention area, or part of the intervention area in one or more value chains.

  • Intervention Area 1: Improving Farmers’ Productivity
    • ACE is seeking partners who can provide services that increase the awareness of new and improved practices, technologies, and inputs for smallholder farmers (an explanation of how the applicant defines and targets smallholder farmers should be provided). The proposed intervention must lead to increases in farmers’ productivity and income, and it should be designed to provide technical training on new practices, technologies, and the application of new and improved inputs in crop production and postharvest technology, based on assessment or evidence of market demands. Training design should, as much as possible, include theory and practical learning such as demonstration plots.
    • This intervention area could focus on facilitating access to credit for small holder farmers, including women farmers or women-headed households, such as offering improved access to inputs on credit or crop insurance schemes to address the risks for farmers around production, price instability for crops, and other fluctuations in the market.
  • Intervention Area 2: Improving Access to Market
    • ACE is seeking private sector partners who can promote an inclusive business model for the smallholder farmers in the selected value chains. Applicants are expected to design a business model that benefits farmers and their communities as well as the buyers/company/processing firms. The inclusive business model aims to increase the integration of smallholder farmers into an agribusiness value chain that creates new or expanded opportunities to access inputs in the credit system, improves technologies and practices, improves productivity and postharvest handling and logistics chain management, and reduces risk by price volatility and improves access to markets. The contract farming system can also be considered an inclusive business model.

Budget Information

Pact anticipates these awards will be cost-reimbursable or fixed amount. Award type will be based on the program description and the results of the partner’s pre-award risk assessment, which Pact will conduct prior to issuance of the award. Subject to the availability of funds, Pact intends to award up to $1,000,000 USD in total funding for this RFA. Pact anticipates awards for up to 18 months with total budgets up to $200,000 USD each. Negotiations will be conducted with successful applicants only. Pact reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.

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Geographic Area 

ACE defines Southeastern Myanmar as: Kayah State, Kayin State, Mon State, southern Shan State, northern Tanintharyi Region, and eastern Bago Region.

Through the work of consortium partners, ACE focuses implementation on the following townships: Demoso, Hpruso, Hpasawng Townships (Kayah State); Pekon Township (southern Shan State); Hlaingbwe, Kyainseikgyi and Thandaunggyi Townships (Kayin State); and Thanbyuzayat Township (Mon State). The project welcomes and will give preference to proposed projects in these areas where cooperation with other ACE activities can be mutually beneficial and that support efforts to reach marginalized and underserved communities. ACE would also support applications targeting neighboring townships that are complementary or geographically proximate to the focus townships.

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Eligibility Criteria

To be minimally eligible for funding, applicants must provide full, accurate and complete information and comply with the following conditions. The organization must:

  • Be authorized to conduct business in their country and country of operation (Myanmar);
  • Demonstrate the use of effective financial accounting systems and financial documentation, and willingness to provide financial statements to the project as requested;
  • Ability to provide the required cost contribution;
  • Be able to complete the project within the proposed timeframe;
  • Demonstrated leadership, openness to change and willingness to work collaboratively with the ACE team in terms of quality achievement and ensuring conflict sensitivity;
  • Have strong willingness to review and reflect on whether the initiative is a success or how it could be improved;
  • Acquire a DUNS number (the nine-digit identification number required for all procurement-related activities with the United States Government) prior to receipt of award. A DUNS number is not required for application but will be required for receipt of award. A DUNS number can be acquired online for free, and Pact can assist with this process.

Government of Myanmar departments or entities affiliated with the Government of Myanmar are not eligible to apply.

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Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in providing technical extension services in the targeted crops for smallholder farmers (including trainings on on-farm production, pest and disease management, integrated pest and disease management, water management, soil and fertility management, safe use of pesticides and protective equipment application, and post-harvest handling practices).
  • Possess organizational, financial and management capacity to provide services to farmers such as extension services, input supply, agronomy advice, and credit inputs that are necessary for small holder farmers.
  • Experience with supply chain management for agricultural products, particularly in conflict-affected environments.
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to buying the products from the farmers supported through the project.
  • Have strong market linkages with the domestic and/or international markets.
  • For international companies, show concrete evidence of executing similar projects in Myanmar, preferably the south-eastern region.
  • Experience with approaches for monitoring and evaluating project activities, including the use of disaggregated data, including by sex and age.
  • Demonstrated rationale and approach for targeting smallholder farmers and addressing their market access needs.

How to Apply

  • Applications must be submitted via email at the address given on the website with the subject line “Name of company submitting application – Investment Grants”.
  • Applications should include:
    • Completed application summary form and annexes
    • An example of previous, related work (not counted in the 10-page limit)

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