DAI: Notice Of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Solicitation

Opportunity closing date: 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Southern Africa Agricultural Trade & Investment Activity
Issuance Date:                           February 18, 2021
Closing Date Concept Papers:  8 PM SAST March 31, 2021
Deadline for Questions:            8 PM SAST March 1, 2021
Solicitation Type:                      Annual Program Statement (APS)
Announcement Number:          APS-SAR-001
Through this notice of funding opportunity, the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Southern Africa Agricultural Trade & Investment Activity (hereinafter referred to as “MSP”), managed by DAI on behalf of the USAID Southern Africa Regional Mission, is offering businesses in southern Africa the opportunity to co-invest with USAID  (see “Eligible Applicants” below for specific countries) to achieve the following objectives: 1) increase agricultural trade from regional countries to South Africa; 2) increase agricultural investment from South Africa to the region; and 3) increase agricultural exports from southern African countries to the United States through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

To achieve these objectives, USAID, through MSP, will issue performance-based grants to establish partnerships with businesses and investors with a required matching investment of equal or greater value.

MSP will leverage South Africa’s advanced economy and financial system to support mutually beneficial trade and investment in the southern African region, or to the United States. MSP will increase the value and quality of products traded in the region and therefore increase incomes for producers.

Examples of Potential Partnership Areas and Illustrative Types of Partners
  • Input distribution, including seeds, fertilizers, and machinery. Potential partners include manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and leasing companies.
  • Supply chain management including efforts to improve traceability, quality, and efficiency and to reduce costs. Potential partners include aggregators, large-scale buyers, processors, traders, distributors, and retailers.
  • Business services including financial, management, and advisory services. Potential partners include incubators, accelerators, advisory firms, banks, venture capital providers, angel investors, funds, non-bank financial institutions, insurance providers, and fintech companies.
  • Other support services including marketing, ICT, agricultural technology, extension, mechanization, logistics, and transport services as well as cold-chain or agricultural storage. Potential partners include firms that provide any of these services.
MSP Grant Program Summary
Available grant funding and type MSP performance-based grants ranging from US $250,000-1,000,000. Applicant contribution from prospective partners is required to be a cash investment to the activity of equal to or greater than the value of MSP’s grant.
Period of performance Partnership grants will be implemented over no more than a 24-month period and may not extend past June 2023.
Eligible applicants Financial institutions, investors, businesses, business service organizations, industry/sector organizations, trade or other private sector associations legally registered to operate in Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and/or Zambia are eligible to apply.
Eligible activities Eligible activities include novel ideas and innovative business models in input distribution, supply chain management, business services, and other support services, defined further in the text box above.  Proposed activities must include a South African or American partner or investor and demonstrate an increase of trade to South Africa or the United States from at least one of the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and/or Zambia. Multi-country concepts are preferred.
Application process DAI will apply a streamlined two-stage review and selection process that begins with registering online at the DAI online grants platform (www.mspgrants.com/registration). Submitted concept papers will be evaluated according to the criteria below if considered complete based on the requirements in the full APS (application instructions).
First stage:
  1. Register Online to receive the full APS via www.mspgrants.com/registration;
  2. Submit questions on or before 8:00pm SAST on March 1, 2021 to grants_nofo@ftf-msp.org regarding the process or activity;
  3. Submit concept paper via https://www.mspgrants.com/southernafrica/ on or before 8:00pm SAST on March 31, 2021 in compliance with the full APS document.

Please see graphic on page 3 for an overview of the entire application process.

Concept paper evaluation criteria The idea: Describe the challenge the applicant seeks to address, the proposed partnership focal area or areas (as described on page 1), the novel idea and innovative business model to increase the value and quality of products traded in the region or to the United States and lead to higher incomes for producers. Explain what the applicant proposes to fund, what they are requesting MSP to fund, and how it is outside of business as usual or normal operating expenditures.
The objective: Describe the expected outcome and alignment with one or more of the three objectives stated on page 1.
The value of the partnership: Explain how the proposed concept is a departure from regular business operations and how the MSP grant will be used to reduce risks that are stopping the businesses from trying the novel idea and innovative business model on their own.
The future of the business: Describe how the ​proposed novel idea and innovative business model can be ​sustained and expanded​ ​beyond the life of the partnership. Explain how the proposed partnership will attract additional private sector investment if relevant.
The business and community impact: Describe how this novel idea and innovative business model will create positive change in the industry, what the benefits to the applicants will be, and what additional benefits will be created for farmers/producers. Estimate how many farmers/producers will benefit, by how much, and any available demographic information for those farmers/producers (e.g. men, women, youth, etc.)

Issuance of this announcement does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of DAI, nor does it commit DAI to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of concept papers. Further, DAI reserves the right to reject or approve any or all submitted concept papers.
Submit Questions to:               grants_nofo@ftf-msp.org
Submit Concept Papers to:      Concept Papers must be uploaded to
Submit Full Applications to:    Full applications must be uploaded to www.mspgrants.com/southernafrica
General Inquiries:                   msp_information@ftf-msp.org  

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