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1st Call for Lead firms Applications

1. Background

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security with the support of the World Bank, has established within the Smallholder Agriculture Development Project 2 (SADP2) a Matching Grants Programme aiming to support small and medium agriculture-related businesses and farmer associations and cooperatives to increase their level of commercialization through the introduction, testing, adoption, demonstration and dissemination of new and innovative business initiatives and technological improvements.

 2.  Priorities

The Matching Grants Programme (MGP) will invite applications for grants with a maximum duration of two years, focusing on the introduction and demonstration of appropriate and affordable technologies and business initiatives in the context of Lesotho agriculture, which would provide possible long-term solutions in a flexible manner, thus benefiting smallholders and developing private agribusiness sector to increase competitiveness and profitability; increase value-added to local products; increase market access, market-acceptability and demand for local smallholder produce; and improve agribusiness management practices.  Priority topics may include: (i) improvement of collection, storage, post-harvest handling, processing, grading/sorting, marketing, packaging, labelling, brand development, presentation and promotion of agricultural products; (ii) improvement of product quality and standards, food safety management practices and product certification; (iii) diversification and introduction of higher value-added and niche products; (iv) development of alternative income generating opportunities and services; (v) better linkages and development of contractual arrangements among smallholder farmers/producers, processors, traders and service providers; (vi) marketing intelligence including information, test marketing and studies which are associated with concrete actions for specific products; and (vii) improvement of accessibility by small farmers to various services and input supply. 

3. Eligible Applicants

Companies and commercial farmers or agro-dealers providing benefits or services in the 10 districts of Lesotho.  Eligible applicants are

a) Legally registered companies or Business entities

b) Registered large or medium agriculture-related businesses

c) Registered local, district and national associations and cooperatives.

4.Partnership with Service Providers

The potential applicants will be assisted by the qualified technical and/or business service provider(s). The service provider(s) would: (i) provide technical assistance and advice to the applicant to clarify the business idea and prepare the application, (ii) work with the applicant to clarify different technical aspects of the activity and prepare an activity implementation plan; (iii) provide technical assistance to the applicant during project implementation and provide the products and services to be delivered according to an agreed schedule; (iv) support the applicant in managing grant funds, including keeping the necessary accounts and collecting contributions from beneficiaries; (v) supervise the inputs of beneficiaries and subcontract technical assistance as necessary; (vi) take the lead in organization and coordination of the planned technology transfer activities including training and demonstrations; (vii) monitor the progress of activities; (viii) support the applicant in the preparation and submission of the required financial and technical reports


5.0 Budget:

          Each beneficiary is allocated the maximum of M1.5 million per Lead firm with 20% of total cash cost to be incurred by them.

6.0 Beneficiary contribution:

To engender ownership and to demonstrate commitment, the applicants together with their service providers and other partners should contribute co-financing of at least 20% of the total cost of the project. The entire 100% of the applicants’ co-financing should be in cash.

7.0 Deadline and Place for Submission of Applications:

The deadline for submission of applications and all necessary supporting documents not later than 31st AUGUST 2023 at 16:00 pm. Sealed applications should be submitted in four copies (one original plus three copies) and delivered by hand at the office of the:

MGP Secretariat,

Smallholder Agriculture Development Project II

Department of livestock Services at Moshoeshoe II opposite Lesotho Defence Air wing



The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security –

District Agricultural Offices in the ten districts of Lesotho specifically to the office of the Project Field officer. Applications submitted after deadline will not be considered.

8.0 Application Documentation:

The potential applicants will be assisted by the qualified technical service provider(s) to prepare the applications. Lists and contacts of identified service providers working with the project are obtainable at the District Agricultural Offices in all ten districts.

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