Call for Concept Notes
Cocoa, Maize, Livestock
- CLOSED -
Are you working in the cocoa, maize, or livestock (cattle, sheep, goats) sectors in a member state of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific states? Are you from the private sector, with a high interest in resilience, competitiveness, or direct supply linkages with off-takers for sustainability?
Do you have an innovative idea that makes the above-mentioned value chains less fragmented, more inclusive, particularly for women and youth, sustainable, and profitable? This also includes innovations for by-products of the sectors.
Then this is a unique opportunity for you to realize your goal!
Matching Grant Fund (MGF)
By applying for this MGF, you can obtain funding to realize your project idea in the named value chains!
For all MGF projects, the maximal contribution channeled via ABF will account for up to 50% of the total project budget. This contribution can go up to 200,000€.
The following video explains the most important things about our MGF:
Matching Grant Fund
Informational purposes: Readiness programme documents
Competitive “Matching Grant Fund” (MGF) mechanism
1. Readiness Programme & Call for Concept Notes (Pre-qualification)
Online-based introduction and support during the application stage starting with the call for concept notes on 18th September 2023. The call lasts for 9 weeks.
2. Final submission of Call for Concept Notes
The deadline for submission of your concept note is 10th November.
3. Assessment of Concept Notes
Once received, an independent and international expert committee will assess and evaluate all concept notes.
4. Full proposal development & in-depth Readiness Programme
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to develop a full technical proposal and budget. This will be closely supported by the ABF team.
5. Proposal evaluation and decision
The final proposals will be evaluated and a decision on who is granted the funds will be taken.
Contracts will be prepared by GIZ using tried-and-tested partnership agreement formats.
Now the implementation of your project can start. This entails reporting to ABF as well as supervision and support from ABF.
Who can apply?
As lead applicants:
- Processing company
- Agricultural producer/Farmer's organization
- National or international retailer companies
As consortium partners:
- Private sector foundations
- (Micro) Financial institutions
- Qualified NGOs
- Training or research institutions or extension agencies
When & how to apply?
Documents to fill and send back between 18th September 2023 and 10th November 2023, 11:59 pm GMT:
- Template for concept note (Annex 1)
- Letter of Intent (Annex 2)
- Working aid: Contribution Excel sheet (Annex 4 - please use Annex 3 as a guideline on how to fill it)
Please find the application documents above in our download section.
If you have any questions, please read our FAQ below or feel free to send us your unanswered questions.
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Example project for the MGF - Diversification in the cocoa value chain
Example project for the MGF - Diversification in the cocoa value chain
The overall objective of the Matching Grant Fund is to leverage contributions from partners for the implementation of specific interventions towards the development of the cocoa, maize, and livestock (cattle, sheep, and goats) value chains and build ownership to drive sustainable growth in the respective sectors, strengthen private sector development, and improve the productivity and profitability of stakeholders in all 79 OACPS member states for cocoa, maize, cattle, sheep, and goats VCs.
You can find the presentations in the download section right above this FAQ section.
We are sorry that due to data security reasons we cannot share the recordings of the webinars with you. However, you can access the presentation below under downloads and we included all asked questions (be it in the webinars or via email) below in our FAQ. Of course, our MGF guidelines cover all the information for your application as well.
They can be downloaded from the Download section above “Downloads - Application: Documents to fill for your application".
This is not possible, but we have many detailed guidelines which you can download from this website. Otherwise, you can always ask a question via mail. However, this question will be posted on our website here in this FAQ section in an anonymized way. Pre-selected concept notes can receive face-to-face support on demand for the development of full proposals.
Yes, it will be to email@example.com - responses will be posted anonymously to FAQ.
Please have a look at the handout for gender transformative approaches and climate smart agriculture (download section directly above this FAQ). In addition, we want to reach 50% women with the projects.
There will be a total of 65 projects selected and the maximum participation of ABF to each project amounts to 50% of the total with a maximum participation of EUR 200k. Projects with higher budgets are eligible to participate (e.g. a €500k project, ABF can still fund it up to €200k).
Both formats are eligible, but must be justified.
To be eligible the applicant should have business experience in the targeted value chain. Nevertheless, there is a market facilitation Unit in ABF dedicated to advisory services on market access if you become ABF partners.
Access to EU markets may be difficult, and other markets may be more interesting. Exporting to sub-regional markets is encouraged. For those applicants already working with the EU and/or needing support, for example with new legislation such as on deforestation, can get support.
Up to 24 months.
There are no distribution keys, but the aim is to enable as many countries as possible to access the fund, and to support all the eligible value chains.
3 annexes (1, 2 and 4) to be filled and sent to our e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and additionally the evidence of legal registration.
Country and VC specific questions
Yes. Ghana, Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire are eligible for the fund, but not for the cocoa value chain. The cocoa value chain is already covered by the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative in Ghana, Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire. Projects concerning the maize and livestock value chains may be proposed.
Entities from these countries can however also support farmers in the cocoa value chain in other countries.
The value chains have been preselected on an analytical basis by OACPS and EU. Nevertheless, the whole framework programme covers 11 value chains, our project only covers 3 (livestock counting as one). Please note that other value chains are covered via different projects as well while ours focuses on the named value chains cocoa, maize, cattle, sheep, and goats.
Cashew already had their call in June, but they will have a second call and you will be informed on it.
All segments of the cattle, sheep and goat value chains are considered. Milk is also included here.
A combination of value chains is possible and very welcome.
Yes, but they need to be use for the targeted livestock (cattle, sheep or goat). Therefore, the livestock will be the key value chain.
Cocoa or cocoa by-products are not eligible in these countries as main value chain. But you can apply for another main value chain and then include cocoa or cocoa by-products as part of your proposal for diversification.
Finances related questions
Yes, that is possible. The contribution can be in cash, kind, innovation, or equipment.
It is a non-monetary contribution e.g., you can work for free in the office of your consortium partner, or you get a training from the consortium partner.
No, there is no defined minimum, but projects are evaluated on their ability to produce a significant impact.
Yes, it is the maximum, but the project can be bigger by having a bigger contribution from the private sector. The amount received is up to 50% of the total project budget.
We generally work with iDPPs (integrated Development Partnership Projects). There are two different types: 1) Implementation agreements where we finance up to 50% of the total contract value and there is money flow between our organisations. 2) Cooperation agreements in which we also contribute up to 50% of the total contract value but there is no money flow between our organisations but we implement some of the activities ourselves. Financially this makes a difference as 1) we finance up to 50% of every budget line and 2) we would finance different activities. For more information, please refer to the presentation Contract forms and finances.
Livestock can be put under equipment. Please state clearly which equipment.
The grant will be paid in instalments, you will not directly get the full amount.
It will be paid out in local currency.
Costs must be included in the budget in the concept note / proposal. Depending on the contract format it will either be paid by GIZ or all cost items (including those for trainings) will be split.
No, the subsidy is to support business links between the players in the value chains indicated. It is not a bank loan and hence does not need to be reimbursed.
Yes, if it is not for the core business of the enterprise but will be used for training or demonstration purposes. Please also read through 4) in Annex 3: Guidelines on costs eligible for reimbursement for more detailed information.
Yes, please add another line and also specify for what the money is planned to be spent (e.g., audit costs).
Yes, the Excel file allows you to convert the amounts in EURO by entering them in your currency.
Funds can generally be used for exchanges with experts and for trainers.
Projects on livestock are restricted to cattle, sheep and goat value chains. If beekeeping is part of a project, it must be related to one of the target value chains, e.g. improving pollination in maize value chain.
Unfortunately not. It can be taken as security but not as contribution.
Application process related questions
Yes, the concept note can be developed in Spanish or Portuguese. The Expert Committee will work in English and French, there are two options for Spanish and Portuguese speakers:
- Have your concept note professionally translated and note it in your budget. This will be reimbursed by GIZ if your concept note/project is selected
Or develop the application in Spanish and Portuguese and then use internet translators for a translation to English (with specification that you did so)
Or sent the application in Spanish and Portuguese. We will then translate it to English using internet translators
Yes, if the organization is involved in more than one of the targeted value chains.
The experience in the value chain does not matter, the experience of the company matters. However, the concept note of course has to target at least one of the eligible value chains.
Yes, because the contract will only be with the lead applicant according to the MOU.
Yes, you can apply for different value chains either in one of the countries or both countries. Please look at the possibility to build consortium if alone you don’t have capacity.
Yes, in the concept note template you will see all the indicators and the more you can fill them the better your chances to be preselected.
Yes, but you can add other cost lines, if they are not listed in our budget template and the costs you want to add are eligible according to our guideline.
Eligible institutions related questions
No, it is not mandatory to have past working experience with GIZ to be eligible.
Commercial banks or microfinance institutions could be part of a consortium.
Training structures/institutions can join forces with cooperatives or private companies to form a consortium and apply for the fund.
They can also be service providers, e.g. Master Trainers and Trainers tend to fall into the service provider category.
Farmers organization in the target value chains can take the lead for application and be supported by a company in a consortium. The company as consortium partner should contribute in cash and/or kind.
There is no restriction, however applicants should be able to provide at least records of 2 years tax payments or if it’s a startup with tax exemption. The latter must be proven.
As a start-up or a very small institution, you can show us a sound financial system, but before that you need to inform us. You can also form a consortium with a bigger company.
Yes, it is possible, as a processing unit or off taker with a large linkage with producers or producers’ organization. However, a consortium is encouraged. As an agricultural producer you cannot apply individually, you would need to enter in a consortium or can apply via an Agricultural Producers Organization or cooperative.
It is possible since the livestock is part of the eligible value chains.
In general, this is possible.
However, please be aware that Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon are not eligible for cocoa since there is the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative in place.
If your Community Based Organization (CBO) is a registered Farmers’ organization you can apply in partnership with other public or private organizations to build a consortium. Page 9 and 10 of the MGF Guideline.
Lead applicants can be: a processing company, an agricultural producers' organization, or a national or international distributor. If you fall into one of these categories, you can apply directly.
But if you are a business development support structure, you can be a consortium partner with one of the lead entities submitting the concept note.
An NGO can be part of a consortium with one lead applicant (possible lead applicants: processing company, producer organization or off-taker of the VC project).
It is an umbrella of many value chain associations at regional or continental level.
Consortia related questions
Yes, this is possible. We also advise to bring on board national enterprises.
Consortium means there is one lead applicant. A website is optional, for the assessing person to see what you are doing. However, email is a must. Also, the legal registration is important; a clear document that you are legally registered in your country. Otherwise, we won’t be able to work with you.
Yes, this is possible.
Yes, but it of course depends on the capacity of the organization. The best is to focus.
No, it is not possible. The consortium shall include one of the lead applicant (Processing company, Agricultural producer organization, Farmers organization), Off-takers of the main final product of the value chain and/or its by-products.
Yes, the consortium can be made up solely of SMEs if it is an SME organization with a consistent annual turnover of at least twice the amount of the MGF contract requested.
A sensible amount - we usually expect 2-3 partners.
They can contribute with personnel, expertise etc. Moreover, please be aware that the contribution can be in kind not only in cash.
As South Africa is no longer an OACPS member state, the research center can only be part of the consortium if the beneficiaries of the project are based in an OACPS member state. The amount of GIZ funds is limited to 200,000 €.
You can apply for EUR 200k, in this case.
The local GIZ cannot participate as a partner in the consortia. ABF would need to collaborate with projects in the green sector to monitor project implementation.
Human capacity development (face-to-face, blended, online) related questions
Master trainers will play a major role. ABF has a large network of master trainers who will be able to offer their services for training courses within the framework of a project.
Large-scale implementation is possible for both self-paced online training and face-to-face training.
The e-learning is free of charge and can also be implemented with an offline solution (which comes at low costs). Our FBS and PBS face-to-face trainings are suitable for large-scale implementation, which is more cost-effective. For face-to-face training, master trainers train trainers who, in turn, train farmers. Materials are relatively inexpensive. For example, for implementation at less than 5,000 farmers, FBS costs around $18-20 per farmer trained. See also our fact sheets in the download section.
You can also consider a blended learning approach.
We will start the translations soon, so we expect the first course to become available by December 2023. Portuguese courses could definitely form part of a concept note already.
On the atingi training platform, our Agribusiness e-Academy training materials are accessible to all and can be consulted freely if an internet connection is established. Use of the online offer is not restricted to participants in the MGF call for concept notes. For offline use in the field, an atingi-box can also be used.
For offline use in the field, you can also integrate the “atingi-box” into your concept note.
Yes. Technical and entrepreneurship trainings (face-to-face and online) will be provided during the proposal implementation if you are finally selected to receive the MGF and have incorporated it before in your concept note. Costs must be included in the budget of your concept note. Master Trainers will support you in the training implementation as service providers.
It is highly encouraged to combine technical and business trainings as this is more effective in terms of value chain development.
It depends on the training approach. GmBS+ is rather generic with no specific adaptations, while curricula of FBS, PBS and CBS are adapted to the context. The ABF-team will support you on the customization of materials.
E-learning courses can be taken up by partners – they can be altered as long as the basic info remains the same and as long as they are not promoted / offered as paid product.
A standard smartphone, tablet or desktop computer is needed. And a certain digital literacy level is definitely needed. Our 3D animated courses are more visually based but those require reading skills as well, e.g., for the quiz elements.
Applicants can also include their technical and entrepreneurial human capacity development trainings in the concept notes.
This website was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of ABF / GIZ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
The Joint Action is jointly co-financed by the European Union under the Cotonou agreement with OACPS and by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ.