$80,000 Grant :Africa-Brazil agricultural innovation marketplace | Scholarship for Nigerians and Africans

$80,000 Grant :Africa-Brazil agricultural innovation marketplace

The Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace is an international initiative supported by different donors aiming to link Brazilian and African experts and institutions to develop cooperative projects.The objective of this initiative is to enhance agricultural innovation for development on the African continent through the establishment and strengthening of partnerships between African and Brazilian organizations.

Agriculture represents an important segment of the economies of Africa and Brazil. In addition, similarities in climate, ecosystems, agricultural practices, and culture may facilitate knowledge sharing and technological cooperation. Over the past 30 years, Brazilian agricultural growth and development has been guided by policies and technologies based on research for development. Brazilian policies, experience, and focus in social programs such as Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) targeting social protection networks for the poor, provide an important linkage between the regions. In Africa, the importance of agriculture in development has been recognized through initiatives such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) of the New Partnership for Africa´s Development (NEPAD) and the Framework for African Agricultural Productivity (FAAP). Therefore, partnerships between agricultural scientists and experts in Africa and Brazil could be instrumental in supporting African nations in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Such South-South collaborations complemented by relevant basic science developed in industrialized countries could make an important contribution to more productive agriculture and more affordable food for the poor in Africa.
This is an initiative of Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) ) with support from the Brazilian Cooperation Agency of the Ministry of External Relations (ABC-MRE), the World Bank, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF).

The overall objective is to enhance agricultural innovation and development on the African continent through the establishment and strengthening of partnerships between Africa and Brazil.

Proposals will be accepted under the thematic areas described below.  In addition, since part of the available funding targets specific countries and products, within each thematic area, high quality proposals focusing on Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana,  Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, or Uganda and in maize, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, groundnut, cowpeas, beans, cattle, goats, or chickens will receive additional consideration.

1. Productivity Enhancing Technologies:
•    Development of land productivity enhancement and saving technologies.
For example: approaches to biological nitrogen fixation and utilization; improvement of livestock breeds and health; molecular and conventional approaches for genetic improvement and adaptation of crop plants, arable crops, fruit trees and forestry species; biodiversity management; molecular characterization and conservation of plant genetic resources; soil, water, and crop management; storage technologies; and food  processing.

•    Development of technologies for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
For example: forestry and agroforestry options for fighting desertification, poverty and hunger; livestock distribution, health, and productivity, plant breeding, crop management, water harvesting and management techniques, soil reclamation, and re-forestation.
2. Natural Resource Management Improvements:
•    Generation of natural resource and soil conservation technologies with reduced drudgery and low cost.
For example: regeneration of degraded lands, conservation agriculture including soil and water conservation, usage of legumes in cropping systems, crop rotation techniques, and development of organic farming.
3. Policy, Institutional and Market Strengthening and Knowledge Management:
•    Strategies for knowledge management and improved access to knowledge and information by stakeholders in the commodity chain.
For example: policy analysis; market studies; ICT for development; communication strategies to farmers, policy makers, and private sector; gender sensitivity in communication; and trade in agricultural commodities.

•    Strategies and policies for institutional strengthening.
For example: capacity building; re-engineering institutions; engagement of private sector in agriculture; innovation systems; and engagement of government support in research.

4. Smallholder and Poverty-Alleviation Targeted Technologies:
•    Development of technologies and strategies/systems to reduce poverty and hunger.
For example: improvement of cash flow for farmers, and improvement of information flow and of agricultural lending systems.

•    Mechanization appropriate for smallholders.

Who can apply
•    Individuals representing a partnership between African-based public or private, governmental or non-governmental research and development organizations, and one or more of Embrapa´s centers. Projects with only African or Brazilian organizations or with a Brazilian co-leader organization other than an Embrapa center are not eligible at this time.
•    Individuals must possess the required competencies to support innovation within the institution or consortia of institutions.
•    The ability to read and write in English is essential.
•    Preference will be given to countries/regions without on-going conflicts and that have institutions and policies that favor innovation.
•    Other desirable characteristics of applicants include young to mid-career category individuals with interest in professional growth; excellent networking in the country; and active engagement in research, development, and innovation in one of the thematic areas.


•    Proposals must be submitted through 1 thematic area only. Proposals submitted in duplicate to more than 1 thematic area will not be considered. However, different proposals submitted to different thematic areas by the same group of individuals are acceptable.
•    Projects must be planned to be implemented in Africa. Supporting activities such as, for instance, testing of samples, might be conducted outside of Africa if capacity is not available, accessible, or reasonably affordable on the continent.
•    Projects addressing questions that are part of larger, multi-year, on-going projects funded by another source are eligible to the extent that the objectives, expected outputs, the timeline for completion, and the inclusion of the appropriate African and Brazilian partners are clearly defined, and in accordance with these guidelines.
•    Proposals addressing highly sensitive issues such as tests involving human subjects will undergo additional scrutiny.

•    Proposals must be written in English and in accordance with these guidelines in order to receive full consideration. Pre-proposals must be submitted through the website (www.africa-brazil.org) following the outline and instructions in Annex 1
•    A budget is not required for pre-proposals. It will be requested for full proposals at the appropriate time. However, please see the potential funding size below to guide the pre-proposal development.

At this time, it is expected that projects will be funded up to USD 80,000 in total for a maximum duration period of 2 years.

Pre-proposals will be assessed according to the preliminary criteria outlined below. Please note that the assessment criteria might be modified by the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace Steering Committee (SC) for different calls.
a. Innovation
Innovation is a major differentiating element for the Marketplace. All proposals selected for funding should go beyond standard innovation development projects, including approaches on new technologies, new products or services using existing technology, new processes, including new mechanisms to deliver products or services, among others. The proposal will be assessed according to how it differs from existing approaches. Note that transferring an approach to solve a common problem from one beneficiary group or from one geographic area to another is not considered innovative by the Marketplace.

b. Competencies of the team
The proposed team should reflect the competencies and experience required to achieve the project objectives in the 2-year period. See Annex for required information.

c. Project Design, Objectives, and Measuring of Potential Impacts
The project should have an appropriate design to address the proposed objectives including concrete steps and activities. The objectives and methodology must be clear and the results measurable with an indication on the potential impact on improving individuals’ or communities’ ability to adapt to innovation. The expected results should be achievable within the 2-year timeframe.

d. Sustainability of Impact
Projects should indicate how the results and development impacts will be sustainable after the end of Marketplace funds. This should include the nature of sustainability such as financial or organizational.

e. Growth Potential
The Marketplace encourages projects with potential for a large scale development impact. Assessors will evaluate constraints as well as the opportunities to scaling up and replicating.
Note: Replicability is when a project can be adopted by other groups. Scalability is when a project can be expanded within a geographic area to benefit more people in the project area.

This call for proposals is a 2-step competitive process. Applicants are requested to submit a pre-proposal for evaluation and, if selected, will be requested to submit a full proposal. Further information is presented below on these guidelines for pre-proposal. Guidelines for full proposals will be made available at the appropriate time.
Step 1. All submitted pre-proposals will be screened by the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace Executive Committee (EC) for eligibility. Eligible proposals will be evaluated by the Steering Committee (SC) based on the assessment criteria. If necessary, external expert advice will be requested by the SC. The top pre-proposals in each thematic area will be selected and invited to present full proposals

Step 2. Full proposals will be evaluated by the SC and the top proposals will be selected for funding. The total number of pre-proposals invited to present full proposals and the total number of full proposals selected for funding will depend on the available funds and the quality of the proposals presented and will be determined at the appropriate time.

December 12th, 2011:  Call for pre-proposals opens
February 29th, 2012: Call for pre-proposals closes at 5pm Brasília Time
March 15th, 2012: Announcement of selected pre-proposals, and invitation for full proposal development and submission. Further information, guidelines, and timelines will be provided at that time.

1. Pre-proposals must be submitted online through the Marketplace website
(www.africa-brazil.org). If not possible, please contact us via email at contact@africa-brazil.org . For further information and instructions on how to apply, please visit our website at www.africa-brazil.org
2. The online form allows applicants to save a draft of their pre-proposal in the system while they work on it. Note that only submitted applications will be considered for the competition and that any pre-proposal in draft form will be automatically deleted after the submission deadline. To be considered for this competition, please make sure that you click the “Submit” button on your application by the dates and times stated in the above timeline.
3. The SC must receive your complete pre-proposal according to the dates and times specified in the previous section.
4. For further information, please contact us via email at: contact@africa-brazil.org. If you are unable to access the internet or our website, please contact the Marketplace team at +55 61 3448-4256 (Embrapa, Brazil) or +233 21 772823 Fax: +233 21 773676 (FARA, Ghana).

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