RFA by Ut4uFcs



Issuance Date:                    Friday, September 30, 2011

Submission Closing                Friday, October 31, 2011 at 4:30pm
Date & Time:

Subject:                          Request for Applications (RFA008) – ―Trial Cultivation of New
                                  Varieties of Strawberries‖

Dear Applicants,

Tetra Tech ARD, the implementing partner for USAID’s ―New Opportunities for Agriculture‖
Program in Kosovo, pursuant to the authority contained in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as
amended, and in accordance with USAID Contract No. No. AID-EDH-I-00-05-00006, is seeking
applications from qualified Kosovan Non-Governmental Organizations to implement ―New
Opportunities for Agriculture Grants Program in Support of USAID/Kosovo’s economic growth
strategy‖ (Detailed project description is in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description). Assistance
will be in the form of Simplified or In-Kind Grant Agreements in accordance with Chapter 303 of
USAID’s Automated Directives System (ADS303).

The selected Grantees will implement their projects which will contribute towards the achievement of
New Opportunities for Agriculture program objectives which is to support USAID/Kosovo’s
Economic Growth Strategy of promoting growth, creating jobs and generating exports. The
overarching goal of the project is to increase Kosovo’s agriculture output, exports, and rural incomes
through implementing projects/activities from the following areas:

      1.   Products and Farmers Linked to Markets;
      2.   Agricultural Products Diversified and Increased;
      3.   Food Quality and Safety Improved;
      4.   Increased Affordable and Accessible Credit; and
      5.   Improved Coordination within the Agricultural Sector.

Pursuant to 22CFR226.81, profit under this award is not allowed. However, all reasonable, allocable,
and allowable expenses, which are related to the grant program and are in accordance with the
applicable cost standards (22CFR226, OMB Circular A-122, A-21, and FAR Part 31) may be paid
under the grant.

All awards to Non-U.S. Organizations will be administered in accordance with applicable regulations
as follows:
         ADS303, Mandatory Standard Grants
         22 CFR 226
         Applicable OMB Circulars
         48 CFR 31.2 (for-profit organizations)

Regulations listed above can be accessed via the USAID webpage:
Subject to the availability of funds, we anticipate awarding up to eighteen grants on or around
November 2011. The size of any single grant awarded under this RFA will not exceed USD$100,000.

New Opportunities for Agriculture/USAID reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications
submitted. New Opportunities for Agriculture requests that the applicants demonstrate their
commitment to program success by including cost-sharing.

For the purposes of this program this RFA is being issued and consists of this cover letter and the

1.    Section I – Funding Opportunity Description;
2.    Section II – Award Information;
3.    Section III – Eligibility Information;
4.    Section IV – Application Submission Information;
5.    Section V – Application Review Information;
6.    Section VI – Award Administration Information;
7.    Section VII – Contacts;
8.    Section VIII – Other Information; and
9.    Section IX – Attachments.

Thank you for your interest.

Martin Wood,
Tetra Tech ARD/New Opportunities for Agriculture COP

cc: Agron Selmani, Grants & Contracts Manager

Section I: Funding Opportunity Description

Background – Introduction
Strawberries have the largest market of any berry crop in Kosovo, and it is growing each year. 180
tons are imported each year. Many of the plants are reaching the end of their productive lives, and
new varieties need to be introduced to improve productivity. Seedlings are imported because there are
no mother plants producing in Kosovo. Strawberry production in Kosovo can be much increased with
the introduction of new varieties, improved production techniques, proper pest management,
improved post-harvest management techniques and improved chilling and cold storage facilities.

Project Description
The Program will extend cultivation of the variety, with high market potential, which can be grown in
both greenhouse and the open field. The Program will also extend cultivation of a late-producing
variety that is little known in Kosovo but which produces strawberries that will be marketable in both
domestic and regional markets. The Program has purchased 300,000 new plants sufficient for
planting 6 ha of short day, early varieties [50% Honeoye] and day neutral, later varieties [50%
Grant applications will be solicited from farmers who want to receive sufficient new plants to cover
between 0.3 and 1.0 ha. Grants will be awarded to establish 6 ha in total. The larger growers, already
producing for the fresh market, will be supported in their efforts to expand their production and
improve the quality of their products. Preference in awarding the grants will be given to growers who
are willing to participate in greenhouse planting.
The Program will in addition issue a separate request for grant applications for the supervision of the
implementation of this initiative. The grantees will be trained in the field on correct soil preparation,
bedding techniques, soil testing, growing practices, crop protection and irrigation.
The "supervising" grantee shall also coordinate the "growing" grantees with a Business Service
Provider (BSP) who will be engaged by the Program to help producers develop traditional farm
management and modern and financial management skills. The BSP shall establish basic guides for
accounting and budgeting purposes. The "supervising" grantee shall ensure that all "growing"
grantees know their costs of production at the end of the season.
Appropriate harvest and post-harvest handling strategies and techniques are essential to the quality
and improved shelf-life of the product.
Harvest must be timely, dry, and gentle. Berries must be picked and packed in the field. They should
be packed in a market appropriate package. Berries should be immediately pre-cooled to check
respiration, and kept humidified to avoid moisture loss. Fresh market berries must be stored, shipped,
and displayed at optimum temperatures to prolong shelf-life. Once the ―cold-chain‖ has been
established, it must not be broken until purchased by the ultimate consumer.
The Program believes that knowledge available in Kosovo regarding harvesting, sorting and
packaging of fresh strawberry production for the retail market is inadequate. To address this, the
Program will arrange for technical assistance on these aspects. This assistance will be provided by an
outside specialist - regional or from the US.
New offseason day-neutral, and seasonal short-day varieties, will be promoted to local and regional
supermarkets and wholesale marketers specifically in the Kosovo market. Promotion will focus on
longer harvest season, larger size berries, better sweetness, firmness and favor compared to varieties
that already exist in Kosovo strawberry production. A farmer field day will be organized by the
―supervising‖ grantee during the harvest season for a special viewing of new varieties in the field
promoted by the Program for farmers, supermarkets, wholesalers, exporters, input suppliers. MAFRD
and other interested parties will be invited to the field day.

Strawberry lead farmers will be invited to attend the Fruit Logistica fresh produce trade show in
Berlin, Germany to introduce them to new regional and EU produce strawberry buyers, new
packaging, input suppliers, competitors and machinery dealers.

General Criteria for Selection
The New Opportunities for Agriculture Program is promoting sustainable production of higher value
crops. The Program is making substantial investment in introducing new varieties. It is critical that
this investment is supported by Kosovo farmers totally committed to the work required to ensure the
success of the Program. The Program will only award grants to applicants whom it believes have this
commitment and are prepared to invest resources, time and manpower as needed.
Before awarding a grant, the Program will satisfy itself that the Grantee’s site has permanent access to
roads, has a permanent supply with water of quality/quantity to meet criteria required per crop, and
that irrigation will be in place prior any planting.
The Program will also satisfy itself that the Grantee:
       Is prepared to accept new technologies and varieties;
       Is prepared to follow the advice of the ―supervising‖ grantee appointed by the Program;
       Is prepared to take appropriate measures to protect the site and plants from animals;
       Is committed to keeping records according to the form developed by the Program on crop
        management and share the information with the ―supervising‖ grantee and the Program;
       Is committed to attending trainings organized by ―supervising‖ grantee prior to planting,
        especially regarding land preparation and crop protection and management; and
       Is prepared to organize promotion activities with the support of ―supervising‖ grantee.

Specific Criteria for Grantees
         Preference in awarding the grants will be given to growers who are willing to participate in greenhouse
         The larger growers, already producing for the fresh market, will be supported in their efforts to expand
          their production and improve the quality of their products;
         Grantees shall be ready to plant at least 0.3 ha and up to 1.0 ha;
         Grantee shall prove ownership of the site planned to be planted;
         Grantees shall provide evidence that weeds, disease, and insect pests are effectively controlled, and
          that supplemental irrigation is available;
         Grantees shall provide the required inputs: farmyard manure, fertilizers, agrochemicals & irrigation,
          support system and execute all required labor work;
         Grantees shall show capabilities on land cultivation either by utilizing his agricultural machinery or by
          contracting any local machinery service provider;
         Grantee shall allow access to the site for interested stakeholders and share information on cultural
         Group application of growers with minimum site to be planted of 0.30 hectare, is acceptable;
         Priority will be given to growers willing to sign contracts with processors for supplying second and
          third class of product.

Section II: Award Information
1. New Opportunities for Agriculture intends to fund multiple grants in response to this RFA.
Allowable costs must be consistent with USAID policies and procedures and be reasonable,
allowable, allocable, and well documented and justified for the proposed project and budget.

2. Under this RFA a grant will be made to the following types of organizations:
    Producer Organizations;
    Associations; and
    NGOs.

3. Grants are expected to be less than one year in duration.

4. All Grant applications received by the deadline will be reviewed by the New Opportunities for
Agriculture Review and Evaluation Committee (REC) within three weeks of the submission deadline
according to the evaluation criteria outlined in this RFA.
5. Submissions received after the Closing Date and Time will not be considered in the review process.
Both electronic and hardcopies must be received before the closing date and time.

6. Following submission of your complete Application, the New Opportunities for Agriculture’s
Grants and Contracts Manager will send you an e-mail notification confirming receipt of your
Application and advising you of when we have scheduled our REC to review and evaluate your
Application. Those applicants receiving the highest scores, up to the point that available funds are
expended will move to the pre-award/negotiation phase of the grant award process. Note: The
inclusion of a detailed budget and detailed budget notes will help to expedite the negotiation
phase. Once an application has been successfully negotiated and approved by USAID, it will be
funded upon availability of resources.

7. Simplified or In-Kind Grant Agreements will be awarded.

8. Pre-Award Certifications, Assurances and other Statements of the Recipient – All non-U.S.
organizations must provide the following certifications, assurances and other statements: a signed
copy of the Certification Regarding Terrorist Funding required by the Internal Mandatory Reference
AAPD 04-14, and Self Certification. (Attached to this RFA as Attachment 5)

Section III: Eligibility Information
This RFA is open to organizations working in Kosovo (more specific types of organization is
referenced in Section II. 2 above), including faith-based organizations (in accordance with Executive
Order 13279).

In addition, Grantees must:
     Have presence in Kosovo and good track record of working in the agriculture sector;
     Have sufficient staff and capacity to undertake proposed activities;
     Possess the sound managerial, technical, and institutional capacities to achieve the results of the
     Be legally registered and recognized under the laws of Kosovo (or proof of registration but not yet
         completed) [please provide copy of registration] ;
     Possess a system of internal controls that safeguard assets and protect against fraud, waste, and
         conflicts of interest;
     Be the owner of the land/site planned to be planted [provide possession list] or have a lease agreement
         of at least three years from the day of application;
     Be in good standing with all civil and fiscal authorities;
     Possess financial accountability and maintain detailed records of all expenses;
     Be willing to sign applicable certifications; and
     Not be found on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) and/or OFAC’s SDN and Blocked Person

The following organizations are not eligible for New Opportunities for Agriculture grant funding:
    Political parties, their subsidiaries, or affiliates;
    Organizations that appear on the List of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement and
        Non-procurement Programs or U.N. 1267 list;
    Organizations that promote or engage in illegal activities or anti-democratic activities;
    Faith-based organizations whose objectives are for discriminatory and/or religious purposes, and
        whose main objective of the grant is of a religious nature;

         Any entity affiliated with Tetra Tech ARD (New Opportunities for Agriculture), its officers, directors,
          or employees; and
         Public International Organizations.

Section IV: Application Submission Information
1. The RFA includes all information required to apply for a grant, however, questions on this RFA
may be submitted to:

      Attention: Agron Selmani, Grants & Contracts Manager
      New Opportunities for Agriculture Project Office
      Bajram Kelmendi, no.5, Pristina, 10000, Kosovo

      Office Number: 038 223 696
      E-mail: iif@noakos.com

The deadline for questions is Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm. Both the questions and answers
will be distributed to all applicants by Wednesday, October 20, 2011 by 4:30 pm.
An Information Day with potential applicants will be organized on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at
11:00 am.

Applicants must submit the application using the forms/templates included:
       Attachment 1 Grant Application Form
       Attachment 2 Budget Form
       Attachment 3 Essential Data Sheet
       Attachment 4 Implementation Schedule
       Attachment 5 Certifications

2. Successful applicants will be required to sign all applicable certifications from ADS 303.3.8:
http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/303.pdf. For this RFA, applicants must submit signed
certifications attached in Attachment 5, labeled as followed:

         A signed copy of the Certification Regarding Terrorist Funding required by the Internal
          Mandatory Reference AAPD 04-14;
         Self Certification

3. Applications can be submitted in English, Albanian and Serbian. English is highly encouraged.
Applicants must submit one original and two hard copies and electronically in MS Word.

If sending by e-mail, please insert ―New Opportunities for Agriculture RFA008‖ in the subject line.

4. New Opportunities for Agriculture will incorporate its USAID-Approved Branding and Marking
Plan to all awards under this RFA.

5. Funding restrictions:
     Applicants may propose to purchase eligible commodities only and the list of eligible
       commodities can be found at ADS 312: http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/312.pdf
     The award will not allow the reimbursement of pre-award costs. That is, only allowable
       obligations incurred during the period defined within the grant agreement will be reimbursed.
     Nonrefundable VAT is not considered allowable under this RFA.

Section V: Application Review Information
1. A Review and Evaluation Committee (REC) will formally evaluate and rank all proposals
independently and uniformly in writing, using an Application Evaluation Form. Rankings will be
based on the criteria and points, based on 100 as the maximum points allowed, as follows:

     Strategic fit: 25 points
      a) Contribution toward New Opportunities for Agriculture research and policy advocacy
      b) Sustainability of project results; and
      c) Anticipated benefits to the beneficiaries.

     Technical approach: 35 points
      a) Clearly defined problem statement;
      b) Clearly outlined goals;
      c) Innovative technical approach; and
      d) Potential obstacles identified and solutions provided.

     Organizational capabilities: 20 points
      a) Past performance on similar projects;
      b) Relevance of staff skills to the proposed program;
      c) Experience in geographic region;
      d) Soundness of accounting and procurement practices; and
      e) Capacity to follow USAID financial guidelines.

     Gender and Disadvantaged consideration: 10 points
      a) Focus on women/youth/minorities issues;
      b) Impact on women/youth/minorities participation

     Cost effectiveness, including cost share: 10 points
      Costs will be evaluated in terms of their feasibility, cost realism, reasonableness, completeness,
      allocability, and cost-effectiveness for undertaking activities outlined in the planning matrix. As
      technical scores converge, proposals that maximize direct activity costs including cost sharing and
      leveraging and that minimize administrative costs will be more favorably considered. The cost
      selection criteria below will allow New Opportunities for Agriculture to evaluate the applicants
      cost application:
      – Is the proposed budget reasonable and cost-effective?
      – Does the proposal minimize headquarters’ costs for managing the project in order to
          maximize the funds available for field-based activities?
      – Does the proposal have a high percentage of cost share funds? Are there other leveraged
          funds or submitted funding proposals that could complement program activities?
      – Applicant’s representation of the cost share constitutes an eligibility factor and will not be
          separately evaluated.

2. A Review and Evaluation Committee (REC) consisting of a minimum of three individuals will
review and evaluate all applications.

Section VI: Award and Administration Information
Once this RFA is released, any questions related to this RFA must be directed to the Grants &
Contracts Manager only.
Once the REC has convened and evaluated applications, successful recipients will receive an e-mail
from the Grants & Contracts Manager to schedule the following negotiation tasks:

      (1) Pre-Award Responsibility Determination1

  The Pre-Award Responsibility Determination (PARD) is used to determine whether or not the applicant has
the capacity to adequately perform in accordance with principles established by USAID and OMB in the
administration of a USAID funded grant. All applicants that pass the REC will be subject to the PARD (in
accordance with ADS 303.3.9). The PARD is a question and answer based process that typically takes place at
the applicant office. All areas of operation are reviewed, including but not limited to: budgeting, petty cash,

      (2) Technical/activity negotiations, including cost analysis of the budget

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing within one week following REC meeting.
Reporting requirements: Program progress and financial reporting requirements will be established
during the negotiation.

Section VII: Contacts
Once this RFA is released, any questions related to this RFA must be directed to New Opportunities
for Agriculture Grants Manager only:
        Attention: Agron Selmani, Grants & Contracts Manager
        New Opportunities for Agriculture Project Office

          Office Number: 038 223696
          E-mail: iif@noakos.com

Section VIII: Other Information
1. USAID and/or New Opportunities for Agriculture reserves the right to fund any or none of the
applications submitted. Additionally, all awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent
upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications

2. Applicants are reminded of:
Prohibition Against Support for Terrorism (Note: For purposes of this RFA, replace
―Contractor/Recipient‖ with ―Applicant‖)

(a)     The Contractor/Recipient is reminded that U.S. Executive Orders and U.S. law prohibit
       transactions with, and the provision of resources and support to, individuals and organizations
       associated with terrorism. It is the legal responsibility of the Contractor/Recipient to ensure
       compliance with these Executive Orders and laws.
(b)     One of the applicable orders is Executive Order 13224, dated September 24, 2001. The website
       of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of Treasury contains the text
       of that order and a list of the individuals and entities designated thereunder. It also contains lists
       of individuals and entities designated under other anti-terrorism statutes, regulations and
       Executive Orders. See http://www.treasury.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/sdn/.
(c)     USAID reserves the right to review, and either approve or reject, the following subawards if
       proposed under this contract/agreement: (i) any contract or subcontract in excess of $25,000
       with a non-U.S. organization or individual; and (ii) any grant or subgrant to a non-U.S.
       organization or individual, regardless of the dollar value. Furthermore, the written consent of
       USAID is required before certain other forms of assistance may be provided to a non-U.S.
       organization or individual. These include in-kind assistance such as renovation of an NGO’s
       facilities, repair or replacement of a company’s equipment, and certain training activities. No
       approval (or failure to disapprove) by USAID shall relieve the Contractor/Recipient of its legal
       obligation to comply with applicable Executive Orders and laws.
(d)     USAID reserves the right to rescind approval for a subaward in the event that USAID
       subsequently becomes aware of information indicating that the subaward is contrary to U.S. law
       or policy prohibiting support for terrorism. In such cases, USAID’s Contracting Officer will
       provide written instructions to the Contractor/Recipient to terminate the subaward.
(e)     USAID reserves the right to terminate this contract/agreement if USAID determines that the
       Contractor/Recipient is involved in or advocates terrorist activity or has failed to comply with
       any of the requirements of this provision.
(f)     This provision, including this paragraph (f), shall be included in all contracts, subcontracts,
       grants and subgrants issued under this contract/agreement. The Contractor/Recipient shall

procurement, accounting system, inventory, etc. If your organization has recently undergone a PARD with
SDLG in the last 12 months, your organization will likely not be subject to another PARD.

      promptly provide to USAID’s Contracting/Agreement Officer a copy of the pages from each
      subaward that contain this provision.

(a) The objectives of the USAID Disability Policy are (1) to enhance the attainment of United States
    foreign assistance program goals by promoting the participation and equalization of opportunities
    of individuals with disabilities in USAID policy, country and sector strategies, activity designs
    and implementation; (2) to increase awareness of issues of people with disabilities both within
    USAID programs and in host countries; (3) to engage other U.S. government agencies, host
    country counterparts, governments, implementing organizations and other donors in fostering a
    climate of nondiscrimination against people with disabilities; and (4) to support international
    advocacy for people with disabilities. The full text of the policy paper can be found at the
    following website: http://pdf.dec.org/pdf_docs/PDABQ631.pdf.
(b) USAID therefore requires that the recipient not discriminate against people with disabilities in the
    implementation of USAID funded programs and that it make every effort to comply with the
    objectives of the USAID Disability Policy in performing the program under this grant or
    cooperative agreement. To that end and to the extent it can accomplish this goal within the scope
    of the program objectives, the recipient should demonstrate a comprehensive and consistent
    approach for including men, women and children with disabilities.

Restriction on Source Origin—Grantee is not to purchase any goods manufactured or produced in
restricted countries list (reference ADS310, Source Origin and Nationality:
http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/310.pdf )

Section IX: Attachments
Attachment 1: Grant Application Form
Attachment 2: Budget Form
Attachment 3: Essential Data Sheet
Attachment 4: Implementation Schedule
Attachment 5: Certifications


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