Project Proposals Farmer Organisations

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					                                             PNG Agricultural Innovations Grant Facility
                                                            Guidelines
                                                         ACNARS Project
Introduction
The AusAID funded Project “Australian Contribution to Papua New Guinea's National Agricultural
Research System (ACNARS),” which commenced in 1998 primarily to strengthen the research and
information capacity of PNG's National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), has been extended by
two years to September 2005.
A new ACNARS component, an Agricultural Innovations Grant Facility (AIGF), is being trialled.
This Facility will fund activities of direct benefit to rural small-holders through promotion of
improved productivity, efficiency and sustainability of small-holder agriculture. This Grant Facility, if
judged successful by the PNG Government and AusAID, may become a longer term component of
Australian support to the rural sector of PNG.
The Goal of the AIGF is to:
        Assist PNG to improve the wellbeing of small-holders through improved productivity,
        quality and market-price competitiveness of their agricultural output by application of
        improved technology and information to production and marketing systems.
This Goal is aligned with the Goals of the GoPNG Medium Term Development Strategy (2003 –
2007). The MTDS recognises the importance of the development of the agriculture sector to overall
development of PNG. Its three core objectives are:
   i) Good governance
   ii) Export-driven economic growth, and
   iii) Rural development, poverty reduction and human resource development.
Project proposals seeking funding under the AIGF will be required to demonstrate outcomes that
support the achievement of the goals of the MTDS. Project selection will be through competitive
merit-based technical assessment, ranking proposals against their expected contribution to MTDS
goals.
Focus of the AIGF
The initial core focus of the AIGF will be the generation and delivery to rural small-holders of
appropriate information and technology that will assist them to achieve rapid sustainable economic
and social development in the areas of food production and income generation.
Funds will be provided for activities that, in particular, disseminate existing research information that
will directly benefit rural villagers. Adaptive research funding will be considered, subject to it
providing relatively quick economic and social returns.
In seeking funding, institutions that are mainly focused on generation of new information (research) or
teaching are strongly encouraged to form partnerships with organisations that have a focus on
outreach, including non-government organisations and church groups. Such linkages will be highly
regarded in the process of selection of the final list of projects to be funded.
The focus in the first instance will be on agricultural production, including subsistence food
production, domestically marketed food, export tree crops and other export crops, such as spices.
The impact of funded activities on both men and women will be considered. Activities that
demonstrate potential positive outcomes for women beneficiaries will be highly regarded.
AIGF will require high standards of financial management. Any misuse of funds or failure to fully
report on use of funds will result in suspension of further funding. In keeping with the MTDS goal of
improved governance, the overall financial and management performance of bidding institutions will
be a factor in allocation of funds.
Facility management
The Pilot phase of the AIGF will be administered and managed through the ACNARS Project (Figure
1 provides details of procedures and roles). The Team Leader of ACNARS, or his deputy, will be the
primary contact point for information and management of the AIGF. The project is responsible for
development of operating procedures such as: approval process (2 stage with an initial EOI); project
development (project staff together with paid local advisors); agreements based on work plans and
agreed outcomes; reporting according to an agreed schedule; verification of accomplishments
(inspection, report, photo, stakeholder survey etc.); payment scheduling; and Guidelines for the
advisory committee (including a code of conduct and roles and responsibilities).
Ms. Linda Kapus, AIGF Administrator, is supporting the activities of the Technical and Advisory
committees. She is responsible for maintaining communications between the project and its
stakeholders; which is crucial to avoid confusion and unnecessary delays.
The AIGF administrator also operates the AIGF database; logging all activities related to each project
from the original EOI through to evaluation and final report. The AIGF database has links to
databases on people, institutions and information resources and is currently maintained by NARI
information services with contributions from a number of PNG and Australian Institutions.
Operations are to be managed through the AIGF database, which will provide and record information
on each project. For example, the database will provide information on due milestones, means of
verification and payment schedules. The AIGF web site will draw information from the database to
ensure all interested parties are fully informed on operation of the facility and can access information
on participating Institutions.
Target Institutions
Grants are limited by invitation to those organisations with a proven track record (listed in Table 1).
Note that other institutions, involved in extension and training, are invited to form partnerships (share
the work and the budget) with target institutions.
                Table 1. PNG Institutions eligible to seek direct funding from AIGF
Agricultural Institutions
  1.     Cocoa and Coconut Institute of PNG
  2.     Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd.
  3.     Fresh Produce Development Company
  4.     National Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Authority
  5.     National Agricultural Research Institute
  6.     National Research Institute
  7.     PNG Oil Palm Research Association
  8.     PNG Oil Palm Industry Corporation
Universities
  1.     Pacific Adventist University
  2.     University of Goroka
  3.     University of Papua New Guinea
  4.     University of Technology
  5.     University of Vudal
  6.     Divine Word University, Madang
Process for seeking funding
There is a two-stage process to apply for funding. Firstly, staff at the target institutions should fill out
the two page Expression of Interest (EOI) form. This should be done electronically. Completed forms
should be sent to the AIGF Administrator, who will circulate them to members of the Technical
Advisory Panel (TAP), whose members will be independent of the institutions submitting the
proposals for funding (see below). This panel will screen EOIs against the requirements of the
Guidelines. Applicants who are successful at this stage will be asked to develop a full proposal for
further evaluation. Applications that are not successful will be returned with comments and may be
revised for later funding rounds.
Due to limited funding, it may not be possible to fund all applications. Proposals must be directed at
areas that are of high priority within your institution’s mandate and consistent with the goals of the
AIGF. Applicants should be required to say something about economic and social benefits at EOI
stage. It would not be practical to request anything quantitative at that stage, but it is reasonable to
expect that the applicant should at least be able to identify and describe the benefits and who will
receive them. One paragraph would be sufficient. Here are a few examples of what we should be
looking for:
          “Sweet potato is PNG’s most important staple food crop and is the primary
          source of dietary energy for x% of the population. The project will test and
          demonstrate practical methods for control of the green striped sweet potato
         bug which reduces yields by up to x%. Even if adoption of these methods is
         relatively slow, the impact on food availability is likely to be substantial
         leading to lower prices for consumers and higher incomes for farmers.”

         “There are well proven methods which improve smallholder coffee yields and
         quality which involve changes in agronomic and processing practices but do
         not incur significant cost increases. However, smallholder farmers need to
         be trained in such methods, and marketing systems need to be developed to
         reward them for improved quality. This will greatly improve cash incomes for
         thousands of highland coffee growers.
 Technical Advisory Panel – comprises members of the ACNARS team, including Mike Bourke,
 together with advisory assistance from local consultants. They are responsible for providing:
 Awareness – members will regularly visit eligible institutions and potential partner groups to
 discuss the facility and invite expressions of Interest (EOI); Technical review – of the EOI and
 project proposals in relation to the guidelines, feasibility; budget, milestones, payment schedule etc.
After receiving notification of success of the EOI, applicants will be required to provide a Project
Proposal (a proforma and guide has been developed to assist in completing this form). ACNARS
advisors are happy to facilitate development of proposals, for example activity and output milestones
and budgets, and help in staging meetings/workshops involving potential players.
Please note that the Final Proposal for all AIGF activities require a monitoring and evaluation
framework and plan. Mr. David Young will provide assistance to applicants to develop this plan.
Applicants should provide a well argued social and economic rationale for the project which further
elaborates the benefits and costs of the proposed activity, and explains why the proposed approach is
the best amongst possible alternatives. In particular the applicants should be asked to specify: the size
of the sector or industry targeted; the expected improvements in yields and/or prices; the likely
adoption rates; the costs incurred by various parties; and the likely effects on markets and prices.
It is a requirement that organisations submitting proposals should submit these proposals to in-house
review process (is the proposal feasible, stakeholder support and is it a priority activity) before they
can be accepted for funding.
The ACNARS project will submit full project proposals, after TAP approval, to the Advisory
Committee for its consideration.
   The Advisory Committee oversees the Fund, and is comprised of representatives from several
   PNG government departments, the Rural Industry Council and AusAID. This committee
   provides policy direction for the AIGF and has a key decision making role so that projects are in
   line with the government’s MTDS. The ACNARS Team Leader, or deputy, will provide
   secretarial support to the committee as well as providing the point of contact between the
   committee and operation of the AIGF.
Grant Agreement
After being accepted for inclusion in the AIGF program, successful applicants will be required to enter
into a Grant Agreement with the ACNARS Project. This document will define the activities and
outputs associated with the project together with means of verification and payment schedule. The
ACNARS project will draw up this document in consultation with the implementing agency and their
partners.
Funds will be disbursed in country by the ACNARS Project. An initial payment will be made to allow
project activities to commence and fund activities scheduled up until the next identified payment or
milestone achievement. A second tranche of funds will be released after verification that the agreed
outputs have been achieved. The means of verification will depend on the output. Examples are:
photographs of a field day together with a farmer survey; write up of a trial; report on testing of a
particular extension bulletin with farmers; publication and distribution of a technical bulletin,
modification to an office to establish an information centre; receipts and delivery docket for purchase
of a large item of equipment or consumables - such as tissue culture media; progress reports; site
inspections; impact assessments; and final project completion document. Reporting will be done using
a standard proforma outline provided by AIGF. Complete financial records must be kept and made
available on request.
Note that the grant agreement will also specify roles and responsibilities of partner
organisations/groups. In general, the implementing agency will take responsibility for disbursement
and acquittal of funds to partner groups. Reporting responsibilities will primary rest with the
implementing agency but site inspections, review of extension brochures or client consultations etc.
will allow assessment of partner organisations.
Code of Conduct
Staff and AIGF Committee members are expected to adhere to certain practices and principles of
behaviour throughout all AIGF operations; to ensure AIGF receives and maintains a reputation of the
highest order for integrity, fairness, confidentiality and transparency in decision making. A copy of
the code can be downloaded from the website.
Any attempt to lobby TAP members or Advisory Committee members in favour of a particular
application or applicant may result in the exclusion of that application or applicant from funding under
the AIGF.
Limitations
The availability of future funds to support the AIGF and continued funding of individual proposals,
will be subject to funds being provided by the Commonwealth of Australia for the purpose of
supporting the AIGF.
Minimum funding granted will be not less than K10,000. In the first instance, a maximum amount of
K100,000 per application has been set, this limit may be exceeded for a particular project provided
there is sufficient justification.
As a guide, the proportion of the total budget spent on capital works, should not exceed 25%, unless
there is good justification to do so.
There is no limit on the number of applications that can be submitted in any given period by
institutions. However, TAP will consider the ability of an organisation to implement additional
projects when assessing new EOIs and project proposals.
Duration of trial period
Because this is a pilot phase, activities that can convince the selection panel of a high likelihood of
rapid impact on food security or income generation for rural small-holders will receive highest
priority. It is recognised that this may not be possible for some activities, eg. those involving some
activities with tree crops or where there is a requirement to establish long-term field demonstration
sites for use with villagers. Such activities will need clear identification of expected benefits to small-
holders, but are less likely to receive funding when there are competing with proposals that offer the
potential of rapid, high impact results.
Funding Exclusions
Funds will not be provided for purchase of vehicles; overseas study tours; overseas conferences; major
buildings; or salaries of existing professional staff.
Contact point
Applications should be addressed to the AIGS Administrator, Ms. Linda Kapus, who will send these
out to members of the TAP. The preferred method of communication is by e-mail with Word or PDF
attachments. Signed copies, indicating support from CEO, should be faxed to Linda, for our records,
at the time the electronic copy is sent.
Her address is:
Ms. Linda Kapus, AIGF Administrator, PO Box 4415, Lae, MP.
Phone: 475 1472 or 475 1471 Fax: 475 1450 E-mail: aigf@global.net.pg
                          Figure 1. Operations of AIGF


              Agricultural Innovations Grant Facility (AIGF)

   ACNARS Responsibilities                      Processes involved

Awareness and Promotion                         Consortium Research
Guidelines and Proforma                            and Technology /
AIGF Database (DB)                              Information Providers
AIGF Website


Facilitation EOI and
Project Development                       Expression of          Project
Log details AIGF DB                          Interest            Proposal
Update people & institutions DB
Stakeholder communications                          Feed back




   Administrative support                     Technical Committee
   Communications                           (Guideline fit & Feasibility)


                                              Approved Proposal
    Organise meetings
    Secretarial support
    Communications
                                               Advisory Committee
    Reporting
                                             (Policy & Guidelines Fit)



Activity, Output & Payment Schedule             Grant Agreement
Verification and Evaluation Plan

DB - Operation Research Management
                                                  Implementation
Information System with links to Web
Provide funds tranche on agreed outputs


  Assist with evaluation                            Evaluation



   Reporting to Stakeholders                        Final Report

				
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