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Announcement of a closed grant competition

Announcement of a closed grant competition

Introduction
The consortium of non-governmental organization “People in Need” (PIN), Biological Farming Association “Elkana” and Association of Young Economists of Georgia is announcing a closed grant competition to support development of farmer cooperatives in the framework of the project “Enhancing Small Farmers’ Cooperation and Productivity in Imereti and Racha Regions”.  The project is funded by the European Union and the Czech Development Agency and represents an intervention within the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).
The main objective of the project is to achieve economies of scale among Imereti and Racha farmers through the development of business-oriented small farmers’ groups and support for a more favorable agribusiness environment.
The coverage area of the project is Baghdati, Kharagauli, Khoni, Terjola, Tkibuli, Tskhaltubo, and Zestafoni municipalities of Imereti region and Ambrolauri and Oni municipalities of Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region.
Within the three previous grant cycles, technical and informational/expert support has been provided to 32 co-operatives, currently comprised of 342 members-farmers.
Purpose of the grant call
The purpose of the current grant competition is to strengthen the existing cooperatives by enhancing their post-harvest operation, commodity consolidation and marketing capacities.
Eligible participants:
Only the cooperatives supported in 2014-2016 under the project “Enhancing Small Farmers’ Cooperation and Productivity in Imereti and Racha Regions” that received a grant of the total value below EUR 35,000 for developing their production capacity in the market chains – beekeeping, dairy, grapes and wine, greenhouse herbs and vegetables.
The applicant cooperative should:
  • Be registered in one of the following municipalities: Bagdati, Kharagauli, Khoni, Terjola, Tkibuli, Tskaltubo, Zestaponi, Ambrolauri and Oni.
  • comprise of at least 10 officially registered members;
  • secure a letter of consent from relevant local agencies and private persons if the investment project affects interests of a state organization or a private person external to the cooperative (environmental protection, roads, architecture, intersection of private plots, use of local aggregates and etc.)
  • secure a letter of guarantee from relevant sources (other than PIN) in case of their cofinancing of the investment project from external sources, sources.
The applicant cooperative should not:
  • have a negative credit history;
  • have its accounts being seized;
  • have a negative grant record, such as delayed co-investments in grant projects;
 
Use of grants
The grants will not be used for the primary production purposes but will be allocated only for acquisition of fixed assets such as equipment and machinery required for provision of advanced storage, processing and marketing services inside and outside the cooperative. Purchase of land, premises, livestock, bee families, poultry, goods and raw materials, construction and arrangement of infrastructure, operating costs can’t paid from the grant resources.
Co-financing
Under the grant scheme, PIN will cover the maximum of 80% of the cost of equipment to be purchased under the investment project. The remaining 20% should be covered by the grant winner. For example, if the cost of equipment to be purchased in the framework of the investment project is 30,000 GEL, the project pays 24,000 GEL and the grant winner pays 6,000 GEL for its purchase.
Co-financing should be transferred to the bank account of PIN, from which the assets envisaged by the investment project will be paid for.
Size of grants
The size of grants will be in the range between 10,000 and 20,000 Euro. This includes a 20% co-financing from the grantee;
Grant process
Interested applicants should submit electronic and hard copies of filled in application forms (annex 1) from 14 April 2017 (call announcement date) till  26 April 2017, 17:00 to the following e-mail address: sophie.putkaradze@peopleinneed.cz;
The applicants who fail to submit application form after the above deadline, will be automatically excluded from the call.
After submitting application forms, each of the registered applicants will have an opportunity to receive consultations on business plan writing, technical and economic/financial aspects consultations  and will be given a defined period for business plan development. Form of a business plan, along with annexes, is attached to the given announcement (annex N2).
Printed and electronic copies of final business plans shall be submitted no later than 22 May 2017, 17:00.
Presented business plans will be reviewed and evaluated by the selection committee on the following criteria:
  • Feasibility and accuracy of financial calculations;
  • Expected sustainability of the business;
  • Technical feasibility and potential business return;
  • Market prospects;
  • Environmental safety;
  • Structure of the cooperative and potential for development;
  • Percentage of co-investment by the applicant;
  • Participation of women and young people (18 to 20 years) in the cooperative.
  • Previous grant  history
 
Ownership of granted assets:
The grant winner cooperative becomes an owner of granted assets immediately upon the fulfilment of its commitments as presented in the grant agreement.
Required annexes:
  • Register of partners;
  • Property registered on the balance of the cooperative, with respective extract from the Public Register
  • Notarized minutes of the general meeting, verifying approval of the grant application by all members and mobilization of cash in the partnership fund for co-investment purposes;
  • Extract verifying absence of seizure and indebtedness;
  • Confirmation, from the Public Register, of cooperative ownership of buildings to be used in the investment project or copies of rent agreements for such buildings
General plan of the buildings to be used in the investment project.
Timeline of the grant call
 
14 April
Announcement of the grant call
20-21 April
Information meetings
26 April, 17:00
Deadline for registration of potential applicants
(deadline for submission of applications)
27 April – 10 May
Meeting with experts /individual consultations for applicants
22 May, 17:00
Deadline for submission of final business plans
15 – 20 June
Review of applications, announcement of winners
From April 14, it will be possible to download application form and busines plan template from PIN webpage   www.pin.ge.
Applications may also be submitted at the central office of PIN.
For further details, please contact:

Sophie Putkaradze – Information Officer

People in Need, 27 Solomon Pirveli St. Kutaisi

Phone: 591800577 or 0431 252565; sophie.putkaradze@peopleinneed.cz

David Chelishvili – Field Operation Manager

People in Need, 27 Solomon Pirveli St. Kutaisi

Phone: 595600775; david.chelishvili@peopleinneed.cz;