Mercy Corps Nigeria invites interested and competent contractors / firms to indicate interest by submitting RFA documents for the following works:
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action - helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within, now, and for the future.
Applicants are invited for:
Title: Notice of Funding for the Strengthening and Scale up of Women-Led Producer Associations / Groups in one of the Following States: Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Gombe
Location: Borno, Adamawa, Yobe or Gombe
The Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity (RRA ) aims to increase smallholder household incomes and reduce poverty in North eastern Nigeria through their improved participation in inclusive agribusiness value chains and market opportunities.
The Activity interventions are delivered in line with the market development framework placing at the center the need to unlock bottlenecks that weaken market relationships and limit inclusive profitable participation. Activity seeks to improve the resilience capacities of insurgent- or conflict-affected households, communities, and markets using market-led approaches layered with complementary investments in humanitarian assistance to contribute to economic recovery and growth.
- Through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), the USAID-funded Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity (RRA or the “Activity”) aims to identify potential partners and innovative approaches that leverage USAID resources to develop practical and market-driven solutions to implement innovative business models targeting smallholder farmers, youth, women and micro-enterprises who have been affected by the protracted conflicts in North eastern Nigeria.
- The activity is implemented by Mercy Corps in partnership with Save the Children International (SCI) and International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). The goal of the Rural Resilience Activity is to ‘facilitate and protect economic recovery and growth in vulnerable, conflict-affected areas and sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty via expanded opportunities’. This goal will be achieved through the following four major components. The Activity seeks to increase incomes, improve the livelihood and resilience of households through market-led growth in 4 States in North Eastern Nigeria.
- Layered on the principles of broadened and inclusive growth through agricultural and non-agricultural microenterprises competitiveness; the Activity objectives are a) inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth; b) strengthened resilience among people and systems; and c) a well-nourished population, especially women and children, thereby contributing to sustainable reductions in malnutrition and poverty. Through this NOFO, the Activity seeks partnerships with private sector players such as business development service providers, civil society organisation or government institutions etc. with a presence or interested to permanently expand a presence in all or some of the 4 states.
- The Activity seeks to offer opportunities that will yield beneficial partnership to at least 100 women led producer associations/groups  with total membership of about 3,000 – 5000 members. Through capacity building and market linkages to improve access to agricultural inputs and technical extension and business advisory services through proven farmer institutional capacity building models and using the key components of the Women and Youth Economic Empowerment framework:
- Increased income and return on labour.
- Access to opportunities and life chances such as skills development or job openings;
- Access to assets, services, and needed supports to advance economically.
- Decision-making authority in different spheres including household finances;
- Improved and sustainable support structures and systems
Statement of Objectives
- RRA aims to increase smallholder household incomes and reduce poverty in North eastern Nigeria through their improved participation in inclusive agribusiness value chains and market opportunities.
- The Activity interventions are delivered in line with the market development framework placing at the center the need to unlock bottlenecks that weaken market relationships and limit inclusive profitable participation.
- The Activity seeks to improve the resilience capacities of insurgent- or conflict-affected households, communities, and markets using market-led approaches layered with complementary investments in humanitarian assistance to contribute to economic recovery and growth.
- Working closely with public, political civil society and economic actors, RRA seeks to broaden, and support inclusive and resilient growth through agricultural competitiveness.
The Activity objectives include:
- Inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth
- Strengthened resilience among people and systems
- A well-nourished population, especially women and children, thereby contributing to sustainable reductions in global hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
- The Activity seeks to reinforce practices that move away from dependency on non-market driven initiatives. In addition, Activity seeks to facilitate the growth of firms that are committed to investing in inclusive agricultural business models and support services in the areas of finance and provision of agri-enterprise related interconnected services in North eastern Nigeria.
- The Activity’s vision for north eastern Nigeria is a process by which the region achieves a step-change in scale driven by competitive, inclusive and resilient growth.
- In North eastern Nigeria, women lack access to these because of fewer economic resources, less mobility, less contact with advisory services and equitable access to the technical, financial and business training resources to grow their enterprises.
- Limited access to information and extension services and inclusion in Natural Resource Management for improved agricultural practices and healthy environment is a major challenge faced by women and youths.
- Information and services barely get to them due to limited female extension service providers, low priority to women in agriculture/lack of interest by women/youth (due to incentives) and low priority for women/youth inclusion in natural resource management.
- There is a high potential for building social capital and economic empowerment for women through socio-economic networks.
- This highlights the merits of building agency and facilitating access to income earning and skills development opportunity and financial inclusion for women through their groups and collective engagement for meeting socio-economic needs.
- However, where women are not organised into socio-economic groups with common business expansion goals, coupled with non-existent or weak leadership, governance structures, and formalization sustainable economic empowerment becomes challenging.
- This is a common trend among producer organizations especially those who are women and youth-lead and makes the rural producers find difficulty in accessing finance, inputs/output markets that hampers production and productivity.
- The absence of strong, gender transformative, and youth-inclusive farmer organizations limits their access to knowledge and information on good agriculture production techniques and limits access to competitive markets.
- Further, gaps in production and entrepreneurial knowledge and information on agriculture and ready markets for goods produced are lacking across most of the producer organizations in North-Eastern Nigeria.
The intervention seeks to deliberately support local youths and women to access enterprise opportunities through the following:
- Establishment and strengthening of strong women-led and institutionalized producer organizations/groups. This will also entail upgrading the existing Farmers Field School into state-based networks/groups to firm up a foundation for increased productivity and income of small holder farmers.
- Support the established producer groups to build governance and leadership which is required for the resilient growth of a producer organization.
- Infuse the entrepreneurial culture and relationships management within the groups and with other actors, which are needed to create stronger women-led farmer associations.
Special Grant Requirements
- The Activity grant aims to support private sector actors, CSOs, and government institutions to build a sustainable opportunity to engage in exchange in goods and services. Specifically, this funding opportunity seeks to leverage networks of rural households served by public or private sector firms such as input distributors or buyers under out-grower schemes to:
- Enable companies to innovate a business model that offers mutual benefit
- Support companies to expand to strengthen aggregation, private extension, and digitized networks of farmer suppliers and customers and/or build their capacities.
- Support individuals and socio-economic groups formed/strengthened to grow sales, leverage investments, increase their customer base, etc. and CSOs, faith-based organisations to deepen their impact.
- RRA seeks to identify 2 private sector firms, civil society organisations, government institutions etc. that are already in the business of offering extension services in NEN context, as either input distributors, agri-services providers, financial and business services providers, traders, processors, off-takers, agri-tech providers and/or under out grower models. Larger companies will identify the aggregators, retailers, and agents.
- The Activity seeks to reduce market distortions arising from the infusion of grant funds. Care should be taken to ensure that the structure of the promotion or discount does not negatively affect long-term market sustainability.
- The award will be directly managed by the Rural Resilience Activity with USAID support. This solicitation intends to enter into a business metric-based milestone agreement that includes interventions that fit the evaluation criteria outlined in Section D below.
- The number of partnerships available will be determined based on interest, funding available, and quality of proposals. The proposed projects are anticipated to begin by January 2022 and end on or before December 2022. However, proposals could be submitted for multi-year activities over multi-year phases, with phase 1 to cover a maximum of one year.
- The total value of each award from the Rural Resilience Activity for this solicitation is estimated to range from US$35,000 - US$45,000 with 2 partnerships anticipated. Proposals must make business sense for the partner and must demonstrate a significant impact for smallholder farmers and MSMEs.
- As the amount of an award is subject to negotiation, a negotiated award amount may or may not fall within this range. Furthermore, the Rural Resilience Activity is not obligated to issue awards/an award up to the number of funds available. Grantees may be required to cover and create leverage of minimum over the next one year of 30% of the total cost.
- Application reviews will take place in November/December 2021. All applicants will be notified of their application status at this time. Note that immediate negotiations and site visits will occur with successful applicants around December 2021. Site visits and other engagements requiring physical interactions will take into consideration relevant COVID-19 guidelines from the Federal and targeted State Governments in Nigeria. Please make sure the proposed project manager and a decision-maker will be available at that time since negotiations and site visits are required steps in the award process for selected applications.
- Within ten (10) working days of the deadline for submitting expressions of interest, a technical review panel will convene.
- RRA shall take steps to ensure that members of the review panel do not have any conflicts of interest or the appearance of such with regard to the organizations whose applicants are under review.
- An individual shall be considered to have the appearance of a conflict of interest if that person, or that person’s spouse, partner, child, a close friend or relative works for or is negotiating to work for, or has a financial interest (including being an unpaid member of a Board of Directors) in any organization that applied currently under the panel’s review.
- Members of the panel shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favours, or anything of monetary value from parties to the awards.
- The status of the EOIs received, whether accepted or rejected, shall be communicated to all applicants within thirty (30) days. All Applications that meet the NOFO requirements will be reviewed by the review panel.
- For this Call for Applications, RRA is interested in partnering with: for-profit private sector companies foreign organizations (referred to as non-U.S. NGOs): either non-profit or for-profit organizations that meet the definition in 2 CFR 200.47 can apply as part of a consortium. However, the lead applicant must be legally registered in Nigeria.
- Applicants must have a DUNS number (a nine-digit identification number required for all procurement- related activities). A DUNS number is not required for application, but will be required for receipt of award.
- Social enterprises such as community-based organizations with commercial business models. Applicants must be Nigerian licensed and legal private input companies, business organizations/associations/cooperatives working in Nigeria.
- Individual consultants will not be considered for this NOFO. Previous or ongoing work with RRA does NOT preclude applicants from participating. Current partners encouraged to apply.
Responses to the grants application should identify how actions proposed, with the support of USAID, would promote the target, who may be engaged in on-farm or off-farm activities and positioning for commercial growth and profit.
Award of Grants
Subject to the availability of funds, RRA intends to award 2 grants to eligible companies, as defined in Section D, up to a maximum amount of US $35,000 – US $45,000 per award. Amounts above this value may be approved if one applicant works in more than one State.
The expected duration of RRA support or the period of performance is twelve (12) months. Mercy Corps, as the primary implementer of the Feed the Future/Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity, reserves the right to fund any or none of the proposals submitted.
Application Closing Date
13th December, 2021.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should download, fill and send their completed Applications Form to: email@example.com
using the Title as the subject of the mail.
to Download the Application Form (MS Word)
- Please provide information in the space given. Unless indicated in instruction please fill ALL sections
- Please electronically complete this form. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.
- All answers must be written in English.
- Submit no more than 12 pages in total
- Award will be made to the responsible applicant(s) whose application(s) offers the best value for money.
- Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of RRA, nor does it commit RRA to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.
- Applications are submitted at the risk of the applicant. All preparation and submission costs are at the applicant's expense
- Any questions concerning this NOFO should be submitted in writing not later than ten (10) days prior to the closing date shown above to December 13th at firstname.lastname@example.org Applicants should retain for their records one copy of all enclosures which accompany their application.