The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement – AFD) is willing to finance International and National Lebanese Civil Society Organizations or other Non Profit Organizations (CSO/NPO) to implement a project aiming at improving and sustaining Lebanese agriculture, food security and income generating capacities (see the Terms of Reference (ToR) in Section VII).
The framework of the Call is to make available a grant with a focus on supporting the agricultural sector and enhance its capacity for job creation and social cohesion.
Final objectives : sustain the capacity of the Lebanese agriculture to produce food for the local market and create and maintain jobs, in an effort to contribute to the prevention of tensions between host communities and Syrian refugees.
Specific objectives :
- Develop emergency and priority interventions to support farmers and/or value chain actors in coping with the impact of the socio-economic and financial crisis,
- Maintain and improve agriculture productivity and farm profitability and facilitate job creation in agriculture,
- Support and facilitate investments,
- Implement pilot actions to improve market access, transparency, efficiency, and collaboration between producers and buyers.
Examples of potential actions
– Specific objective 1 : develop emergency and priority interventions to support farmers and/or value chain actors in coping with the impact of the socio-economic and financial crisis.
There is a growing concern on the ability of the sector to maintain production levels starting from the 2020 winter season. Action that aims at supporting vulnerable farmers and value chain actors to access inputs are essential. They may include, without being limited to, the following examples :
- Contribute to answering the identified humanitarian needs, with a focus on food security issues, of the targeted vulnerable population and any activities closely and thematically related to the project objectives,
- Support restricted cash transfer to farmers. Cash transfer or vouchers to farmers for inputs provision and/or farm level investment could support sustaining production,
- Support to cooperative(s) and/or farmers association(s) and/or farmers cluster(s) common input procurement scheme, to benefit from economy of scale.
– Specific Objective 2 : maintain and improve agriculture productivity and farm profitability and facilitate job creation in agriculture.
Maintaining profitability of farm holdings is key for both coping with the crisis and accompany the transition to more efficient agricultural practices. Actions may include, without being limited to, the following examples:
- Improve on farm agricultural practices supporting the adoption of production techniques such as Integrated Pest Management, Global Good Agricultural Practices, etc. Management practices that reduce the use of inputs can allow farmers to increase competitiveness while lowering the cost of production, thus reducing dependence on imported inputs while improving the efficiency of the production and the quality of the produce.
- Improve farmers financial and business management knowledge and skills through the implementation of adapted training and deliverables and/or a curriculum for farmers at the technical agricultural schools of the Ministry of Agriculture.
- Develop extension services tailored to the needs of farmers’ clusters and selected value chains and/or agriculture systems – with specific emphasis on cost reduction practices, implementation of standards (IPM, Global GAP, etc.). The adoption of innovative and/or efficient practices requires a trustworthy extension service. Interventions should ensure a proper exit strategy to allow for a permanent formal or informal extension service to be established. The potential risk of conflict with input providers, who usually provide advice that might be in contradiction with the best practices promoted by development projects, must be taken into account.
- Improve agricultural workers skills through adapted training programs.
– Specific Objective 3 : Support and facilitate investments
The proposal should support investments in value chain or agricultural systems. This entails, in the first place, implementing actions that would improve the current investment practices and habits of small farmers and promote the sustainability of the farm as an economic entity. Actions may include, without being limited to, the following examples:
- Develop financial tools for small farmers to cover their operational costs and break the cycle of dependency upon input suppliers. Such action can be implemented in cooperation with banks and/or micro-finance institutions,
- Support farmers cooperatives, farmers association and farmers informal clusters-built economy of scale and efficient logistics,
- Support farmers in negotiating longer rental periods and identify the modalities and the initiatives which would facilitate this aim,
- Support and facilitate investment in medium-size value chain infrastructure such as multipurpose services centres, processing centres, post-harvest centres, as well as the establishment and/or upgrading of existing cooperative owned and managed aggregation, sorting, and cold storage facilities. Investment made within the framework of a local public private partnership are encouraged.
– Specific Objective 4 : Implement pilot actions to improve market access, transparency, efficiency, and collaboration between producers and buyers
Action aiming at improving trade activities, which are characterized today by strong information asymmetries between wholesalers and traders on one side, producers and buyers on the other side. These trade activities have also failed at valorizing quality and safety of productions. Interventions and pilot actions could be proposed may include, without being limited to, the following examples:
- Support the implementation of a pilot Market Information System, including the regular publication of wholesale prices and volumes for fruits and vegetables over the country. The objectives will be to supply farmers and other stakeholders with an open source of information for both their day-to-day transactions and their long-term strategies,
- Support the implementation of pilot alternative wholesales market(s). Elements of feasibility and sustainability of the action shall be taken into consideration and well presented. Action implemented in the framework of a public private partnership are encouraged,
- Organize long-term value chain linkages between farmer clusters and large buyers such as local and regional supermarkets.
Closing date : 12 pm Paris time on Friday, February 18th 2021
Grant amounting : total of maximum EUR 20.000.000