The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is issuing this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to seeking participants to co-create, co-design, co-invest, and collaborate to identify new and innovative solutions to address the challenge of how to most effectively expand access to financing on terms and conditions (lower interest rates and longer tenors) that will allow for capital investment and facilitate trade.
This BAA and any subsequent Addenda will allow co-creation and co-design to the maximum extent to create high-quality, effective partnerships with great efficiency in time and resources. USAID will invite selected organizations, as detailed below, to co-create Research and Development (R&D) solutions to the Problem and Challenge Statement, including those organizations that have ideas, expertise, resources, and/or funding to add to potential solutions.
The purpose of this Broad Agency Agreement (BAA) is to identify and test innovative, scalable, and sustainable approaches to rapidly increase the level of commercial (non-subsidized) financing for agriculture on terms and conditions that enable capital investment and support trade. The BAA will investigate the challenge of how to most effectively expand access to financing (in the form of lower interest rates and longer tenors) for the following agricultural sector entities:
- The “missing middle” of small and medium enterprises with financing requirements in the range of $10,000 to $500,000, and
- Smallholder farmers and microenterprises seeking financing (particularly financing on terms and conditions which can enable longer-term capital investment) in amounts under $10,000.
- Agriculture plays a key role in Ghana’s economy, but the sector’s advancement is hampered by limited access to finance. The sector accounts for 21.2 percent of GDP and employs nearly 60 percent of the labor force. Despite its size and importance, access to agricultural finance in Ghana is challenging to obtain, however, and where it is available, is often prohibitively expensive. Agriculture receives substantially less commercial bank lending than other sectors barely 5 percent of total credit to the private sector. Interest rates for commercial bank loans are quite high, averaging 30 percent per annum. Financing tenors tend to be shorter-term, prohibiting longer-term investments. As a result, firms and smallholders alike have limited ability to modernize and upgrade agricultural value chains and expand agricultural trade.
- It is clear there are a number of constraints to agriculture-related financing and a number of possible solutions to address this challenge. What is unclear is which solutions will be the most effective and efficient in stimulating financing to the missing middle for investment in agriculture, without crowding out local finance providers and distorting the finance markets
- Public, private, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations, as well as institutions of higher education, public international organizations, non-governmental organizations, U.S. and non-U.S. governmental organizations, multilateral and international donor organizations are eligible to receive awards under this BAA.
- All organizations must be determined to be responsive to the BAA and responsible to perform or participate in the final award.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted electronically at the address given on the website.
For more information, please visit Grants.gov.