Program Background

The USAID Agriculture Program is a five-year activity that aims to accelerate growth of agricultural sub-sectors that demonstrate strong potential to create jobs and increase incomes and revenues of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). The USAID Agriculture Program will deliver firm-level investment and tailor-made technical assistance to entrepreneurial, market-driven enterprises, production clusters and supporting associations and service/information/extension providers to foster inclusive and sustainable market systems development. The USAID Agriculture Program will provide competitive cost-shared grants and technical assistance to address identified gaps in targeted value chains that will result in the improved productivity and production capacity of MSMEs, strengthened value chain linkages, increased access to markets, and improved capacity of MSMEs, cooperatives, associations and service/information/extension providers.

The program will focus on the following value chains: berries including kiwi, culinary herbs, stone fruits, pome fruits (apples), perishable vegetables, mandarins, table grapes, walnuts, almonds and pistachios.

The USAID Agriculture Program will be implemented through two integrated, mutually reinforcing components: cost-share grants and technical assistance. These components will be directed and informed by a value chain prioritization and gap assessment that will identify specific product/market combinations that can sustainably increase incomes, employment and MSME revenues.

Component 1, Cost-share Grants to MSMEs, Cooperatives, Service/Information/Extension Providers and Associations will invest $6 million in market-driven enterprises and organizations that support and strengthen product/market combinations identified by the value chain prioritization and gap assessment. In-kind grants will be provided to MSMEs and cooperatives to address identified constraints in availability of planting materials, production, postharvest handling, processing and market access, while capacity building grants will be provided to industry and cross-cutting associations, as well as service/information/extension providers to strengthen the operating environment and introduce new services to them.

Component 2, Technical Assistance to MSMEs, Cooperatives, Service/Information/Extension Providers and Associations, envisions technical and/or business training, and a wide spectrum of customized consultancies to build capacity of targeted MSMEs, cooperatives, service/information/extension providers and associations. Technical assistance will be integrated into each grant and tailored to the specific needs of the organization to maximize grant impact and promote sustainability. In addition, technical assistance will be offered to value chain actors beyond grantees, fostering improvements along entire selected value chains and affecting larger numbers of beneficiaries.