In rural development today, there is much more reliance on the market than in the past decades. Issues of what to do to reduce poverty, increase profit from agricultural production, employment and widened consumers` choice are still to be answered. To deal with these problems, development agencies design projects that increasingly turned to grants to provide solutions. In agriculture grants are mostly used for research, technology, dissemination, export promotion, innovation, community development, business startup, project feasibility, assessment, training, market development, business linkage promotion, and capital.
There are different ways in which grants can be provided:
Vouchers: These are useful to stimulate effective demand and market development because in the hands of demanders they make suppliers to compete.
Competitive grants: Their advantage is increasing the effectiveness of grants, but the disadvantages may be increasing administrative costs and increasing waiting time for applicants (while they are evaluated).
Competitive bidding processes (applicants say how much they are prepared to pay themselves and what level of grant they require): Their advantage is that public budget may be saved and more projects supported, but they require considerable expertise to prepare and evaluate.
Matching grants for feasibility studies and technical assistance: These are seldom appropriate in less developed countries where technical or business consulting expertise is limited.
Below listed donor organizations where their focus areas include agricultural sector development:
Asian Development Bank; World Bank; Global Ecological Fund; United Nations Development Programme; Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations; International Development Fund OPEC; Islamic Development Bank; Saudi Fund for Development; Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development; State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO; Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; IFAD ( International Fund for agricultural development) and etc.
Multilateral organization Asian Development Bank allocated grants for 23 projects at the amount $614 million in 2011. Including cofinancing $5.0 billion in 186 grants, and $3.3 billion in TA grants, including regional TA grants.
Since joining ADB Uzbekistan has received $45.9 million in grant technical assistance. Project success rate in agriculture and natural resources was 33.33% in 2011. ADB-supported investment projects in water management and agriculture help modernize irrigation systems while mitigating land degradation and bringing greater incomes and employment to rural areas.
Uzbekistan received grant at the amount of $50 000 for the project implemented by GEF, UNDP, UNOPS to support NGO activities and local society to solve problems related to the climate change adaptation and mitigation its impact, conservation of biodiversity, transboundary water resources and land degradation in 2008-2010 within the framework of the GEF grants program.
In 2010-2012 GEF, UNDP, GIZ in collaboration with Uzbekistan Government allocated $ 780 000 grant for the project on strengthening potential of the sector at national and international levels to develop and implement integrated approach, strategy to reduce lands degradation.
ADB in partnership with GEF provided grant at the amount of $ 73 400 000 for the project Improvement ameliorative condition of lands in Bukhara, Navoiy and Kashkadarya regions in 2008- 2013.
In a purpose to support agricultural enterprises World Bank, SDC (Swiss agency on development and cooperation) in collaboration with Government allocated $76 943 000 grant for project implementation in 2008 -2012.
Each donor organization has its established policy and order for grant proposals submission, format, procedure of processing applications. Guidelines, policies, samples and procedure of submission proposals are available at some international organization websites. It is suggested that proposals for grants coincide with strategic objective of the financing organization, strategic priority and intended to eliminate crucial sector problems.
Intensified, quality team work to implement grant projects, adherence rules and guidelines will meet development needs and priorities of the sector. These will also assist to fulfill strategic frameworks of International organizations to make innovative changes in infrastructure.
Picture Credit: Chriss Aghana Nwobu; Seeds and Harvest.