Expired: Request for Concept Notes under the catalyzing and sustaining agricultural transformation in Malawi





Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.

After ten years of building a strong foundation, starting 2017, AGRA has rolled out a new 5-year strategy with an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level; strengthens input and output market systems; and puts government at the centre of the partnerships required to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at local and national levels.

In Malawi, AGRA aims at catalyzing and sustaining an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation to increase Incomes and improve Food Security for 800,000 smallholder farming households through strategic country support and government engagement coupled with a set of targeted catalytic downstream and systemic investments made through its alliance of partners. To achieve its ambitious goal, AGRA seeks to contribute to four inter-related and interdependent objectives: 1) Increased staple crop productivity for smallholder farmers, 2) Strengthened and expanded access to output markets, 3) Increased capacity of smallholder farming households and agricultural systems to better prepare for and adapt to shocks and stresses (Resilience), and 4) Strengthened continental, regional and government multi-sectoral coordination and mutual accountability in the agriculture sector.

To support this transformation, AGRA is seeking potential partners with a focus on delivering this ambitious goal. AGRA therefore invites submission of concept notes from interested and qualified organizations operating in the agricultural value chain for projects that contribute to the achievement of AGRA’s stated intended outcomes.


Institutions/organizations contemplating submission of applications in response to this request for concept notes (RFCNs) must determine whether they meet the following requirements to be eligible for AGRA financial assistance:

  1. Unless specifically stated otherwise in this section, must be operational in Malawi with valid registration documents.
  2. Organization’s primary business activity must be in Malawi.
  3. Organization’s registration to do business in Malawi must be current.
  4. Organization must be in a sound financial condition.
  5. Organization must have sufficient existing capability/capacity to perform new work. (AGRA may consider limited financial assistance to fund capacity building only if the proposal is determined to be of interest to AGRA).
  6. Organization must have demonstrated favorable past performance record.
  7. Organization must have accounting systems acceptable to AGRA and corporate integrity/ethics.
  8. Organization must not be excluded from the eligibility to receive AGRA’s donor-provided funds.
  9. Can be a governmental, non-governmental or private institution.

If an institution/organization meets the above eligibility criteria AGRA will request additional documentation to be submitted as part of the pre-award process. Organizations are advised that any funds made available are subject to AGRA’s and its donor strict accountability and audit requirements.


AGRA will consider catalytic and transformative concepts focusing on value chains of 5 priority crops which include Maize, Soya beans, Groundnuts, Rice and Pigeon Peas in the Northern and/or Central Regions of Malawi.

Priority will be given to concepts that demonstrate strategic collaboration across the whole value chain of the crops mentioned above through working consortium approaches and catalytic to transform Malawi’s agriculture.


This RFCNs remains open for a period of 15 working days (from Date Issued to Expiration Date, shown above). Interested Institutions/organizations may submit their Applications any time up to the submission deadline. Early submission is strongly encouraged.

AGRA will hold information sessions to provide guidance on the type and quality of concept notes that will be accepted including focus areas and the AGRA theory of change. Only two representatives from each organization will be accepted.

The sessions will be held as follows:

  • Wednesday December 6th, 2017 – Sunbird Capital Hotel, Lilongwe
  • Friday December 8th, 2017– Sunbird Mzuzu Hotel, Mzuzu

All sessions are planned to start at 8:30am with registration of participants starting at 8:00am.

To participate in the information meeting kindly register through email to MKayira@agra.org; NSangole@agra.org copying SChitedze@agra.org and indicate which session your organization would like to attend.

Institutions/organizations/firms must follow the instructions mentioned below and must submit their applications using the proposal concept note template that can be downloaded on the AGRA website at the link: http://bit.ly/2xKbVMl 2. Only those Institutions/organizations/firms whose applications AGRA determines to be qualifying and of interest will be contacted for further details on the project implementation modalities. 3. AGRA will not return any applications submitted. 5. The submission deadline is at 5pm Local Time, 15th December, 2017. Applications made after this deadline will not be considered.


  1. Applications must identify activity using descriptive activity Title.
  2. The Application must be in word.
  3. The Application must include the following statements: (a) Period of funding requested – this must not go beyond 31st July 2021, (b) Funding level expected from AGRA, (c) Whether organization will co-finance any costs using other source of funding (d) List existing projects and sources of funding.
  4. Applications in response to this RFCNs must be addressed to: rfcn@agra.org with a heading: “Malawi RfCN 2017/01_Name of Institution Leading the Application” on the subject. Additionally, any inquiry pertinent to this RFCN should be addressed to rfcn@agra.org with a subject, “Malawi RfCN 2017/01 Inquiry”.
  5. Applications received after Expiration Date (above) will not be considered.