REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST-Development Of Improved Rainfed Agriculture Based On Water Harvesting Techniques For Rice Production In The Nasia-Nabogo Inland Valley

  1. Introduction

The project has identified 10,000ha of land best suited to the development of improved rainfed agriculture based on water harvesting techniques for rice production in the inland valleys. These areas were first identified from the LiDAR and orthophoto maps and then confirmed with field visits to verify their suitability for rice farming and ability to support improved rain-fed systems, such as on-site storage to supplement rain-fed supplies and improved water management. 
The areas were also selected to ensure that all sites are reasonably accessible and in close proximity to the main population centers and support facilities along the main Tamale-Navrongo road, so that potential investors can be assured of access to labor and markets.

2. Objectives

The objective of this Expression of interest is to invite  investors who are interested in  cultivating  rice  in  a demarcated and mapped  10,000 ha  of  land  identified  by  GCAP and deemed to be suitable for improved rain-fed rice cultivation.  GCAP is ready to provide the  appropriate  water  retention  infrastructure  to  support prospects with bankable business plans, among other criteria.
Data on the identified 10,000 ha of land is available at www.gcap.org.gh.

3. Competitive Matching Grant

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture now invites potential investors to indicate their interest in a competitive matching grant scheme based on a set of eligibility criteria for which there is evidence of accessibility to the land within the identified 10,000 ha and willingness to work with farmers from the community as contract farmers/outgrowers to leverage private sector investments in the Nasia-Nabogo inland valleys with a focus on increased production of rice. 
The grants will be directed to private investors that are mainly proven farmers ready to operate in a greenfield with feasible and bankable business plans.
The intent of this matching grant is to fund proven farmers by providing them with targeted quality services that will increase the production of rice using smallholders. The investors will be expected to integrate smallholder farmers into the inputs, output and farm equipment services in a continual basis for at least 5 years. 
The grant amount per investor would be based on a sound business plan and the outcome of a negotiation with GCAP grants team.
4.         Eligible activities that will be funded
GCAP funding will be based on the approved business plan and subsequently negotiated items/activities in the budget.
However each approved business plan must have the following key elements necessary for improved rain-fed rice production.

  1. Water harvesting structures  meant to provide water for supplementary irrigation during the rainy season and water for dry season farming.  This will include the following:
    1. Weirs and check dams as well as dykes, drains, embankments and bunds (including bunds for flood control) in the lower part of the valley.
    2. Diversion weirs, embankments, ponds, canals and spillways for the upper part of the valley
  2. Land development for ensuring that virgin land can be fully mechanized.  This is for one cropping during the rainy season. It could involve as necessary removing of trees and roots, stumping, land levelling, land smoothing, etc.

The design and construction supervision of the   water  harvesting  structures will be carried out by Messrs Agriconsulting Europe (AESA), a consulting firm engaged by GCAP to develop identified sites in the Nasia-Nabogo inland valleys, using contractors pre-qualified by GCAP.
5.         Eligibility Criteria 
Eligible criteria that will guide the selection of Investors for the Nasia-Nabogo Inland Valley Matching Grant Scheme will include the following:

  1. Track record of successful commercial rice farming in Ghana, preferably in the SADA zone.
  2. Evidence of land secured with title or lease agreement or MOU signed by the relevant Chief and Community Representatives (within the GCAP-demarcated 10,000ha in the Nasia-Nabogo Valley), or other evidence to show that the Investor has secured and has legal title by way of a lease or otherwise for the land, which must be a minimum of 100ha.
  3. Evidence of enough financial resources to match the grant and to operate the business.
  4. Evidence of experience to manage the grant and the business.
  5. A bankable business plan that provides a clear, comprehensive, and compelling business case that is technically, financially and economically feasible/viable. The business plan must also provide a timeline for developing the site for rice production and assuring reasonable profitability.
  6. Evidence of previous experience working with contract farmers/outgrowers and commitment to work with contract farmers/outgrowers with a significant number coming from the host community.

6.         Investor conference
Interested investors and contractors are invited to participate in an Investor’s Conference onThursday 26th February 2015 in Tamale. The conference is targeted  at  the  investors  who  wish to cultivate  rice  within the GCAP-demarcated 10,000ha in the Nasia-Nabogo Valley with  the  appropriate  water  retention  infrastructure  to  support  their  rain fed  agriculture.  Contractors wishing to bid for the design and construction of the water harvesting structures are also encouraged to participate.
7.         Other information
Further information on the matching grant scheme can be obtained at the address below during office hours i.e. 0900 to 1700 hours.
All investors and contractors interested in participating in the pre-bidding and very informative conference should contact The Project Officer at the GCAP office located at the Cashew Block (around the Juvenile Court, Riviera Beach). Tel: +233-050-1341709.
8.         Submission
Expressions of interest must be delivered in a written form to the address below (in person, or by mail, or by fax, or by e-mail) by 10.00HRS Friday 27th March, 2015.

The Project Coordinator, 
Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project
Ministry of Food and Agriculture
CASHEW Block (around Juvenile Court, Riviera Beach), Accra
P. O. Box M.37, Accra, Ghana

Tel.: +233-302-666567;
Fax: + 233-302-668245

Email: alabibortey@gmail.com

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