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  Agribusiness Support Fund        GlobalG.A.P Member/Host NTWGs
  September 01, 2014
 
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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Matching Grant?
  2. Who are eligible to apply for ASF grant?
  3. What sort of activities are eligible for grant funding?
  4. What are Agribusinesses ?
  5. What are Business Development Services (BDS)?
  6. What are Business Development Services Providers (BDSPs) ?
  7. Who will find Business Development Service Provider (BDSP) for my business?
  8. What is Farmers Enterprise?
  9. What are Farmer Enterprise Groups?
  10. What are Agricultural Extension Services ?
  11. Can I apply for a grant to acquire fixed asset?
  12. How much grant amount I can apply for?
  13. Where can I submit grant application?
  14. Do I have to deposit any security deposit alongwith application?
  15. My application is approved, when will I receive grant funds?

What is a Matching Grant ?
Matching grants are a partial (maximum 50%) contribution towards expenditure incurred by agribusiness entrepreneurs on purchase of Business Development Services (BDS).

Matching grants are financial incentives provided to agribusiness entrepreneurs in order to overcome barriers to usage of BDS. It is hoped that, these TEMPORARY subsidies will encourage firms, who do not commonly use BDS, to try a service, which they might be too risk-averse to try at full price. At the same time, the increase in demand will stimulate suppliers to develop and improve service products for agribusiness market.

It is expected that, once both parties experience positive business transactions, they will continue to exchange BDS without further subsidy. ASF will also undertake initiatives to link BDS suppliers in the market, who do not commonly serve agribusinesses, with agribusiness enterprises.

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Who are eligible to apply for ASF Grant?
Following individuals and enterprises are eligible to receive ASF grants:

  • Any private sector person or enterprise whose revenues are currently predominantly earned from engagement in agribusiness.
  • Any private sector person or enterprise that intends to start to engage in agribusiness.
  • Any private sector person or enterprise engaged in the provision of business development services to agribusiness.
  • Any private sector person or enterprise that is engaged in research in the agriculture or agribusiness sector on behalf of a private sector individual or enterprise engaged in agribusiness.
  • Any private sector person or enterprise that is engaged in the provision of extension services in the agriculture or agribusiness sector on behalf of a private sector individual or enterprise engaged in agribusiness.
  • Any non-government organisation (NGO) engaged in the provision of rural support services, specifically with experience in community mobilisation and the formation of groups.
  • Any farmers’ group enterprise formed through the assistance of an eligible NGO as defined above whose revenues will be predominantly earned from engagement in agribusiness or in the production of commodities that may be further processed and to which value is added by other individuals or enterprises engaged in agribusiness.

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What sort of activities are eligible for grant funding?
Any service that leads to outputs for a new, specifically identified market or that develops new products or adds value to existing products are eligible for ASF funding. ASF grant funding is broadly categorized as follows:

  • Capacity building and related assistance to agribusiness enterprises and for start-up enterprises. The grants are provided to agribusiness enterprises for purchase of BDS.
  • Support to private sector BDS providers to enhance the availability and quality of services to agribusiness enterprises.
  • Support to individual farmers and farmer groups for the formation of agribusiness enterprises that can then obtain ASF support for eligible services.
  • Demand-driven research by private or public institutions leading to enhanced quality production and improved production processes, or to meet an identified market demand.
  • Development of private sector extension services to be provided to farmers serving or proposing to serve agribusiness enterprises.

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What are Agribusinesses ?
ASF defines Agribusinesses as “all enterprises that assemble, process and transform raw agricultural commodities into final products for distribution to local and international consumers”

ASF works in the following Agribusiness Sub-Sectors

  • Fresh Horticulture (All fruits & vegetables – Processed to increase shelf life)
  • Floriculture (ornamental) products
    Processed horticultural products (frozen, canned, dehydrated, freshly cut, in brine etc)
  • Processed dairy products
  • Processed Meats & Livestock Products
  • High Value Agricultural products suited to small farms (high quality wood, vanilla, black pepper, saffron & other spices).

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What are Business Development Services (BDS)?
“Business Development Services (BDS)” are a wide range of services used by individual entrepreneurs to help them operate and improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete.

Business Development Services include training, consultancy and advisory services (financial advisory, legal, managerial etc), marketing assistance (brand development, sales strategies, marketing plans etc), technology development and transfer, and business linkage promotion.

ASF will fund only those BDS, which can be implemented rapidly and can be expected to show measurable and sustainable results leading to higher productivity, greater efficiency or increased sales or sales margins that will produce proportionally higher financial gains for the beneficiary within 18 to 24 months of the start of implementation. The minimum ratio of cost of BDS to incremental financial gain within the first 24 months should not be less than 1 to 3 (in practice, very much higher ratios are normally observed).

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What are Business Development Services Providers (BDSPs) ?
Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) range from individuals working part-time in the informal sector, to large formal sector companies and institutions, providing Business Development Services (BDS) to businesses.

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Who will find Business Development Service Provider (BDSP) for my business?
The selection of the BDSP is the responsibility of the applicant. However, ASF has the right to veto a BDSP if it has any doubts about the ability of the nominated BDS provider to undertake and complete the task satisfactorily, or if there is any doubt that there is a genuine arms-length commercial relationship between the agribusiness enterprise and the BDSP.In offering to provide a grant, ASF in no way guarantees the quality of the service that will be financed by the grant. Equally, ASF accepts no liability to you or any third party for any damage or incidental costs relating to the implementation of the service financed by the grant or for any activities related to it or driving from it.

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What is Farmers Enterprise?
A Farm Enterprise is any commercially viable agribusiness, operated primarily by individual farmers in conjunction with a bona fide agricultural, horticultural, pastoral or aquacultural operation and is involved in processing of raw agri products for human consumption or semi-processing for production of additional value added products. Activities of a farm enterprise may include secondary processing and/or retail sale of agricultural, horticultural, or silvicultureal products as well as other activities.

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What are Farmers Enterprise Groups?
A farmers enterprise group, is established and managed by a group of individual farmers in order to meet the mutual needs of its owner / members. The main aim of the group is to unite separate and independent farmers, in order to help them pool their activities, become more competitive through economies of scale and so increase their individual income and security on the market. Thus the group exists to solve specific agribusiness support problems, such as securing access to loans, insurance or advisory services. It is a local level, informal, self-governing, self-financing, voluntary organisation, whose members are not forced to join and can withdraw their membership.

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What are Agricultural Extension Services?
Agricultural extension services are public and private sector activities relating to technology transfer, education, attitude change, human resource development, and dissemination and collection of information. Agricultural extension services bring to the farming community information and new technologies, that can be adopted to improve production, incomes and standards of living.

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Can I apply for a grant to acquire fixed asset?
No, ASF Grant does not cover the Equipment/Capital Expenditure, except for purchase of software.

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How much grant amount I can apply for?
Under normal circumstances, a maximum limit of Rs.1,500,000 will apply to all grants (effectively equivalent to a total service cost of Rs.3,000,000). A single grant recipient can apply for more than one grant under special circumstances. Demand-driven research and private sector extension services providers may apply for higher amounts.

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Where can I submit grant application?
Grant Application can be directly submitted on prescribed format to Agribusiness Support Fund, Head Office,144,CCA,Defence Housing Authority, Lahore or the participating organizations. The Prescribed Grant Application Form can be obtained from the same offices as mentioned above or can be downloaded from our web site.
Click here to Download Grant Application Form.

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Do I have to deposit any security deposit alongwith application?
Yes, a refundable security deposit of Rs.10,000/- is required to be submitted alongwith all grant applications. Farmer Groups will be required to deposit Rs. 5,000/- as security deposit.

The payment can be made through crossed Cheque/Pay Order/ Demand Draft favoring "Agribusiness Support Fund". Applications received with out security deposit will not be entertained.

For all the instruments payable outside Lahore, the refund of security deposit will be made net of bank charges. The security deposit will be forfeited if applicant fails to complete the activities for which the grant was provided.

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My application is approved, when will I receive grant funds?
The method and timing of payment of a grant will be at the discretion of the applicant, as follows:

  • On a reimbursable basis under which the recipient will incur all identified costs related to the service and, subject to satisfactory completion of service delivery, will be reimbursed for 50% of the identified costs.
  • In advance of the purchase of the service in question subject to the applicant providing a bank guarantee in favour of ASF for the amount of the grant. All charges relating to the provision of such a guarantee will be met by the applicant not by ASF.

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