CTA Top 20 Innovations for Smallholder farmers Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

Closing date 15 February 2014


1      Background information

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food and nutrition security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries. It facilitates access to information and knowledge; supports evidence-based, multi-stakeholder development of agricultural policies and strategies; promotes inclusive value chain development and use of ICTs; and strengthens the capacities of agricultural and rural development institutions and communities.


Smallholder production systems in ACP countries are performing far below the levels required to sustain livelihoods, reduce poverty and contribute to the attainment of food and nutrition security and ecological sustainability. Research results and technologies that have been developed in universities and research institutes are said to “remain on the shelf”. Farmer “innovations” are sometimes ignored and generally not valued or promoted.

While it is recognized that, a complex package of inputs, support systems and management practices would be required to achieve the desired results; there is need to unleash the innovation potential of ACP scientists, engineers and farmers make visible the knowledge that remain out of reach of the majority of farmers in most ACP countries.

This project aims to boost the awareness of the many technological and other innovations “low-hanging fruits” that ACP research organizations, universities, extension services and farmers have developed and are being used in ACP countries. By documenting and publicizing these ‘high-potential innovations’ that do not require complicated new management practices, that are endorsed by other experts and farmers themselves, are easy to adopt and can be further adapted, the project expects to raise the profile among policy makers of extension, research and education organizations, and furthermore, establish a convincing evidence base for allocating sufficient budget support to these organizations.


CTA is calling for proposals on innovations in use or have potential in smallholder agricultural production systems in ACP countries and which if known and widely promoted can benefit other farming communities.  From among the applicants, an international jury, comprising a multi-disciplinary team of experts drawn from agricultural research, academia, extension and farmers’ organizations will select a shortlist (40-50) which will then be voted on by farmers. The final top 20 will be selected by an international panel of experts.  Successful applicants (CTA top 20) will be given a grant of 5,000 Euros to elaborate their ‘innovation’ as a guidebook (for which they will receive support from the jury members); and invited to a cross-learning workshop where they will also work with an editor and an artist to finalize the guidebook which explains the innovation and the design of a brochure and a poster which can be disseminated to the public at large (for use, inter alia, by extension agents).

All materials will be made available in English and French, and will be widely distributed in ACP countries.  A media campaign will be organized to draw to the attention of the public and policy makers of the possibilities that these innovations carry to significantly improve smallholders’  lives.

A maximum of € 100 000 is available for this grant.


Applicant can be organizations such as research institutes, extension agencies, farmers’ organizations and NGOs, or individuals working with such organizations.  The innovations need to be well-articulated using the format provided, and proof that this innovation has been adopted by farmers or has the potential to benefit famers in ACP countries is necessary.


Template and content of the proposal

The language used for the call for proposals and for all documents must be English or French.  Interested persons/organization should submit only one proposal(s) of maximum three pages long. The proposal should include:

  1. Reference of the call (i.e., “Call for Proposals: Top 20 Agricultural Innovations for smallholder farmers”)
  2. The Title of the innovation and Type/category (university, research or farmer – led)
  3. Name of author(s) and organisation/affiliation
  4. Full contact details for lead author/main contact person (full mailing address, telephone and email).
  5. A brief biography (150 words) explaining why the author, or group of authors, is/are the right person(s) to write about this innovation or the owners and co-owners of the innovation. Specify source of the idea for the innovation and present ownership or any proprietary rights that may exist concerning its development and use.
  6. A short abstract on the innovation (150 words).
  7. A brief description of the innovation including history, what problem it sought to address, the practicalities of its development, investments made, implementation and use, adoption by smallholder farmers, benefits gained by farmers and developers and its spread. Two pages approximately 400 – 450 words per page.
  8. A description (150 words) of the target group including type of farmers (cropping/intercropping patterns, livestock production systems, fisheries/aquaculture, forestry) for which the innovation would be relevant and why.
  9. A description (200 words) of the impact that the innovation has had and can have on other smallholder farmers, both in terms of impact on incomes/nutrition/risk management of smallholder families, and in terms of the absolute number of smallholder farmers worldwide who can benefit of the innovation.
  10. Testimonial from a farmer/farmers group with full contact details of farmer/farmers’ group.

Proposals have to be sent by email at the following address: ctatop20@cta.int.  They have to reach CTA no later than 15 February 2014, 20:00 GMT.


6.1   Eligibility

·      Participation in this call is open equally to any natural and legal person from the ACP States and the Member States of the European Union contributing to the EDF; from official EU candidate countries and member States of the European Economic Area; from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) according to OECD/DAC; from any other country covered by a European Commission decision establishing reciprocal access to external aid – as the region covered by this proposal includes LDCs, this automatically includes all OECD/DAC members; and to international organizations wherever they have their seat.

·      Subcontracting is not authorised.

6.2      Procedure

— Step 1  Submission of the proposal

By email sent to ctatop20@cta.int, as per the details in point 5 above.

Step 2  Review process

Proposals will be reviewed and selected by an expert jury (see section 6.3 for evaluation criteria).

Contracts are awarded to the applicants:

  • Who meets the eligibility rules;
  • And who are among the 20 highest-scoring of the applicants.

Applicants whose proposals are accepted will be notified in writing no later than 30 March 2014.

The other applicants are informed by letter that their submissions were not accepted.

The contract awarding notice is published on the CTA website (www.cta.int).

— Step 3  Signing of the contract

Contracts will be drawn up by CTA, according to its relevant terms and conditions.  The successful applicant must sign, date and return the contract to the respective organization within 14 days after receipt thereof.

If the successful applicant does not comply with this obligation, the decision to award the contract may be reversed.  In such a case, CTA may award the contract to another applicant.



Download DOC (75.50 kB)

One thought on “CTA Top 20 Innovations for Smallholder farmers Call for Proposals”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s