The Call for Proposals under the fourth cycle of projects to be funded through the Benefit-sharing Fund of the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is now open. All developing countries that are Contracting Parties to the International Treaty are eligible to apply for funding under the Benefit-sharing Fund (BSF), which will invest at least USD 5 million in projects over the next four years.
“Projects selected for Benefit-sharing Fund support under this Call for Proposals will focus on responding to the needs of the poorest, most vulnerable segments of society, and those furthest behind in terms of development,” said Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the International Treaty. “By responding to the needs of these segments of society, the projects are expected to also contribute towards the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
The overarching goal of the Fourth Call for Proposals is to enable farmers around the world use and conserve adapted varieties, leading to increased productivity, on-farm incomes and nutrient-rich food, as well as enhanced resilience to production shocks and reduced adverse impacts to the environment. This Call for Proposals also emphasizes new partnerships, including bringing technology and knowledge to the community and farm levels, and highlighting the important role of women in biodiversity management, farming and rural development.
This BSF project cycle will fund both single country projects (maximum funding/project: USD 250 000) and multi-country projects (maximum funding/project: USD 450 000) for a duration of 18 months to 48 months.
Eligible applicants include governmental and non-governmental organizations, including farmers and farmers’ organizations, genebanks and research institutions, as well as regional and international organizations based in developing countries that are Contracting Parties to the International Treaty. Partners of the projects that are selected will be funded to work together to establish and strengthen linkages between projects and across Regions.
The International Treaty will provide a “helpdesk” in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, offering practical and technical information to support applicants throughout the Call for Proposals. Applications will be assessed by an independent Panel of Experts against pre-established criteria, including experience and capacity of applicant organizations to contribute towards the programme goals, outcomes and targets.
The deadline for submitting pre-proposals for the Fourth BSF Call for Proposals is 01 March 2018.
The funds available for this Cycle of BSF projects reflect the growing trend of the BSF to diversify its funding sources by including contributions from a developing country (Indonesia) and from the private sector (in particular, the European Seed Association, the International Seed Federation and the French seed sector), in addition to voluntary contributions from the European Union, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Australia, Italy, Norway and Sweden. The BSF will continue to accept financial contributions for the Fourth Call of Proposals to increase the funds available.
To date, the International Treaty’s Benefit-sharing Fund has invested more than USD 20 million in 61 projects in 55 developing countries over three project cycles, positively impacting the lives of about 1 million people. BSF projects have supported the development, testing and use of climate ready crops, resulting in over 3000 important food crop varieties now available to the international scientific and breeding community under the International Treaty’s Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing.
More information about the Fourth Call for Proposals of the Benefit-sharing Fund is available on the International Treaty website at http://www.fao.org/plant-treaty/areas-of-work/benefit-sharing-fund/fourthcall/en/