USAID/Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity

Request for Applications (RFA) No. 2021-04-41


Solar Pump Technology in Small-Scale Irrigation Technology (SSIT) to Smallholder Farmers

 Issuance Date:                                   April 28, 2021

Applicant mobilization campaign:  April 26-30, 2021

Deadline for Questions:                    Friday May 7, 2021

Deadline for Submissions:                Friday May 14, 2021

Dear Applicant,                                                                                      

The USAID/Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity (Hinga Weze) is releasing a Request for Applications (RFA) to award grants to irrigation-focused cooperatives of smallholder farmers (less than 5 hectares (ha) per farmer) to improve irrigation efficiency through the application of mobile solar-powered pumps to assist farmers to have access to water and increase their yields.

The grants will be awarded and implemented in accordance with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and US Government regulations governing grants and Hinga Weze internal grants management policies. Grants will only be awarded to agriculture-based cooperatives or farmer groups located in non-irrigated but fertile lowlands areas. Additional details on eligibility criteria, grant program objectives, and more can be found in the following sections of the RFA:

  • Section I: Program Description
  • Section II: Eligibility
  • Section III: Application Submission Information
  • Section IV: Evaluation, Selection, and Award Information
  • Section V: Terms and Conditions

For any questions during the grant application process, please contact the Hinga Weze grants team at grants@cnfarwanda.orgThe application template is attached to the RFA.

Section I. Program Description


Hinga Weze is a five-year USAID-funded activity implemented by CNFA. The primary objective of Hinga Weze is to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve the nutritional status of Rwandan women and children, and increase the resilience of the agriculture and food systems to the changing climate. The program is comprised of the following three interrelated components:

Component 1: Increasing agricultural productivity

Component 2: Increasing farmers’ access to markets

Component 3: Improving nutritional outcome of agriculture interventions


Access to water for irrigation is a major determinant of agricultural productivity in arid or semi-arid areas where rain is scarce. The stability of yields and household livelihoods are dependent on access to water. Irrigation is often only one of several sources of a household’s income from agricultural activities besides rain-fed cropping and livestock activities.

Productivity of irrigated land may be more than double that of rain-fed land considering other factors. A key constraint faced by smallholder farmers in applying small-scale irrigation technology (SSIT) is the lack of access to capital sources for the intensification of their agricultural activities through irrigation, thus preventing their production increase.

In order to achieve increased resilience of the agriculture and food systems to the changing climate component objectives, Hinga Weze plans to provide grants for mobile solar powered pumps that are suitable for smallholder farmers. These are pumps commonly used to pump water from any water source within boreholes, lakes, or rivers/streams and within suction basins in rural areas as an alternative to electrical energy. Unlike electrical energy, mobile solar pumps do not have high costs to operate, nor do they have significant maintenance needs. The pumps are termed “mobile” because farmers are easily able to move them after irrigating a particular area to an adjoining area by trolleys or hands and then re-establish them again in a suitable elevated area with access to water. The pumps should be mobile and easy to transport for 1-2 individuals. It should have all fittings to properly connect or irrigate from a water source.

Hinga Weze is targeting to increase yields of farming households by developing 125 ha with SSIT suitable for smallholder farmers with a focus on four districts (Gatsibo, Kayonza, Ngoma, and Bugesera) in Eastern province that are especially prone to drought. Other districts could be considered on a case-by-case basis.

(1) Objectives:

It is in this regard, on behalf of USAID, that Hinga Weze is soliciting applications under its grant fund to apply for the four types of the mobile solar pumps identified by Hinga Weze to enable smallholder farmers to have access to water and increase their yields.

(2) Grant Activities:

Hinga Weze will award in-kind grants with mobile solar-powered pumps suitable for smallholder farmers located in lowland area in Gatsibo, Kayonza, Ngoma, and Bugesera districts.

The following table provides information on targeted district and number of ha:

DistrictArea (ha) to be identified
Total area (Ha)125

USAID/Hinga Weze has identified the following four types of mobile solar pumps.

NoTypes of pumpBrand
1.       PS2-1800 CS-F12-2Lorentz or equivalent
2.       PS2-600 CS-F4-3Lorentz or equivalent
3.       PS2-100Lorentz or equivalent
4.       0.5HP (373W) solar pumpEnnos Sunlight Pump or equivalent

The three Lorentz pump are not included in the SSIT subsidy program. The identified pumps are light in weight and can give adequate water for irrigation. However, the applicants are invited to propose other suitable types of mobile solar pumps they have identified.

The pumps will be protected by a metallic box with a foldable roof that holds solar panels in line with the pump’s energy capacity. The foldable solar PV panel roof will consist of a number of solar panels pieces respectively.  Each trolley will have two or more wheels to support stable, easy movement for farmers to move the assembled pump from one irrigation suction point to another. Farmers will have an option to make the system fixed. To do so, it will require the shelter fence, the suction chamber, and installation of anti-lightening thunder. The mobile pumps will draw water from boreholes that are connected to consistent water source(s) such as rivers/streams or lakes. Each water borehole will be at least 4m by 4m and the number of boreholes will depend on the size of the site.

Hinga Weze grant awards through this RFA will include the following items

1Solar-Powered PumpSolar Pump (as described below)  
2Solar PV PanelSolar PV Panel and their fixing should be foldable solar panels  at the top of the pump assembled in the wheeled trolley,
3Trolleys in metallic tubes to accommodate assembled solar pumpTrolley assembling tubes 40*40mm, will be used for fabrication of metallic and triangular cage for accommodating assembled surface solar pump.
4Wheels for trolleyEach trolley needs two or more wheels to support stable movement for farmers to move assembled pump on wheeled trolley from one irrigation suction point to another.
5Pipes, valves and fittingsNeeded pipes, valves and fittings to support to have access to water.
6Fencing shelter/storage of mobile pumps assembled in wheeled trolleyFencing of where mobile solar pump will be stored.
7Suction borehole/suction chamberEach suction water borehole should have three points of suction boreholes/suction chamber. Metallic and perforated drum.
8Metallic mesh wireMetallic mesh of 6mm thickness will be used for covering sides of the trolley, protecting pump assembled and fixed inside the wheeled trolley
9Installation of irrigation infrastructureInstallation of pipe network connecting to assembled pumps in wheeled trolleys with suction pipe to suction borehole/suction chamber, labor, technical personnel, transport, communication testing, training, commissioning, handover, etc.
10Post-harvest and handling supplieso   Crateso   Agriculture InputsTo reduce post-harvest losses, fertilizers, seeds for demo plots
11Business Plan Training and CoachingHinga Weze will provide business plan training for anticipated beneficiaries. Hinga Weze will follow-up during the course of the activities implementation to ensure farmers are properly executing business plan. Workshops will be conducted at sector level due to COVID measures. Anticipated 3 days of business plan development and at least 10 days during activities, per group, for follow-up.
12Water Pump SpecialistCooperative/farmers need to elect one person who will be in charge of maintaining water pump(s). They will give up to five days of their time for proper training of water use and maintenance and repair of the pump/systems.

Anticipated Award Amount: 1,500,000 – 2,500,000 RWF per ha. per grant

 Anticipated Period of Performance: 6 months (Starting in June 2020)

(3)  Roles and Responsibilities

a.    Hinga Weze Responsibilities

  • Provide solar-powered system (mobile or fixed pumps) to farmers through the grant fund. Hinga Weze will contribute 50% for items which are under Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) subsidy and 75% for items not eligible for SSIT contract funding. Hinga Weze will strive to work with farmers to assist them to provide their contribution, whether it be cash or in-kind, to ensure farmers ownership.
  • Train farmers on operation maintenance, capacity building on water user committees on saving and water usage, post-harvest and handling and access to market
  • Conduct site visits to ensure farmers and service providers are completing responsibilities
  • Monitor and ensure the quality of materials and supplies installed by service provider
  • Fulfill Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RAB in providing SSIT to farmers
  • Monitor farmers and service providers to ensure both groups are completing responsibilities
  • Facilitate linkages between farmers and financial institutions, farmers and service providers

b.    Farmer’s responsibilities 

  • Apply for grant using grant application template
  • To submit legal documents of cooperative or farmers’ group.
  • To provide his/her contribution
  • To be responsible regarding the security of the installed supplies
  • Commitment for the proper use of irrigation supplies requested
  • To provide space to install irrigation supplies with no other reimbursement.
  • To be responsible after commissioning and provide consumables needed in due course
  • Register as a cooperative (which includes having ALL members participate in the necessary training)
  • Provide fertilizers and other inputs such as seeds
  • Coordinating the harvest of production
  • Selling of crop production
  • Securing market for members’ production
  • Participate in the selection of irrigation supplies of farmer’s choice
  • Discussion with identified service provider on supply, installation, training, work together in extension for maintenance on the possibility of availing spare parts nearby.
  • Participation in validation of the irrigation design and implementation plan
  • Participation in discussion with financial institutions to access loan to cover farmer’s contribution if needed.
  • Contract negotiation with financial institution which will include loan recovery, timeline and payment terms and conditions.
  • Monitoring the implementation and installation of irrigation schemes
  • Participate in evaluation of implementation of irrigation activities completed by service providers.
  • Participation in handover activities

(3) Required Grant Applicant Contribution:

Hinga Weze highly recommends a contribution by the applicant of at least 25% or more of the total grant value as described below. Contributions help to ensure that applicants are both committed to achievement of the activity and financially capable to implement and sustain the activity after the grant agreement ends.

Hinga Weze contribution will be as follows:

Scenario 1: With availability of RAB subsidy facility:

  • RAB contribution: 50%
  • Hinga Weze contribution: 25%
  • Grantee contribution: 25%

Scenario 2: Without RAB subsidy facility

  • Hinga Weze contribution: 75%
  • Grantee contribution: 25%


Hinga Weze grant awards are made under the authority of the US Foreign Affairs Act, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (2 CFR 200), and USAID’s Automated Directive System (ADS) Chapter 303, “Grants and Cooperative Agreements to Non-Governmental Organizations.” Grants administered under Hinga Weze will adhere to the terms of the applicable USAID Standard and Required as Applicable Provisions, as well as Hinga Weze grants procedures.

Hinga Weze is required to ensure that all applicants receiving USAID grant funds comply with the requirements found in these regulations, as applicable to the respective terms and conditions of individual grant awards. Under the Hinga Weze grants program, USAID will retain the right, at all times, to terminate, in whole or in part, Hinga Weze grant-making authorities or any grants in progress.

Section II. Eligibility


  • Be a legally registered Rwandan cooperative with the Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) and submit proof of registration OR be willing to register as a cooperative
  • Note – a cooperative can apply for a grant if they are currently in the process of being registered with RCA by submitting the registration documents submitted to the RCA, sector or district level.
  • Willing to collaborate with the Hinga Weze and maintain a positive working relationship;
  • Be willing to apply for RAB subsidy through the relevant district
  • Have strong willingness and engagement for irrigation
  • Farmers should be located in lowland elevation, have access to water potential for irrigation
  • Farmers should present land ownership or possess the official permission to use the land for agriculture practice.
  • Contributes at least 25% (in cash) toward the cost of any requested grant value;
    • Note – the applicant will be required to deposit their portion of the funding PRIOR to receiving the supplies. No exceptions.
  • Demonstrate female and youth inclusion in cooperative or farmer group membership
  • Submit a complete list of cooperative or farmer group members


  • Have organizational objectives which contribute to Hinga Weze’s objectives and results; 
  • Submit an application responding to Hinga Weze’s requirements and conditions; 
  • Be committed to adhering to high ethical business standards, including transparency in business dealings and record keeping; 
  • Demonstrate ability and/or willingness to learn how to maintain business, financial, and technical records, either manually or electronically; 
  • Ensure compliance with relevant environmental protection requirements;
  • Complete and pass a site-visit and pre-award assessment;  
  • Agree to the terms and conditions of the Mandatory Standard Provisions and Required as Applicable Provisions for Non-US NGOs, if applicable; and 
  • Certify that the organization/individual is not debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment from receipt of USG funds.


The following entities are not eligible for grant funds:

  • An entity having as key staff a direct relative (spouse, child, parent or brother/sister/sibling) of CNFA (including Hinga Weze) or USAID staff;
  • Any entity or member that appears on the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons list or in the System for Award Management (SAM) database;
  • Entities or members engaged in any activities related to Trafficking in Persons;
  • Entities or members engaged, transacting with, or providing resources to individuals or organizations associated with terrorism;
  • Entities which have been debarred, suspended, or otherwise considered ineligible for an award by the US Government.

III. Application Submission Information


Hinga Weze will host two free applicant workshop or outreach in the four districts in partnership with the district and RAB authorities in respective areas where farmers are located. The workshop will allow potential applicants the opportunity to learn more about the RFA requirements, and to ask any questions. Interested farmers who would like to attend the workshop should notify Hinga Weze by emailing the grant team at before May 5, 2021 and a detailed workshop timeline will be shared with them.

Mobilization will be conducted at the site of farmers groups/ cooperatives during their general assembly meetings in the four districts stated above.


Any questions related to this RFA must be submitted to no later than 1:00pm, CAT, on Friday May 7, 2021.

Grant applications will be accepted only in the application format given in the attached Grant Application. Applications and any required supporting documentation should be submitted no later than 5:00pm CAT, on Friday, May 14, 2021. Applicants must strictly adhere to the requirements of this RFA.

Electronic applications should be submitted to, with the RFA number in the email title. Hard-copy applications should be in a sealed envelope, with the RFA number on the envelope (NO NAMES) when submitted to any Hinga Weze district or Kigali offices. Applicants should be sure to request a confirmation of receipt from Hinga Weze when submitting applications, to ensure their submission was received.

Applications received after the specified time and date will be considered late and will be considered only at the discretion of CNFA.

IV. Evaluation, Selection, and Award Information

All applications submitted in response to this solicitation will be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria:

Technical Approach Accessibility to water Possessing suitable land with low level of elevation not more than 40m for the mobile or fixed pumps capacities Ability to impact large number of farmers (especially women, youth, and people with disabilities) Justification showing the distance in respect of buffer zone related to lakes and rivers shores.How the applicant aligns the technical approach with environmental safeguardsThe feasibility of the proposed implementation plan25
Past PerformanceApplicant’s past experience of at least one year in agriculture activities25 
Sustainability Commercial viability of the proposed project; Prospects for long term growth25
Budget The applicant’s demonstrated organizational and financial capacity to contribute at least 25% of the total grant25

Once applications have been submitted to CNFA, members of the Hinga Weze Grant Selection Committee will evaluate applications in accordance with the above selection criteria. Applicants that pass evaluation will be contacted within 1-2 weeks after the submission deadline for a site visit. A site visit is conducted to confirm the accuracy of the application. Hinga Weze may contact the applicant to discuss details of the grant. A site visit and/or discussion on grant details is NOT a commitment to funding.

Within 90 days of submission deadline, applicants will be informed, by writing, if they have been approved or not for grant funding.

V. Terms and Conditions

Applicants understand, by submitting a response to this RFA, that application submission does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of Hinga Weze, nor does it commit Hinga Weze to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. Further, Hinga Weze reserves the right to accept or reject any or all applications received, as well as issue amendments revising the terms of this RFA before or after receipt of applications. In submitting an application, applicants understand that USAID is not a party to this solicitation and the applicant agrees that any communications regarding this solicitation will be conducted with Hinga Weze, and not USAID. Applicants will be informed in writing of the decision made regarding their application.


 Important Instructions:

  1. Fill out all the necessary information carefully and neatly;
  2. If space provided is insufficient, you may also use additional paper;
  3. Complete application form with accurate and verifiable information;
  4. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered for evaluation;
  5. For instructions on submitting completed applications, RFA Section III.B.

This Grant Application Form is available FREE OF CHARGE. Applicants are responsible for submitting their completed applications. Hinga Weze will not reimburse expenses associated with preparation and submission of application materials. Hinga Weze reserves the right to decline any application received.

Request for Applications (RFA)2021-04-41
Section A: General Information
1. Date of Application:
2. Name of Applicant/ Organization
3. Physical location of organization (District, Sector, Cell, Village)
4. District of Grant Activities (include Sector, Cell, Village, if possible)
5. Telephone/Fax/E-mail
6. Key Contact Person (person who will be responsible for communication between Hinga Weze and the applying organization/entity. Important:  Key Contact Person MUST have necessary signing/ approval authority of the applying organization/ entity.)NameTitlePhone Number   
7. Organization Type:
8. Year of Establishment (Existing Business) 
Section B. Brief History of Experience & Existing Business
9. Give a brief history of your existing business in agriculture. Provide previous relevant experience related to the proposed grant project
10. Clear description of existing business. Please describe the type of products, services your business engaged in before. Provide annual information about quantities of sales and profits of the most recent year using the adjacent table (in RWF).Category/Value chainProduction CostSelling PriceNet Profit                    Provide description of services/goods sold.
11. Organizational structure and personnel including gender (for example, Chair, Secretary, Finance, etc.)
12. Relationships with clients and markets12. a) What crops will you produce and what will be your target markets12. b) Do you have a contract or agreement with buyers? If yes, provide the list of buyersSpecify their names and locations.Client TypeTotal Estimate (per year)Location (District, Sector, Cell, Village)Other relevant informationSmallholder farmersFarming groupsAgricultural cooperativesProvide any additional relevant information.
14. Previous Third-Party Funding – Specify if the applicant has received any previous funding from the U.S. Government, or other donor funding through grants, etc. and total amount received per source.
C. Grant Application – Technical Portion
15. Grant Summary – Goals and Objectives. Please describe how your proposed project improves agricultural yield and other activities in your a
17. Projected Grant Activities. Describe HOW the goals/ objectives will be achieved.
18. Gender, Youth and PWD Strategy. Describe how the grant activity will include women, youth and people with disabilities. (i.e. how it will work towards gender/youth/PWD equality, etc.) 
E. Proposed Project Results
19. Monitoring and Evaluation – Project Indicators. Please fill out the indicators that Expected Outcomes and Assumptions. These are the expected outcomes/assumptions during the life of the grant. Indicator NumberIndicatorExpected TargetAssumptionsCustomNumber of hectares under improved practices for soil and water management as result of USG assistance  EG.3-1The number of households benefiting directly from USG assistance under Feed the future  CustomNumber of Smallholder Households increasing agricultural yields at least 50% over 5 years  EG.3.2-18Number of hectares under improved practices for soil and water management as result of USG assistance  19b. Describe estimated number of direct beneficiaries (please describe HOW project number of smallholder farmers will benefit from your project).
20. Expected project achievements (please describe in detail expected project outcomes.20a. Describe the impact of the business (increased productivity and production, awareness, etc.)
21. Business Plan: (For example, what are the operational costs to run the business (i.e. facilities, maintenance, electricity, water, staff)? How much profit does the applicant plan on making each year, for the next three years? How much will the applicant sell the produce for (per KG)? Note – if an applicant has any questions on business planning, please contact
D. Grant Application – Budget
22. Total Budget (in RWF)CNFA Contribution (75% of the total budget)RAB Contribution (50% of the total budget) if applicableApplicant Contribution (cash, third-party loan, investment partners, etc.Applicant Contribution (in-kind i.e. equipment, voluntary labor, etc.)Provide total source and total amount for all third-party contributions, if applicable:SourceDescription of Funding UseContribution Total (RWF)TOTAL
23. Detailed Budget – Applicant In-Kind Contribution – Description and proposed amount of applicant contribution (Please describe your contribution to the business. List facilities, equipment, buildings and other assets of the enterprise (owned and leased)).No.Description of ItemOwned/LeasedUnitQuantityEstimated Value (RWF)                                          
24. Detailed Budget – Cash ContributionProject budget and contribution of each party. Please describe contribution of each party to the project in-cash contribution. An example has been provided in the table below.No.DescriptionUnitUnit Cost (RWF)QuantityCNFA Contribution (RWF)Grantee ContributionCompany’s own funds (RWF)Third Party funds (RWF)1Mobile pumpPiece10,000,000110,000,0002                                        
25. Three References – Please provide three relevant, professional references. The references should be able to provide feedback on relevant work experience. They should not include friends or family members. No.Reference Name + OrganizationContact InformationConnection to Reference            

[End of Grant Application]


The following cover letter must be placed on letterhead and completed/signed/stamped by a representative authorized to sign on behalf of the applicant:

To:   Hinga Weze Grants Team

Kimihurura, former RPF secretariat on KG 28 Avenue No. 7, Kigali, Rwanda

Reference:        RFA no. 2021-04-41

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the undersigned, hereby provide the attached application to perform all work required to complete the activities and requirements as described in the above-referenced RFA. Please find our application attached.

We hereby acknowledge and agree to all terms, conditions, special provisions, and instructions included in the above-referenced RFA. We further certify that the below-named firm—as well as the firm’s principal officers and all commodities and services offered in response to this RFA—are eligible to participate in this grant under the terms of this solicitation and under USAID regulations.

Furthermore, we hereby certify that, to the best of our knowledge and belief:

  • We have no close, familial, or financial relationships with any CNFA or Hinga Weze staff members;
  • We have no close, familial, or financial relationships with any other applicants submitting proposals in response to the above-referenced RFA; and
  • The budget has been arrived at independently, without any consultation, communication, or agreement with any other applicant or competitor for the purpose of restricting competition.
  • All information in our application and all supporting documentation is authentic and accurate.
  • We understand and agree to CNFA’s prohibitions against fraud, bribery, and kickbacks.
  • We understand and agree to CNFA’s prohibitions against funding or associating with individuals or organizations engaged in terrorism or trafficking in persons activities.

We hereby certify that the enclosed representations, certifications, and other statements are accurate, current, and complete, and that the following documents are completed and attached along with this cover letter:

CheckDocumentsComments (if applicable)
 Grant Application with all questions answered. 
 Required Documentation – Copy of Applicant’s Business registration and required certificates including but not limited to: RCA registration or district recommendation or business license 
 Copy of land title or official permission of land use for agriculture 

Authorized Signatory:

Name and Title of Signatory:


Company Registration or Taxpayer ID Number:

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