Oficina Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe

Growing enthusiasm in farmers in applying for a SAMAP matching grant

From March 6, 2021 to March 18, more than 400 farmers, producers’ organizations and agribusinesses have already participated in information sessions about the Matching Grant Facility (MGF) organized by the Suriname Agriculture Market Access Project (SAMAP) in the districts of Paramaribo, Wanica, Saramacca, Commewijne, Marowijne, Brokopondo, Sipaliwini, Nickerie, Coronie and Para.

Information session in Brokopondo

The sessions were helpful in responding to questions of farmers on the application and submission process for a Small or Large Grants. Many of them also requested assistance to fill in the application forms. Due to the Covid-19, the events were implemented in observance of safety protocols.

"The Suriname Agriculture Market Access Project is the only project that offers practical support to production companies," said a participant of the information session in the district of Commewijne. In this second call, the demand for the Small and Large Grants, is greater than the first. Participants are above all interested in the support from SAMAP to expand their opportunities for improving their production. The Matching Grant Facility (MGF) is a competitive fund to support small farmers, producers’ organizations, cooperatives, agribusinesses and agro processors to improve the quantity and quality of their production and to better access markets in four priority sectors: fruits, vegetables, roots & tubers and non-timber forest products.

A Matching Grant is a one-time investment support in the form of agriculture and agri-processing equipment and selected services to support projects and activities of eligible applicants. To access a Grant, beneficiaries must make a contribution in-kind or financial. Eligible for a matching grant are individual or organized small farmers active in production, established small agro-businesses and agri/food processors in partnership with organized farmers or individual out growers, organized farmers as producers associations, cooperatives and other legally recognized producers’ organization, as well as, community Organizations and family farmers in the hinterland and women and youth farmers/entrepreneurs.

“We will definitely send in an application for a grant”, was the response of several farmers in the district of Nickerie. Their District Commissioner, Mrs Senrita Gobardan sees in SAMAP an opportunity for diversification of the agriculture sector in Nickerie, now only known as the rice district. Most farmers there are interested in the large grants.

The Matching Grant Facility has two types of grants: Small Grants are intended only for small individual farmers active in production or small established agribusinesses. Small Grants provide support in agriculture equipment or services to improve quality production and access to market activities for up to USD 5,000. Large Grants support producers’ associations, organizations, cooperatives and agribusinesses working in partnership with organized (or not) farmers and out growers. Large Grants are intended to improve not only the quantity and the quality of agriculture produce, but also to add value and increase the market opportunities and agro-export potential of the products. This funding window will support initiatives for up to a maximum of USD 300,000.

The first applicant for a Small Grant, Mr Raymond Moestro from Saramacca, was very enthusiastic about being the first farmer, to submit a project proposal. ”I did it, with all the support that is provided and you can do it too”. An application for a Small or Large Grant can be submitted until April 30, 2021.

SAMAP is an initiative of the Government of Suriname led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries and implemented by the United Nations Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) with funds from the European Union. The main goal is to strengthen sustainable development for agriculture through more competitive and safer production that will increase market access for vegetables, fruits, root vegetables, tubers and NTFP products.