The first Competitive Grant activity in NARO was under COARD project funded by EU in eastern Uganda in the year 2004. In 2005 there was reconstitution of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) following the NARS Policy 2003 and the NAR Act 2005.This brought in all institutions undertaking agricultural research using public resources under the coordination, oversight and guidance of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO).
This included public institutions, private sector, universities and civil society organisations.
The Competitive Grants scheme with two competitive Grant Funds namely the National Competitive Agricultural Research and Development Fund (NCARDF) and the Zonal Competitive Agricultural Research and Development Fund (ZCARDF) was established in 2006. CGS enables all eligible agricultural research service providers to have equal access to public funds based on the following criteria:-
- Proposals that address the research priorities identified in the national and zonal strategic plans and strategic objectives chosen for a particular period will be solicited from all eligible agricultural research service providers through public advertisements in the print and electronic media
- Proposals have to be submitted based on a call for proposals issued by the competent authority and must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines for preparation of proposals. Detailed guidelines and procedures are found in the library of NARO Website.
- All applicants will be subjected to an institutional evaluation to establish that they have the technical capacity, the experience and the managerial, administrative and control systems required to implement the proposed project successfully
- Proposals that favour inter-institutional action and joint research among research entities at the national, sub regional and international level will be most preferred.
The Competitive Grants Scheme provides for access of public funds for eligible public and non-public agricultural Research Institutes agricultural research service providers like the private sector, civil society and universities to carry out agricultural research.