The competitive Grants scheme for agricultural research seeks to harness underutilised research capacity that directly or through contributions to other research, brings significant benefits to end users. By this, the scheme will contribute effectively to national development objectives such as modernisation of agriculture and poverty eradication. The objectives of establishing the competitive grants scheme are to:
- Strengthen the national agricultural research system (NARS) through the best available scientific expertise in the public and private sectors to work on the specific high priority projects in accordance with the national agricultural development strategies
- Promote research partnerships and collaboration between national and international, private and public institutions to maximise complementarities among different institutions, disciplines or countries in the conduct and management of agricultural research
- Make research more demand-driven by involving clients in setting priorities and managing the fund, executing research and evaluating outputs
- Improve research quality and innovation by selecting projects based on rigorous technical review, sound work plans and expected results.
- Compliment core research programmes by drawing a wide range of participants in to the research system and providing needed operating costs in a timely manner, for more efficient use of available resources (human and physical) and research infrastructure.
- Increase total funding for research by mobilising funds from farmers, industry and other resources.
- Speed up the adoption of improved agricultural technologies by providing funding for scaling up of promising technologies in partnership with the private sector.
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.