TeleFood Projects

General Guidelines for Applying

1.   Purpose of the Fund: The TeleFood Special Fund (TSF) was set up in 1997 to finance grassroots-level micro-projects in developing countries and countries in transition. 

2.   Goal of TeleFood Projects:  They are intended to improve poor families’ means of production, enabling them to produce more food and to generate cash income, thereby allowing them better access to food.

3.   Beneficiaries:  Each project should provide direct assistance to groups of small-scale farmers, fishermen, herders or rural poor of a particular village or community, or local institutions such as schools and health centres, in the launching of new food production and income-generating activities.

4.   What can be funded:  TeleFood funds should be used exclusively for the provision (including transport) of physical inputs such as seeds, starter livestock, feed, fertilizers, hand tools, field supplies, building materials, and small, non-motorized equipment. TeleFood funds cannot be used for supervisory missions, labour costs, rental or hire costs, utilities, seminars or other training activities, production of booklets or manuals, etc.  All inputs should be distributed free of charge, but on condition that the recipient group(s) contribute part of their income to a community fund (see below).

5.   Simplicity:  TeleFood projects should not aim to introduce complex technologies unfamiliar to the community. All activities should be sustainable and environmentally friendly.

6.   Linkages to other projects:  To ensure sustainability and access to technical services, TeleFood projects should be linked to other ongoing development projects or programmes. These can be projects funded by FAO (preferably under the Special Programme for Food Security, where it exists), or by other sources (other UN agencies, bilateral assistance projects, NGOs, etc.).

7.   Community fund:  Also for purposes of project sustainability, beneficiaries should organize themselves into a group and contribute a small amount to a community fund on a regular basis, in addition to their own labour and inputs. Later, from the project’s profits, the community should decide on the share to be added to the community fund and the share to be divided among the individual members. The fund is meant to ensure long-term ability to maintain and/or replace project inputs (as well as serving as a source of operating funds) once TeleFood financing ends.

8.   Budget and duration limitations:  The budget of any single TeleFood project should not exceed US$10 000 and the disbursement period should not exceed 12 months.

9.   TeleFood Annual Country Ceiling :  The annual ceiling per country is US$50 000. Beginning under TeleFood Special Fund 2002, countries that do not benefit from the full US$50 000 under one campaign year, will be able to make up the difference under the next one, not to exceed a biennial ceiling of US$100 000.  Similarly, countries wishing to exceed the annual ceiling of US$50 000 under a given campaign year will have their annual ceiling under the following year reduced proportionally, so that the ceiling for the two years together does not exceed US$100 000. 

10.           Funds Collected Locally :  Developing countries raising more than US$50 000 locally can request that their annual ceiling be increased to the amount collected locally plus US$50 000 from the central TeleFood fund.