• Applications for Assam fund

    Woman Participating in Zero Tillage Cultivation of Potato

Application contours

  • Eligibility Criteria for Applicants
  • Governance Structure
  • Investment Committee
  • Selection Procedure/Process
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Apply to the Fund

Eligibility Criteria for Applicants

Applications for Assam Fund

The Applications for Assam Fund require following short general guidelines for compliance by the applicants of the Challenge Fund.

  • a) Any Business which is a tax assesee.
  • b) The Capital Requirement of the Applicant must be as per Regulatory Guidelines (RBI, IRDA, SEBI etc) or a minimum of Rs 1 Lakh as of March 31, of last financial year preceding concept note submission date.
  • c) The Tangible Networth of the applicant should be positive as of March 31, of last financial year preceding concept note submission date.
  • d) The applicant company should have been incorporated atleast two years prior to concept note submission date.
  • e) Certified Audited Accounts of the applicant company should be available for a minimum of 2 years preceding the Concept Note submission date.

Eligibility criteria for organizations:

Sl. No Particulars Eligibility Norms
1 Constitution any business which is a tax assessee
2 Eligible entities (as read with clause at S.No 8 of this table) (hereinafter “company”)
  • a. Commercial Banks – Public Banks, Private Banks, Regional Rural Banks & Indian subsidiaries of Foreign Banks
  • b. Small Finance Banks
  • c. Payment Banks
  • d. Financial Institutions as recognized by the Department of Financial Services - GOI
  • e. Non-Banking Finance Company
  • f. NBFC – MFI
  • g. General Insurance companies registered with IRDA
  • h. Insurance Intermediaries registered with IRDA
  • i. Business Correspondent companies
  • j. Any other company engaged directly or indirectly in provision of financial services.
  • k. Technology Service Providers in Financial Services
  • l. Brokers, Agencies, Web Aggregators, Insurance Marketing Firm, and other intermediaries
  • m. Direct Sales Agent (s) of Lending companies
  • n. Other Companies who have entered business partnerships with Banks, NBFCs, NBFC MFIs or GI companies for providing financial intermediation services
  • o. Agriculture Input Suppliers (AIPs) that sell farm inputs like seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, farm equipment etc to producers on credit
  • p. Agriculture Output Buyers (AOPs) that provide inputs or financing to producers
3 Capital Requirements (paid up capital)

In compliance withapplicable regulatory Guidelines (RBI, IRDA, SEBI etc)or a minimum of Rs 1 Lakh as of March 31, of last financial year. Self -declaration in this regard to be submitted.

4 Networth

Tangible NetWorth of the organization should be positivein last financial year. Self- declaration to be submitted at Concept note stage, and auditor certificate to said effect to be submitted at detailed proposal stage

5 Cost Share / Matching Commitments

The applicant organizations must undertake to fund at least 20% of the Total Project cost. Self-undertaking to be submitted at concept note stage.

6 Vintage

The company should have been incorporated atleast two years prior to the Concept Note Submission date

7 Audited Accounts

Copy of Auditor certified Financial Statements should be available for a minimum of 2 financial years preceding the Concept Note submission date

8 Excluded Companies
  • a. Companies undergoing insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
  • b. Companies on RBI Willful Defaulter List
  • c. Blacklisted companies by any of the regulatory agencies in India or by any Central and/or State Government Departments
  • d. Promoters having Civil and Criminal records
  • e. The applicant companies must provide an Affidavit that they are not under the category of “Excluded companies”

Applicants under Consortium Arrangement

Two or more companies can apply for the Assam AgriFin Xamahar program in a consortium arrangement. Eligibility criteria for applicants under consortium arrangement is provided in the table below.

Sl. No Particulars Eligibility Norms
1 Number of Consortium partners
  • Minimum: 2
  • Maximum: 4
2 Lead Applicant in Consortium

The Consortium members will designate, constitute and nominate one of its members as their authorized agency, which would be the Lead Applicant

  • a. All correspondence under the Xamahar Fund will be conducted only with the Lead Applicant. It will be the responsibility of the Lead Applicant to share all pertinent information with other partners.
  • b. All financial transactions between APART/ARIAS and the Consortium will be carried out only with the Lead Applicant
3 Eligibility Criteria for Consortium partners
  • • All Consortium partners should fulfill the eligibility criteria under Eligibility Criteria under Section 5.1 above
  • • The Lead member should be a “for profit” entity, and cannot be a Not for profit entity
  • • Consortium partners other than the Lead organization can be:
    • a. Legally registered organization in any form in India (including non-profits such as section 8 Company, Society, Trusts, etc.)
    • b. Legally registered Foreign entities with operations in India
  • • All Consortium partners should fulfill the eligibility criteria 6, 7 and 8 under Eligibility Criteria in 2.1
4 Consortium Agreement
  • • Selection and Finalization of consortium partners is a precondition for applying to Assam AgriFin Xamahar
  • • The consortium partners are required to enter into a legally binding consortium agreement, detailing their respective roles and responsibilities.
  • • The consortium agreement between the partners should have a validity period of 5 years including the 2 year project period
5 Change of consortium partners

Only allowed prior to conduct of Due Diligence of the grant funding proposal by Challenge Fund Manager

6 Submission of Financial and other documents

Each Consortium partner is required to submit the documents as mentioned in Appendix III: Annexure 1 of Call for Proposal document

What Assam AgriFin Xamahar Excludes

  • 1. Fixed Cost like Plant & Machinery, Computers and IT Equipment, Office Equipments, Vehicles and Furniture and Fittings exceeding 30% of the grant/support
  • 2. Debt Repayment
  • 3. Core costs (costs for staff and office rent beyond what can be associated with the project)
  • 4. Items already financed or expenses related to already incurred CAPEX e.g., Depreciation or Amortization
  • 5. On lending
  • 6. The Xamahar program will NOT cover any costs associated with the preparation and submission of applications, including information gathering, staff time, and travel. Such costs may not be included in the application.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Framework

Addressing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and realising opportunities for ESG improvements are important levers to add value to Assam AgriFin Xamahar portfolio projects or companies.

Assam AgriFin Xamahar has set up a practical and commensurate ESG Framework using World Bank Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and the associate Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Guidelines as reference standards. It also incorporates Corporate Governance and Business Integrity standards.


Governance Structure

The governance structure of the Assam AgriFin Xamahar is two tiers. The World Bank, ARIAS and experts form a strategic Advisory Committee shall form tier one. Tier two will be an Investment Committee (IC) comprising of professionals with local, financial and investment and agri-financing domain expertise will take the final decision on selection/investment based on clear criteria and professional judgments.

Investment Committee

The final selection of the Challenge Fund investees will be made by an expert Investment Committee comprising of professionals with local, financial and investment and agri-financing domain expertise. This committee will evaluate the subproject proposals on the established criteria. and select the final investees.

Selection Procedure/Process

The Investee will be selected through a two-stage selection procedure,

Concept Note stage: The Concept Notes will be shortlisted by Xamahar Manager / Implementing Agency. The shortlisted applicants will be asked to submit a detailed proposal

Detailed Proposal/Business Plan Stage: The Investment Committee will select the final investees after evaluating the detailed proposals

Evaluation Criteria

Assam AgriFin Challenge Fund Evaluation Criteria

Concept Note Stage

Participating projects must submit a Concept Note, briefly detailing the project. The concept note submitted by the applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • a. Alignment with Xamahar objectives: Create or improve access to financial services for APART agriculture value chains
  • b. Innovation: Going beyond what exists now, in terms of the product /service, attributes of the product, process or technology and/or model to improve access, reduce costs, processing time, convenience or customer experience.
  • c. Organization & Business Strength: Strong Board or Promoter background, strong financials and historical success
  • d. Impact & inclusiveness: Does it improve access to financial services to the excluded and underserved (small & marginal farmers)? Does it incorporate gender issues?
  • e. Additionality: The project would not have taken place without the challenge fund support or would happen much later or have a lower impact
  • f. Initial ESG Considerations: The subproject & the promoter is expected to fall under the lowest risk categorization. Applicants are expected to have a basic understanding of ESG issues and showcase strong commitment for ESG integration into their business and operational model.

Detailed proposals Stage:

  • a.Innovation & Market demand: The proposed solution must be innovative going beyond the current options in terms of product, services, technology or process. There must be a clear commercial driver and demand for the solution with a potential for commercial viability.
  • b. Organizational Capability: A market-oriented organisation and team with enough capability and background for executing and scaling up the project
  • c.Financial Capability: The applicants should evidence strength on financial parameters and have demonstrated capability of managing finances historically.
  • d. Sustainability: A potential for expansion beyond grant funding and achieve scale based on commercial market principles
  • e. Development Impact/Output: What level of development impact/output does the project promise?
  • f. ESG Considerations: The sub-projects will be evaluated based on the certification provided from ESG experts, depending on the risk categorization.