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International research body funding climate-smart agribusiness in East & Southern Africa

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CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator Programme 2023

By George Munene

The Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) Food Systems Accelerator program has opened applications for innovative climate-smart agribusiness that tackle food insecurity and increase resilience in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region.

The opportunity available to agribusinesses in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia will provide tailor-made support as well as access to financing to bring innovations to scale.

Climate change continues to pose a real threat to food production in East and Southern Africa (ESA). Lack of resilience to climate change, fragmented agri-food value chains, a growing population, food shortages, and rising food prices are further undermining food and nutrition security.

The CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator aims to support agribusinesses in scaling their climate-smart innovations. These innovations are aimed at agrifood actors to solve pressing problems in the value chains and contribute to stronger and more sustainable food systems.

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The CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator Program aims to:

  • Scale climate-smart food system innovations through strategic support of commercially viable and inclusive climate-smart agribusinesses
  • Develop a pipeline of inclusive climate-smart agribusinesses in East and Southern Africa
  • Support inclusive climate-smart agribusinesses through a 6-month programme that provides investment readiness and business development, climate-smart agriculture (CSA), and impact measurement and management (IMM) technical assistance, coaching, and mentoring.
  • Access to finance through de-risking grants to scale CSA innovations and business models and matchmaking with private investors for follow-on capital.

Participation Criteria:

  • They are looking for user-centric innovation cases that will lead to broad and positive impacts on food security through the increase in productivity, climate change resilience, and adaptation and mitigation of the negative effects on agriculture. They support innovations that are climate-smart and that have a strong case for commercial sustainability. Innovations can be digital, technical, financial, products, services, processes, or business models.
  • These can be existing or planned innovations in either of the four target countries as well as under one of the four priority innovation themes. Supported innovations should be designed to benefit smallholder farmers and associations in East and Southern Africa. Attention will be given to business models that promote agro-processing and provide aggregation services. Women and youth-owned companies are encouraged to apply.

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Eligibility Criteria:

  • Businesses should be officially registered and compliant with regulatory authorities. 

You’ll provide:

  • Certificate of incorporation for a limited company or partnership deed for a partnership business.
  • 2 years audited accounts.
  • Contact details of company’s references.
  • Team composition.
  • Curriculum Vitae for the management team.
  • Tax Compliance Certificate.
  • A clear inclusive strategy for smallholder farmers, women, and youth within the business model in at least one of the following dimensions: ownership, management team, workforce and policies, supply chain, and customers.
  • Applicants must be a for-profit company and demonstrate commercial viability and either be profitable or on the path to profitability. NGOs, corporate companies, and consultants will not be considered.
  • Operating in the following countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.

For more information and to apply: Food Systems Accelerator

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