photo credit: westafricafoodmarkets.org

The Challenge Fund process is a mechanism for efficiently and fairly allocating and disbursing funds provided by UK Government with UK aid from the British people. The fund aims to challenge and incentivise companies in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria to identify and co-invest in innovative business ideas that will not only expand their own businesses but also strengthen national and regional trade for targeted staple foods, namely maize, millet, sorghum and cassava. Businesses or companies are invited to bid based on rules that are set and publicized.

The intention is to get funds to businesses or companies that truly need them and can use them effectively. The funds are to help the companies realize the broader aims of the programme, which are to increase availability of staple foods, increase purchasing power of farmers and consumers in food-insecure regions of the Sahel as well as their resilience to hunger and malnutrition during the regular hungry seasons and periodic shocks.

WAFM Challenge Fund runs competitions  for-profit private companies only. These companies are invited to submit proposals outlining the business idea or concept for which they are applying for funding.

WAFM Challenge Fund offers two Funding Windows focusing on production and marketing of targeted staple foods. The production window is for projects focusing on increasing agricultural yields and/or reducing post-harvest losses. The marketing window is for projects aiming to improve the grading, packing, storage, processing, distribution, advertising and sale of the staple foods targeted (maize, millet, sorghum and cassava).The West Africa Market (WAFM) programme is now accepting concept note applications for the Challenge Fund competition to promote regional trade.

We are looking to support innovative business ideas that will increase regional trade in staple foods along the Burkina-Ghana and Nigeria-Niger trade corridors in the following staple food value chains: Maize, Sorghum, Millet and Cassava.

To qualify, you must have a viable business idea that requires additional support ranging between GBP 100,000 and GBP 1,000,000. In addition, the proposed project idea must see to:

  • Increase the availability of staple foods and the purchasing power of farmers in food-insecure regions of the Sahel, and
  • Increase their resilience to hunger and malnutrition during the regular hungry seasons and periodic shocks

Applicants companies must be legally registered and demonstrate that they can match the funds requested from WAFM

Apply for the first round of WAFM Challenge Fund starting today.

Go to www.westafricafoodsmarkets.org to register and apply online or download the application form and apply by email.

Application Deadline: March 9, 2015.

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