AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund Second Call for Applications is Now Open

Deadline: 31 July 2019

Applicants are invited to apply for the second call of the AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund to support productive and market-integrated smallholder agriculture through the provision of financial support to agri-enterprises. The aim is to contribute to improvements in the capacity of smallholder farmers/pastoralists to practice environmentally sustainable and climate-smart agriculture as a business in inclusive value chains. The programme is funded by the European Union, co-funded by SlovakAid and is implemented in parallel with a European Investment Bank (EIB) facility provided to Equity Bank (Kenya) Limited.

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The Challenge Fund is part of the wider AgriFI programme funded under the 11th EDF to unlock, accelerate and leverage investments within value chains.

The Fund’s specific objective is to integrate 100,000 smallholder farmers/pastoralists in sustainable value chains. By supporting and enabling at least 50 agri-enterprises to increase their turnover (by at least 25%), this will in turn increase incomes and food security for at least 100,000 smallholders/pastoralists and create a minimum of 10,000 net equivalent jobs.

Specific Areas

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In line with AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund objectives, as well as recent field studies, agri-enterprises will be considered for funding based on a set of weighted criteria including its potential for positive impact on smallholder farmers. The specific areas for assessment include:

  • Economic Drivers/Viability: This assessment area looks at business model fit and growth prospect in regard to profit, turnover, cash flow, efficiency and market potential. In addition, the business capacity is assessed in terms of governance, financial and risk management.
  • Social impact: This assesses how the applicant will include smallholder farmers and pastoralists and increases their incomes, create employment opportunities. Other social issues to be considered include impact on food security and improved nutrition as well as inclusion of gender and youth considerations in the proposed project. Creation of opportunities in Arid and Semi-Arid counties will add value to the proposal.
  • Environmental impact: to include climate smart approaches both at farm and SME level.
  • Additionality and effectiveness: This assesses whether the project would not proceed without AgriFI support and the degree by which the applicant is leveraging on the requested financial support.

Financial Allocation

The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund is looking to award an indicative amount of EUR 18,000,000 to agri-enterprises as financial support. The funds will be allocated through three (3) separate calls for proposals. This second call will allocate up to approximately EUR 8,000,000.

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Size of Financial Support

Any financial support requested from AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund must fall within the following range:

  • Minimum amount: Euro 200,000
  • Maximum amount: Euro 750,000

Duration of Financial Support

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The minimum duration of the financial support will be 24 months while the maximum will be 36 months from the signature date of the contract. During this period the financial support funds will be disbursed based on a negotiated milestone structure.

Eligibility Criteria

The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund is aiming to support projects put forward by small and medium sized agri-enterprises with business models that are integrating smallholder farmers/pastoralists into value chains. The agri-enterprises need to demonstrate how they are benefitting smallholder farmers/pastoralists. This may be through the establishment of a new activity or expansion of existing activities in specific or all nodes of the value chain. Additional eligibility criteria for the agrienterprises are:

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  • Must be duly incorporated in Kenya as a company or a cooperative;
  • Must be compliant with all national and local laws and regulations including but not limited to tax regulation, health and safety and environmental standards;
  • Must be a for-profit entity; not-for-profit organizations and government bodies are not eligible to apply as lead applicants. However, they can contribute to projects as co-applicants;
  • Must be willing and able to contribute at least 50% of the project cost through a blend of cash and cash equivalents, credit or equity from own or third-party sources;
  • Must provide evidence in the project proposal of current or future integration of smallholder farmers/pastoralists in existing or new value chain(s) in the project’s areas;
  • The business must have at least three (3) years of uninterrupted operations in Kenya with focus on eligible actions under the AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund programme;
  • Must have an average yearly turnover for the last three years in the range of EUR 200,000 to EUR 50,000,000.
  • Must have an asset base of less than EUR 43,000,000 (balance sheet total);
  • Must have audited accounts for the three (3) most recent years. The audited accounts should have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards by ICPAK accredited accountant.

How to Apply

To apply to this call, agri-enterprises must register online using AfriCUBE via given website and fill in the concept note template in order to submit their application.

For more information, please visit

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