Applications are now open for the Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund (EZCF) to support projects put forward by small and medium sized agri-enterprises with business models that are integrating smallholder farmers into value chains as suppliers and/or customers.
The aim is to improve integration of smallholder farmers and agribusiness actors into national, regional, and global value chains, with additional weighting on gender and youth focused opportunities and nutritionally sensitive (regional/national) value chains.
The ENTERPRISE Zambia Challenge Fund will channel investments in agriculture (including agroforestry and aquaculture) by providing financial support in the form of grants to agribusinesses with the potential to benefit smallholder farmers through increasing access to services (including agro-inputs, financial services, extension advice, aggregation and transport, climate smart technologies, etc.).
- The financial support requested from Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund is likely to be within the following range for each project
- Minimum amount: EUR 150,000
- Maximum amount: EUR 1,000,000
- The Challenge Fund will award financial support to cover a maximum of 50% of the total value of the proposal.
- Activities must take place in the Republic of Zambia. Initiatives are not limited to specific value chains and/or geographical locations within Zambia and should not be limited to primary production.
Type of Activities
- The provision of extension services and training to increase on-farm productivity and diversification away from traditional crops which respect Climate Smart Agriculture principles promoting climate resilience, biodiversity and profitable and sustainable crop production.
- Investments related to pre-harvest and post-harvest small/medium scale infrastructure and processing.
- Investments that result in adding value to primary agricultural, aquaculture, agroforestry produce and the re-distribution of value added in selected agrifood chains to smallholders.
- Measures related to improvements in commercialisation through, for example, the aggregation of, sourcing transparency, adding value to, and marketing of primary agricultural produce.
- Supply of equipment and/or (greener and ecological) inputs to improve both quality and quantity of products produced.
- Strengthening existing Farmers/Aquaculture Associations/cooperatives, etc. and facilitating the creation of new farmer/aquaculture entities to promote greater smallholder integration into value chains.
- Investments that facilitate the addition of smallholder products into the supply chain via for example local level infrastructure: warehouses, cold storage, cold chain transport, etc.
- Investment in uptake of and adherence to food safety quality standards and/or certification of products.
In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must comply with all the criteria listed below:
- Must be an agri-enterprise involved in the production of farming inputs, food and fibre, ranching and raising of livestock, aquaculture, agroforestry or other farming and agricultural related industries. Examples of relevant agro-food enterprises include but are not limited to: companies involved in agricultural, agroforesty or aquaculture production including agro-input suppliers, contract farming, agroforestry, agro-food processors, agriculture logistics and aggregation services, agriculture technology suppliers including breeders and farm machinery.
- Must be incorporated in Zambia as a company or a cooperative.
- Must be compliant with all national and local laws and regulations; including meeting all obligations relating to the payment of taxes and social security contribution and relevant health and safety and environmental standards.
- Must be a for-profit entity.
- Must demonstrate experience in the project proposal for current or future integration of smallholder farmers/pastoralists/fish farmers 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 Zambia at the date of application, with focus on eligible agriculture, livestock, agroforestry or aquaculture sectors (see above for more specific examples).
- Must have a yearly turnover for the last two (2) years of at least EUR 150,000 as evidenced by audited accounts.
- Must be 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 have three years of financial statements including audited accounts for the two (2) most recent years plus management accounts for the third year. The audited accounts should have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by an accountant accredited by the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants (ZICA).
- Must be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the implementing partners, not acting as an intermediary.
- The lead applicant must meet all the eligibility criteria in its own right and will be held accountable for the implementation of the action including the management and accountability of the implementing partner(s). Therefore, applicants are encouraged to carefully vet their implementing partners to ensure they are operating legally in line with the laws of Zambia and have the capacity to fulfil the role outlined in the proposed project.
For more information, visit https://enterprisezambia.org/financial-support/