The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund has awarded more than €6M (KE$ 807M) in a new round of grants to strengthen markets and boost agri-business job creation in the country.
The grants have been awarded as match-funding to 12 businesses, to support business expansion plans, and develop new market opportunities for tens of thousands of small-scale farmers and pastoralists. Previously, AgriFI Kenya awarded more than €4m in financial support under the programme, which is supported by the European Union and has also received funding support from Slovak Aid.
The new award recipients include companies working across a diverse range of agricultural commodities including coffee, cotton, macadamia nut, pyrethrum, gum arabic, dairy, vegetables, fish farming and animal health.
The fund has specifically targeted its enterprise funding on hard to reach areas of Kenya where agri-investment opportunities are limited, and has sought to support business proposals that create income-generating opportunities for marginalized communities and those most affected by climate change.
More than 200 companies applied for funding in the most recent call, which will be followed by a third and final award of financial support by the AgriFI Challenge Fund in early 2021.
All of the businesses receiving AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund backing are required to invest match-funding from other resources to support their business growth plans.
The fund is investing a total of €18m over five years, and is seeking to support up to 50 businesses, create up to 10,000 new jobs, and develop markets for up to 100,000 small-scale farming producers.