The Challenge FundAbout the AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund

The Challenge FundOverview

The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund is a European Union initiative to support productive and market-integrated smallholder agriculture through the provision of financial support worth EUR 18,000,000 to agri-enterprises. The aim is to contribute to improvements in the capacity of smallholder farmers/pastoralists to practise environmentally sustainable and climate-smart agriculture as a business in inclusive value chains. 
The Challenge Fund is funded by the European Union and co -funded by SlovakAid. The European Investment Bank (EIB, under the AgriFI Kenya programme is providing long term local currency financing to Equity Bank (Kenya) Limited for on-lending to eligible food and agriculture sector projects. This facilty is also available for match funding to the applicants.

Self Help Africa and Imani Development Limited are the Fund Managers for the programme.

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

The Challenge FundObjective

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 jobs.

The financial support will require match funding from the agri-enterprise making the application. The match funding may be through own resources available to the agri-enterprise or may be sourced through external finance such as credit or external equity investment. Match funding can also come from co-applicants.

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.

Environmental impact:

to include climate smart approaches both at farm and agrienterprise level. 

Social impact:

how will the applicant include smallholder farmers and pastoralists and increase their incomes, create employment opportunities. Other social issues assessed include food security and improved nutrition as well as inclusion of gender and youth in the proposed project. Creation of opportunities in Arid and Semi-Arid counties.

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.

The Challenge FundProgramme in numbers

Financial SUPPORT:


(2018 – 2022)

Climate Smart Agriculture:
Ha. of land


Inclusive Value Chains:
smallholders integrated