The Challenge FundFrequently Asked Questions

FAQs Enquiries on the third call for applications

A series of webinars will be available for the applicants to provide an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarifications. The schedule for these sessions will be available on the Fund website and through media outlets.

Questions may also be sent by e-mail no later than 7 days before the deadline for the submission of concept notes to The Fund Manager has no obligation to provide responses to questions submitted later. Responses will be published on the website periodically. The final responses will be published 5 days before the call deadline. Individual replies will not be given to questions. It is therefore advisable for applicants to consult the above-mentioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.

To ensure equal treatment of applicants, prior opinion on eligibility of a specific action or detailed responses on the nature of activities will not be given. All answers to questions will be made public.

FAQAbout the AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund

The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund is designed to integrate smallholder farmers and pastoralists into commercial agriculture. This will be done by addressing identified needs, challenges and opportunities of Kenyan farmers to practice environmentally sustainable and climate-smart agriculture as a business in market-integrated value chains. The action is part of the EU/Government of Kenya programme” Support to productive, adapted and market integrated smallholder agriculture, including a contribution to the Africa Investment Facility (AgriFI)”, aimed at leveraging investment with a value chain approach on smallholder inclusivity and agri-business development.

The Fund’s specific objective is that 100,000 smallholder farmers/pastoralists are better integrated in value chains. By targeting, supporting and enabling at least 50 agri-enterprises to increase their turnover (by at least 25%), this will in turn increase incomes for at least 100,000 smallholders/pastoralists. It will contribute to a 70% increase in smallholder/ pastoralist production marketed and will result in at least 20,000 hectares under climate-smart land management practices. Additionally, the project seeks increased access to finance (credit, banks, investment) for complementary investments by downstream value chain actors.

FAQEligibility to the Challenge Fund

General Eligibility Criteria

a) Must be an agri-enterprise duly incorporated in Kenya as a company or a cooperative;

b) Must be compliant with all national and local laws and regulations including but not limited to tax regulation, health and safety and environmental standards;

c) 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;

d) 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;

e) Must not be a recipient of financial support from AKCF in previous calls as lead applicant.

Specific Eligibility Criteria

  1. Must have a yearly turnover for the last three years in the range of EUR 200,000 to EUR 50,000,000;
  2. Must have an asset base of less than EUR 43,000,000 (balance sheet total);
  3. 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;
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

NB: Applicants may submit their business plans in consortium with other organizations; in this case, the above additional criteria will apply only to the lead applicant however the general criteria should apply to the consortium (Lead and co-applicants). 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 partner organisation[s]. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to carefully vet their partners to ensure they are operating legally in line with the laws of Kenya and have the capacity to fulfil the role outlined in the proposed project. In the case of a Financial Service Provider as a partner, financial support provided by the AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund cannot go into revolving funds.

FAQThe Approach

FAQThe Financial Support Application Process

The project concept notes (PCNs) will be received through AfriCUBE through the link  in English language. AfriCUBE allows applicants to register, submit project concept notes.

The applicants are advised to read the section on eligibility and exclusion criteria to assess whether their organization and project fit the objectives and criteria of the Challenge Fund.

To submit an application, the applicant will be required to register. The applicant is required to agree to the Terms and Conditions of AfriCUBE to complete registration. Upon registration the applicants will fill out a standard application form online for the project concept notes. The AfriCUBE Portal allows applicants to save and continue and/or edit at a later stage without losing already entered information.

FAQThe Online Application Process

FAQ E.I.B/Equity Bank Credit Facility

FAQInformation Sharing events

FAQTalk to Us

If you have a question that we haven’t answered here, please get in touch.

Talk To Us

If an applicant believes that they have been harmed by an error or irregularity during the award process, they may lodge a complaint. Formal complaints will be made in anonymity to Self Help Africa.

Report through any of the channels below:

  • Email:
  • Call our HQ at +353 1 677880 and ask to be called back
  • Send an SMS to +353 87 2404343 and ask to be called back
  • Phone Expolink* 0800723132 (toll-free)
  • Email:
  • Web reporting facility:

*Expolink is an independent company. Your conversation will not be recorded. You can choose to remain anonymous with only details concerning your report passed back to Self Help Africa senior management board level at HQ. Any costs incurred in making a report will be reimbursed.

See more information here