The Challenge FundSecond Call for applications
now closed


Financial supportThe Award


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.

Size of financial support

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

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

The Challenge Fund will award financial support to cover a maximum of 50% of the total value of the proposal. The balance (i.e. the difference between the total cost of the proposal and the amount requested as financial support) must be financed from matching funds in the form of cash/cash equivalents, credit or equity from external financiers. In cases where applications are made by consortia the match fund contributions can be provided by any of the consortia members.

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. 

The European Investment Bank (EIB), under the same 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 facility is also available for match funding to the applicants. (Refer to the Equity Bank loan eligibility guidelines on the call guidelines and at the bottom of this page).

Duration of Financial Support

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. 

For applicants that will be able to access credit line from Equity Bank, the maximum loan tenure will be up to 7 years. The individual projects tenure in this regard will be reviewed on case by case basis as per Equity Bank’s internal policies, processes and procedures and as per the terms agreed upon between Equity Bank Kenya and European Investment Bank.

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. 

For applicants that will be able to access credit line from Equity Bank, the maximum loan tenure will be up to 7 years. The individual projects tenure in this regard will be reviewed on case by case basis as per Equity Bank’s internal policies, processes and procedures and as per the terms agreed upon between Equity Bank Kenya and European Investment Bank.

Download Call Guidelines (for the second call)
Apply on AfriCUBE
Download Application Questions*

*The document above ‘Application Questions’ is for reference only, applications should be made on AfriCUBE.com


FIRST CALL GUIDELINES

View archived first call guidelines here. Please be aware these do not apply to current or future calls.


Financial supportCalls for Financial Support




Window One


Closed on 26th November 2018

Window Two

Opens on 27th June 2019


Window Three

To Be Announced

Financial Support

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 activity1 or expansion of existing activities in specific or all nodes of the value chain.

Additional eligibility criteria for the agri-enterprises are:



  1. Must be duly incorporated in Kenya as a company or a cooperative;

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

  3. 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;

  4. 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;

  5. 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;

  6. 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;

  7. Must have an average yearly turnover for the last three years in the range of EUR 200,000 to EUR 50,000,000.
  8. Must have an asset base of less than EUR 43,000,000 (balance sheet total);

  9. 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.

1. For new activity it is intended new investments from existing companies: the call will not fund start-ups

NB: Applicants may submit their business plans in consortium with other organizations: in this case, the above criteria will apply only to the lead applicant.

Financial Support

EXCLUSION CRITERIA



Any agri-enterprise will be excluded from participation in this grant procedure if:



  1. It is bankrupt, subject to insolvency or winding-up procedures, where its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by a court, where it is in an arrangement with creditors, where its business activities are suspended, or where it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for under national laws or regulations;

  2. It has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the agri-enterprise is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions in accordance with the law of the country in which it is established;

  3. It has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the agri-enterprise is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the agri-enterprise belongs, fraudulently or negligently misrepresenting information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of selection criteria or in the performance of a contract;

  4. It has been established by a final judgment or a final administrative decision that the agri-enterprise or its principals have been guilty of fraud, corruption, conduct related to a criminal activity, terrorist related offences or financing, money laundering, child labour or other offenses concerning trafficking in human beings;

  5. The agri-enterprise, advisors or principals were previously involved the preparation of the call documents for the AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund;

  6. Shown significant deficiencies in performance of a contract or agreement financed by the European Union Budget which led to termination or penalties;
  7. Entering into agreement with other economic operators with the aim of distorting competition;

  8. they are in any of the situations listed in section 2.3.3 of the Practical Guide of the European Union.

Financial supportEligible Actions to be Funded


This call will fund for profit initiatives, which results in a measurable positive impact on thousands of smallholder farmers/pastoralists either as customers or suppliers. The nature of actions that can be funded through financial support under this programme include the following:

Initiatives that reach smallholder farmers to improve agricultural productivity including livestock, fisheries, market access, post-harvest handling, food safety or other impact. The initiatives may include (but are not limited to):
  • Improving the quality and/or the access to inputs;
  • Provision of extension services to smallholder farmers;
  • Promoting the production of nutritious foods;
  • Promoting of climate smart, soil and water conservation technologies;
  • Promoting the smallholders’ capacity to comply with quality and standards certification;
  • Reducing post-harvest handling and losses;
  • Promoting access to innovative and affordable financial services for smallholder farmers
Initiatives that develop the management, operational and supporting business processes that are directly linked to improving the integration of smallholder farmers/pastoralists within the supply chain of a businesses and improve on their productivity; this may include promoting the adoption of energy/water saving technologies.

The above projects can also be considered for financing through Equity Bank credit line. Refer to the attached guidelines for full details of eligible projects and excluded projects under the Equity Bank’s credit line.

Actions can be implemented by one company or multiple organizations in partnership. Partner organizations can be of any type and does not need to meet the eligibility criteria. The lead applicant will though be held accountable for the implementation of the action including the management and accountability of the partner organization.

Financial support Inquiries on the second call for applications


A series of information sessions 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 www.agrifichallengefund.org 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 info@agrifichallengefund.org. The Fund Manager has no obligation to provide responses to questions submitted later. Responses will be published on the website www.agrifichallengefund.org 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.

Financial supportEQUITY BANK (Kenya) LIMITED F & A LOAN ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA


The beneficiaries of the Equity Bank/EIB credit line will be required to meet the following basic criteria;

  1. Applicants must be legal entities duly incorporated under the laws of Kenya and duly licensed to carry out business and carrying out business in Kenya

  2. The business must have obtained all mandatory and relevant certifications for their line of agri-business enterprises

  3. The applicants’ business must be operational and must have been in existence in Kenya for at least a period of 3 consecutive years

  4. The business must have operated profitably or can empirically prove that a positive trend has been registered over the last immediate 3 years.

  5. Applicants must be agro-based entities who have integrated small holder farmers on valid commercial agreements. Such integration may include but will not be limited to farm inputs supply contracts, produce offtake contracts, technical support to farmers, agricultural technology and solutions to small holder farmers, etc.

  6. The applicant must have an existing (or is willing to set up) a strong and effective management structure with appropriate and relevant skills and experience to implement the project being funded 

  7. Applicants must have or be willing to open and operate an active account with Equity Bank Kenya 

  8. Applicants’ business must prove that its operations promote adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) by the smallholder farmers that they partner with.

  9. Applicants’ business must not be in the list of restrictions/exclusions of sectors and activities as per the NACE classification codes for business activities. 

  10. Both the applicant and the directors of the applicant’s business must have positive listing status with approved Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) 

  11. The applicant or its affiliates must not be involved in any actions of crime or anti-money laundering activities 

  12. The activities of the applicant’s business must not have any adverse environmental and social impact.

  13. The applicant must proof existence of market for produce (where applicable) sourced from the smallholders integrated in their business operations

  14. All incorporated entities should have audited financial reports for the previous 3 years and management account 

Additional criteria will be applied based on the specific loan applicant’s business.