- Scale innovations with climate-smart and agroecological agribusinesses.
- Support agribusinesses with technical assistance on climate-smart agriculture and agroecology.
- Facilitate access to finance from capital providers.
The CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator (CFSA) program is a science-driven accelerator designed to support agribusinesses scale climate-smart innovations that address pressing challenges in East and Southern Africa food systems. By combining investment readiness with tailored science-based technical assistance, CFSA provides agribusinesses with the necessary tools and knowledge to become more commercially viable, environmentally conscious, and sustainable.
For the 2024 cohort, the CFSA will be partnering with the Agroecology Initiative to support agribusinesses in embracing sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural practices. This collaboration aims to integrate principles of agroecology, which involves the science, practices and innovations applied to transition food systems towards more sustainable and equitable production and consumption. Agroecology places emphasis on improving resource efficiency, strengthening resilience, and securing social equity and responsibility. For example, business models that encourage equal participation of women and men in decision-making and leadership, recycling organic matter to improve sustainable production, etc. More information in the application form.
Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, United Republic of, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
|Agribusiness, Agritech, Environmental services, Food production, Smart city solutions
1. No Poverty, 10. Reduced Inequality, 13. Climate Action, 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal, 2. Zero Hunger, 3. Good Health and Well-being, 5. Gender Equality, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
We are looking for innovative solutions grounded in a user-centric approach, primed to make substantial positive contributions to food and nutrition security by boosting sustainable production and strengthening resilience and adaptation to climate change. We prioritize innovations that are climate-smart, ecologically sound and demonstrate a strong case for commercial sustainability. These innovations may take various forms, including digital, technical, products, services, or business models.
These can be existing or planned innovations in either of the 7 target countries as well as under one of the 4 priority innovation themes. Supported innovations should be designed to benefit smallholder farmers in East and Southern Africa. Attention will be given to business models focusing on the aquaculture, pulses, horticulture, poultry, and small grain value chains, as well as those that promote agro-processing, provide aggregation services, or apply agroecological principles at any level of the business. Women and youth-owned companies are encouraged to apply.
Solutions aimed at catalyzing and expanding a private sector-led approach. This is through (1) irrigation which aims to optimise water productivity and water use efficiency for improved agricultural water management (AWM) and (2) farm machinery support to reduce labour intensive farming and other production practices. Some examples of innovations under this theme include solar powered irrigation, deficit irrigation scheduling practices, grading and sorting equipment, storage, and processing equipment.
Focused on promoting minimum soil disturbance, crop diversification, and biodiversity to enhance the natural biological processes. Some examples of innovations under this theme include, agriculture-based sustainable intensification management practices, Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), practicing recycling at the farm level or at enterprise levels.
Solutions decreasing the trade-offs between agricultural productivity, climate change, and human and animal nutrition. They make farming more climate sensitive and produce more nutritious food while maintaining productivity in value chains such as aquaculture, pulses, horticulture, poultry, small grain, cassava, or non-timber forest products (NTFP).
Solutions aimed to identify, evaluate, and minimize risks in agricultural activities, for example, advisory services, digitizing the value chain and agri-finance (microinsurance, savings, lending, and credit guarantees).
Early Stage: companies that are start-ups in the early stages of operations, seeking to establish their business model and prove product or service viability.
Growth Stage: A company that has successfully navigated through its early stage and demonstrated a sustainable business model. At this point, the company is experiencing significant revenue growth, expanding its customer base, and likely has a positive cashflow.
CGIAR is the largest agriculture innovation network with a research portfolio of US $900 million, over 3000 partners and clients in 70+ countries focused on enhancing food and nutrition security through a science-based approach to emerging development issues. The main scientific areas of focus include supporting food systems transformation, driving sustainable land and water use, supporting resilient agri-food systems, and creating genetic innovation through crop breeding and seed systems for adaptation of food and farms to meet goals for poverty reduction, gender equality, nutrition, climate, and the environment. Its research is carried out by 13 CGIAR Centers/Alliances in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organisations, and the private sector.
The CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator is a work package in the Ukama Ustawi regional initiative of the CGIAR. The Initiative aims to support climate-resilient agriculture and livelihoods in 12 countries in East and Southern Africa by helping millions of smallholders intensify, diversify, and reduce the risks in maize-based farming through improved extension services, small and medium enterprise development, supporting governance frameworks and increased investment with a gender and social inclusion lens.
Agroecology is a global initiative of the CGIAR. The Initiative aims to demonstrate the applicability and promote the investment and uptake of agroecology by food system actors, including small scale farmers, in low-income countries. The Initiative works with farmers and other sectors of the food system to ensure that agriculture harnesses nature’s goods and services whilst minimizing food system adverse impacts on the environment and improving knowledge co-creation and inclusive relationships among food system actors. It supports the application of agroecological principles in food, land, and water systems, and works to co-develop and implement agroecological innovations across food systems.
The 2SCALE (www.2scale.org) is one of the most of IFDC (www.ifdc.org) influential incubator and accelerator program of inclusive agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa. The program support partnerships and business models with significant potential to attract and employ the youth, to engage and empower women, and to improve food and nutrition security (at the consumer end of the value chain), also the program focus on replication of successful business models and on institutional factors that drive or constrain systematic and transformative change, to accelerate and scale inclusive agribusiness.
The application should have a dedicated focus on one of the four innovation themes (Mechanization, Conservation Agriculture, Nutrition, Agricultural Risk Management).
You’re eligible to apply if your company is operational in one or more of the 7 countries where we are launching the accelerator program (Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda Zambia or Zimbabwe).
Successful applicants are given notice on the 19th of February 2024. At the end of the program, the Pitch Day and announcement of grant recipients will be in October 2024. Details on date will be communicated later.
Yes, the Kick-off will be in-person. Details on the location to be communicated later.
Yes, Pitch Day will be in-person. Details on the location to be communicated later.
Not mandatory, however the company will be required to have management accounts in place of the audited accounts.
All applications and Q&A will be made in English.
In place of a tax compliance, the Agribusiness can provide a tax exemption certificate or any other relevant document that shows clearance with the revenue authorities.
Promoting and digitizing small scale farmers in Africa
|Agritech, Blockchain, Mobile
|Yellow Star Produce and Food Processors (U) Ltd
Affordable Organic Nutrient balanced products for nutrition access
We support our farmers in their efforts to feed the nation
Helping rural youth overceome poverty through agribusiness
|The Insectary Limited
Recycling organic waste into sustainable insect-based protein
|Animal farming, Waste management and recycling