Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, June 8, 2015

Boosting smallholder farming in Uganda through agri-tools and technology

29 May  2015. ICCO Cooperation, an international Dutch development organization launched its Agri-Business Innovation Challenge in both Kampala and The Hague, Netherlands, to kick-start and boost the businesses of innovative agri-entrepreneurs in Uganda. There will be cash prizes up to 20,000 euros for the three most promising businesses to roll out their business models, and a chance to qualify for investment by the ICCO Investment Fund.

Froukje Zwaga, Regional Manager of ICCO states:
“It’s important that these entrepreneurs come up with business models that reflect an understanding of the local context. Our aim is to find agri-businesses that can substantially improve the profitability of smallholder farmers.”
The business models need to make use of technically validated tools or technologies, be in their first 3 years of existence and put the social purpose of the business at the same level as profit g ains. The concepts need to be quickly scalable or replicable and environmentally sustainable.

Up to 10 enterprises will be supported to develop their business concepts further with experts and mentors, and the top 3 most promising businesses among them will win cash prizes of between 5,000 and 20,000 EURO and receive business incubation support through the ICCO Agri-business Booster for a period of up to 6 months. Eventually, they could qualify for investment by the ICCO Investment Fund.

Throughout its 50 years of existence, ICCO has come to believe that real change requires joint effort
involving governments, civil society and the private sector. ICCO’s main focus for the future is on “Economic growth with responsibility”. This challenge also aims to enhance competitiveness in Uganda’s Agribusiness sector which is in line with The Uganda National Development Plan 2010/11 to 2014/15 which aims to address structural bottlenecks in the economy to accelerate socio economic transformation and bring a large population of Ugandans out of poverty.

The Challenge, graced by Miss Uganda Leah Kalanguka, and officially launched by the Honorable Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, was launched at Kati Kati, Lugoogo in Kampala and will run until September 2015.

For more information please contact:
Communications Officer ICCO Central and Eastern Africa
Consodyne Buzabo
T +256 (0) 787 697771

Project Manager, Uganda
Enoth Mbeine
T +256 (0)414 532393
Project Manager, The Netherlands
Erik ten Berge

Published on 26 May 2015
Fifty years ago ICCO started as Dutch non-governmental organization with efforts to eradicate poverty and injustice worldwide. Nowadays ICCO has become an international organization with regional offices worldwide.

The small Agribusiness Development Fund of the EC delegation in Kampala.
this fund is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the Government of Uganda to contribute to the development of Uganda's agriculture and to the improvement of rural livelihoods, incomes and food security. The project purpose is to support the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) engaged in agribusiness by improving their access to Business Development Services and to long-term finance.

It foresees two main components:
  • Establishment of a Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund (SMADF), to invest, with equity and other medium term financing tools, in small and medium agribusinesses based in Uganda having viable investment plans:. The expected total amount of the SMADF is USD 30 million, with a duration of each investment between 3-8 years
  • A matching grant facility, entirely funded by the EU/GoU project, to support the development of capacity of targeted agribusinesses or businesses upstream/downstream the value chain, by co-funding consultancies for the provision of Business Development Services (BDS)
  • Contacts with prospective investors, on the other hand, will start already during the first half of 2015, with confirmation of commitments in the second half of 2015
  • Investees should expect to preliminarily submit their investment plans/ideas to the Fund Manager tentatively in the second half of 2015, and receive first funding in 2016.
European Commission (EC) -- Agribusiness and Smallholder Agriculture in Malawi
With support by the European Development Fund, the EC announces grants under the Farm Income Diversification Programme Phase II (FIDP II) - Agribusiness. The goals of the program are to strengthen and diversify smallholder agriculture; develop viable opportunities for agribusiness and agricultural processing; strengthen farmers groups; and enhance group social dynamics. Grants will range from €2.5 million to €4.0 million, varying by regions and cost shares. Eligibility for funding extends to legally registered organizations in EU and ACP countries (including Malawi), as well as to international organizations. Applicants must have an operational presence in Malawi or in Eastern or Southern Africa. Reference EuropeAid/137204/ID/ACT/MW. The deadline for concept notes is 27 July 2015. Link

European Commission (EC) -- Nutrition and Agriculture in Malawi
With support by the European Development Fund, the EC announces grants under the Farm Income Diversification Programme Phase II (FIDP II) - Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN). The goal of the program is to aid governments and civil society to better understand and manage nutritional issues related to agriculture, i.e., taking the six food groups and providing training on how these six food groups translate into cultivated crops and livestock. Eligibility for funding extends to legally registered organizations in the EU and its candidate countries; the European Economic Area; ACP countries (including Malawi); least-developed countries; and qualified international organizations. Grants will range from €1.5 million to €2.0 million, varying by regions and cost shares. Reference EuropeAid/137113/ID/ACT/MW. The deadline for concept notes is 20 July 2015. Link

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) -- Strengthening Agricultural Producer Organizations in Uganda. USAID-Kampala will make grants to strengthen the governance, management and service delivery capacity of agricultural producer organizations in Uganda. The focus should be producer organizations for coffee, maize, and beans. Eligibility to apply for funding is unrestricted. Funding Opportunity RFA-617-15-00007. The closing date for applications is 10 July 2015Link

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