KENYA – The European Union (EU) through Self Help Africa, an International NGO implementing rural development, sustainable food and livelihoods security is planning to undertake a Ksh. 650 million (US$5.9m) cassava value chain project in Kenya.

The programme to be undertaken in a period of 3 years will be rolled out in Busia County and later to be extended to reach other 4,000 small scale farmers in Kisumu, Homabay Migori, Kilifi, and Siaya.

The investment is aimed to improve the competitiveness of cassava production in the country, targeting farm mechanization and value addition.

Self Help Africa Head of Programme Claris Kionge noted that cassava production in Kenya has declined in the recent decade as a result of inadequate quality seeds.

She stated that her organization will address pests and disease management in cassava to increase production through the establishment of plant clinics that will be managed by extension officers. This is expected to help identified counties attain food security.

EU invites Zambian agribusinesses to apply for grants of up to US$1.1m

Meanwhile, the European Union – EU Zambia office has called for agribusiness proposals from eligible Zambians to access grant funding of up-to €1 million (US$1.1m) under its Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund.

In an emailed statement to the Zambian Business Times – ZBT, the Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund (FED/2019/413-674) is inviting agri-businesses in Zambia who meet the eligibility criteria to apply for financial support in the first call for proposals.

The deadline for submission of concept notes is October 3, 2020.

“Zambia Challenge Fund, the European Union (EU) will award grants ranging from EUR 150,000 (US$174,650) to EUR 1 million (US$1.1m) to eligible entities, notably agribusiness operators who demonstrate that their envisaged investments are not only innovative, but that they will also contribute to the smallholder farmers’ commercialisation and better integration into greener and more sustainable value chains development,” indicated the statement.

The project seeks to benefit around 150,000 smallholder farmers with particular attention to the creation of decent employment opportunities for women and youth.

The Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund is a €26 million (US$30.2m) initiative by the European Union, which is part of the wider Support to the Sustainable Commercialisation of Zambia’s Smallholder Farmers Programme, funded to unlock, accelerate and leverage investments within agricultural value chains including agroforestry and aquaculture.

It is a five-year agribusiness support initiative that will invest €26m (US$30.2m) in the sector over five years (2020-2025).

Affordable funding is one of the challenges local agribusiness firms encounter in Zambia due to high lending rates from banks and financial institutions.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE