Investing in Tanzania Agribusiness

By Hugh Scott, Director, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund

Investing in Tanzania Agribusiness

Hugh Scott, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund Director, explains the latest funding opportunity for businesses to apply if they have an innovative project for Tanzania

I am excited to announce that the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is ready to fund for-profit businesses that have innovative, agribusiness related projects for Tanzania that will benefit the rural poor.

The AECF acts as a catalyst for private sector investment in Tanzanian agribusiness and rural finance sectors. It does this by making donor funding available to private companies through a competitive mechanism with businesses submitting their business ideas and the AECF awarding the best ideas with financial support. In this competition, the AECF will be looking to co-fund, with grants and interest free loans, successful applicants (potentially 10 to 15 companies) with between US$100,000 and US$1,000,000 each.

This is the third funding round for our Tanzania Agribusiness Window, with the AECF having conducted two successful competitions in Tanzania previously (22 companies have been awarded funding so far). The new

Tanzania Window Round 3 (TZAWR3) competition is open for applications until 31st March 2014 (midnight East African time).

To compete successfully, applicant businesses must demonstrate they have the capacity to implement the proposed project, that it will be financially viable and will increase the incomes of rural poor households in Tanzania through increased employment, higher yields, reduced costs and/or improved efficiencies in production. They must also be able to provide matching funds so that risk is shared between the business and the AECF.

TZAW R3 will fund the widest possible range of innovative, agribusiness related, business ideas. For example:

  • financial service providers offering innovative products to agribusinesses e.g. agricultural machinery leasing, new financial products for smallholders, mobile money innovations;
  • farming, plantations and ranching companies, that have innovative business ideas that will benefit themselves and smallholder farmers (inclusive business models);
  • out-grower schemes;
  • producers, manufacturers and distributors of agricultural inputs that are offering new products (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, tools, irrigation and other equipment etc) to smallholders using new business/distribution models;
  • agro processors, traders and merchants offering new markets for Tanzanian farmers; and,
  • other private sector service providers including suppliers of market information, extension and other agricultural services

I encourage any interested businesses who wish to participate in this competition to register and apply here. Once you register your business by providing a few details, you will be able to accept the Terms and Conditions of TZAWR3 and to download the application form template as well as informative guidance notes.

Please note the AECF only accepts applications from for-profit companies, the application must be in English and on the AECF template.

In case of any enquiries or challenges registering or gaining access to the application forms, you can write to in**@ae********.org for assistance.

Further information about the AECF is available on our website

I wish you every success with your application.

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