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Agriculture is Africas lifeline. It holds the key to the future and yet is not performing as well as it should, said moderator Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe, at the Development Policy Forum (DPF) High Level Dinner Debate, held in Brussels on the eve of the European Union (EU) Africa Summit. Less than 4% of African agriculture land is irrigated and cCrop yields are still lagging below 3 ton/Ha due to several factors that the African farmer cannot solve but the main problem remains the lack of access to agriculture fiance that would enable correct modern irrigation and enough agriculture inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, etc). With yield potentials of 11-12 ton/Ha (cereal case), there is a large room for advising a business model based on "FERTIRRIGATION" as a service delivered to farmers by private investors, with the land and the crop becoming long term collaterals of the investment. It is evident that more studies are needed for the technical feasibility on a localized level, and as well for other complementary risk coverage solutions such as the recouse mechanism when the farmer sells the crop to a competitor.


Irrigation is one essential factor counting for high and predictable crop yields. Nevertheless irrigation needs power to drive pumps and other irrigation devices, which is not readily available in Africa. But Africa in one of the best sun blesses spots in the world! And ultimately solar energy is a free, quasi-pertutual and sustainable power source. We have identified and developed relationships with solar energy service providers basing their interventions in Africa on Power Purchase Agreements, on equipment leasing and on classic rental schemes (some information at www.energyforafrica.ga). Incorporating such players in the business set up will give out an efficient winning scenario.


Irrigation water may be mixed with fertilizers and other inputs to further solve farmer's limitations, reducing its work just to soil preparation for planting, plant care during the growth period, and physical security if irrigation equipment.


The harvested crop will be shared between the farmer and the investor at let's say 60% for the investor and 40% for the farmer. To complete the set up, a storage facility will be established as a transit storage of creal grains collected from farmers and sold later on (with an extra storage transaction fee and at increased market price), to market players such as the East Africa Grain Exchange. Because the investor is the exclusive buyer for its contractual farmers, the farmer will have a sure crop outlet paying a correct current market price. The farmer will be making a good transaction where the gain will be around 100% compared to its production before the investor intervention, because the yield will have increased from 3 to 11-12 ton/Ha. The investor will also make a great ROI after paying off all operational costs.


Any input enabling to ameliorate this easy to duplicate and impact agriculture business concept that I wish to become a daily reality in Africa is welcome. I personally see this approach as a business bing bank in African agriculture. For more information please contact me at gashakambaj@gmail.com

Katapult Accelerator is looking for qualified applicants for the next round of their acceleration services which begins in July. The awarded startups will receive three months of accleration assistance, up to $100 thousand in investment, and access to Katapult's broad network of companies and investors. Application are due on May 31st.

The Water Data Challenge seeks breakthroughs in enabling resource-poor farmers to access and make use of affordable, timely water data, resulting in better management of scarce water resources to support resilient, productive farms. Apply here in three easy steps.

The application process for the Water Data Challenge is as follows:

  • Applications accepted from innovators, entrepreneurs, start-ups, researchers, and government agencies. We encourage applications from women-led organizations and organizations located in low or low-middle income countries. We require that proposals have a partner from a low or low-middle income country. (Note: Please provide supporting information on partnerships, as well as team leadership and make-up.)  Awardees will be chosen by a panel of judges, selected for the Water Innovation Engine.
  • Awards: The Call for Innovations will begin on World Water Day, March 22, 2017, with a rolling application process. Following the Call for Innovations, a group of experts will select key innovations to receive planning grants of US $10,000 to be announced by July of 2017. Applicants selected for planning grants in the first round will be asked to submit full proposals, and will be eligible for early-stage awards up to US $250,000, and ready-to-scale awards up to US $1million.
  • Support is expected to include collaboration with other innovators, technical experts, funders, leaders and stakeholders to expand networks, enhance solutions, and multiply the impact of challenge funding.
  • Timeline: The Water Data Challenge will launch on World Water Day on March 22, 2017, with the first awards announced by July, 2017.

USAID's Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub
The Trade and Investment Hub is a five-year trade and investment facilitation project for Southern Africa. It's the fourth generation of trade hubs funded by USAID that have helped increase trade and investment across the region. The project is expected to increase global competitiveness and intra-regional trade and improve food security in Southern Africa.

We look at business from every angle
Across five components, the Trade and Investment Hub is...

  • Leveraging finance and investment in targeted sectors
  • Supporting national, regional bodies industry, associations and service providers to facilitate intra-regional trade of agricultural commodities and economic integration;
  • facilitating improved private sector export competitiveness in key value chains (agribusiness: maize, pulses, oilseeds; exports: food ingredients, processed foods, apparel, accessories, leather and footwear)
  • Expanding trade including increased utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The Strategic Partnership Fund
In addition to providing technical assistance, the Trade and Investment Hub will award grants through the Strategic Partnership Fund to support interventions with matching funds that can catalyze rapid and inclusive growth in the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub project, across all program components. 


Apply to the Strategic Partnership Fund today!

Send us a solution to increase trade and investment. We'll leverage the best ideas...

  • The Strategic Partnership Fund is now accepting applications through June 19, 2017.
  • Here is the complete description of the program.
  • We've organized information sessions across the region. See the schedule.
  • All of the information you need to complete an application is available here.

Did you come across the Gifted Citizen Award? It looks really interesting, and it's not too late to apply (April 20). I looked at the application form and it is quite simple, especially if your idea is already off the ground and could use a 100K injection.


More about the award here.


To go directly to the application page, click here.


It's part of "La Ciudad de las Ideas"!


AgriJoven Guatemala Agropecuaria Popoyan

Royal Consulting Services, Inc. (RCS) is a design/build firm dedicated to excellence in agricultural, environmental, and water resources engineering. RCS prides itself in being a full service consulting, engineering, and construction management firm, helping public and private clients improve infrastructure and the environment throughout United States and now days around the world.

We invite you to ask for our NEW service International Marketing where our team will research for you the opportunities you might have to enter into the market in the countries will be visiting soon ARGENTINA, PERU, USA, PHILIPPINES.

We will help you to:

  • Export counseling & advice
  • Maintaining a network of international offices
  • Providing international trade statistics, analyses of international trade trends and detailed import/export reports.
  • Liaison with state agencies as needed


We know that access to timely, context-specific data can have a real impact on farmers’ productivity and incomes. Getting insights from that data into the hands of the people who really need it, however, remains a challenge, especially in developing countries like Nepal. Through Digital Development for Feed the Future's Data-Driven Farming Prize, we’re calling upon problem-solving innovators to find tools and approaches that source, analyze, and translate data into action.  Up to $300,000 in prizes are available.  Applications will be accepted through April 6, 2017 and more details are available here.


Agora Partnerships launched a call for applications for its 2017 Accelerator program. This accelerator program focus’ on businesses that are contributing to a sustainable economy. If selected, Agora Partnerships provide entrepreneurs who are intentionally building businesses that solve social and environmental challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean with 4-month program designed to provide high-potential entrepreneurs with the knowledge, network and access to capital necessary to create system change. The accelerator offers in-depth, personalized, 1:1 consulting; access to the Agora Partnerships’ network of mentors, investors, and capital opportunities; and a global community of peers. Check it out: http://www.andeglobal.org/blogpost/920159/270253/Agora-Partnerships-Launches-Application-for-2017-Accelerator-Cycle-2-Class


The African Women in Agricultural Research and Development organization announced that their 2017 AWARD AgTech Innovation Challenge for West and North Africa is now open. The funding opportunity is aimed at increasing agribusiness investments in technological and business model innovations that help bridge the gender gap in African agriculture. They are particularly interested in ideas that enhance the positive participation of African women in agricultural value chains across the continent.

To apply, go here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeST8Sbc_3Rzi1m0wj67LctZkJbp2uw1QBK_2PS7J5kiftBfg/viewform?c=0&w=1 OR contact arielle.molino@intellecap.net or D.onyoni@cgiar.org with your questions.

This award is specifically for ideas that have already been successfully piloted in either West or North Africa in the following countries:
West Africa:  Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo
North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia

Sagnet Approved logo.jpg

The Southern Africa Grain Network (SAGNET) is a not-for-profit company supporting regional efforts for private sector engagements in grain trade and policy in Southern Africa.  


SAGNET is a key organization mobilizing private sector players in the grain value chains towards structured trading systems with the view to increasing the volume and velocity of grain trade to enhance food security in Southern Africa. SAGNET’s private sector mobilization with a membership and stakeholder reach spans the greater Southern Africa region giving the organization a strong voice in advocacy to engage with governments and also with regional economic communities towards the improvement of the policy and trade environment.

The company’s Vision Statement is: “A vibrant, well integrated, viable and sustainable grain value chain network that is contributing to the creation of wealth, employment and food and nutrition security” while

its mission statement is: “To facilitate and promote collective action and regional collaboration by grain value chain actors in Southern Africa”

The company envisages that, through better cooperation between value chain actors, it will reinforce the change for more open and functional grain markets in the region benefiting all value chain actors including smallholder farmers.

The company’s membership include value chain actors from southern Africa countries drawn from four sectors of the value chain, that is production, processing, trading and service providers. Participation by the various actors is be open, voluntary and based on agreed common agenda.

The network includes the following stakeholders:

i. National representatives of the grain value chain in the region to ensure broad representation (ordinary members);

ii. Private sector representatives (associate members); and

iii. Academic and research institutions (associate members)

   Contact the coordinator for more details and partnerships:

Gregory Chansa: Gregory_Chansa@dai.com


Global Innovation Fund

Posted by jamieh Feb 13, 2017

The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. Through grants and risk capital, it supports breakthrough solutions with strong potential for social impact at a large scale. Financial support ranges from $50,000 to $15 million. GIF is open and accepting application on a rolling basis.

Learn more here!

The Global Innovation Fund invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. Their grants and risk capital support breakthrough solutions to global development challenges from social enterprises, for-profit firms, nonprofit organizations, researchers, and government agencies.


Make sure to do your research before reaching out or sending in a proposal:


Check out the type of projects the Global Innovation Fund is interested in pursuing here.


Understand their funding stages and amounts here.


Know what they don’t fund before investing time and resources in a proposal here.

Venture Capital for Africa has a list of ongoing open programs here. Their goal is to reach and connect aspiring entrepreneurs, venture founders and developers in Africa.

Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa) started with the mission to build up Africa’s startup community. Started in 2007, VC4Africa has grown organically over the years into what is now a leading community working to build high growth high impact companies on the continent. Africa’s increased economic momentum is fueled by a growing number of entrepreneurs and their ambition to transform the continent. It is imperative we seek out the collaborations and partnerships needed to bring together the capital, knowledge and network these entrepreneurs require to succeed. In collaboration with a growing network of partners, the VC4Africa community of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors is central to bolstering the Entrepreneurial ecosystem across the continent, and offers a direct channel for anyone serious about being part of Africa’s next great success story.

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