CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator Program ($20,000 Grants)

Food Systems Accelerator 2024
Partner Organization CGIAR image of Cgiar Logo


Are you an agribusiness with a climate-smart innovation that tackles food insecurity and increases resilience in the East and Southern Africa region? Apply to our program to receive tailor-made support as well as access to finance to bring your innovations to scale.

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. 

Target sectors / SDGs
  • SDG 1 – No poverty through promotion of economic activities.
  • SDG 2 – Zero Hunger attributed to adoption of climate-smart agriculture.
  • SDG 3 – Good Health attributed to mixed maize farming (aquaculture, livestock, legumes, and other crops).
  • SDG 5 – Gender Equality through support of women entrepreneurs and farmers in supply chain.
  • SDG 8 and 10 – Decent work and economic growth, including for youth.
  • SDG 13 – Climate Action through promotion of climate-smart agriculture and sustainable farming.
  • SDG 17 – Ecosystem partnerships to develop the goals.

Benefits for Startups

  • CSA Technical Assistance: through this program each agribusiness will collaborate with CGIAR scientists and experts to receive coordinated and specialized evidence-based technical support that encourages adoption and strengthens their CSA practices, addresses concrete ecosystem challenges, and improves their bankability. Agribusinesses may also have access to research and data.
  • Impact Measurement and Management (IMM): Agribusiness teams will receive training on how to effectively measure and manage impact on climate-smart agriculture and agroecology, use their data to improve business performance, identify areas where value can be created and achieve their desired result in contributing towards positive environmental and social impact. This training will be provided by CGIAR network of scientists and experts.
  • Investment Readiness: Each agribusiness will collaborate with a CGIAR partner and its network to receive investment readiness and business development support to help secure financing from the private sector.
  • De-risking Grant: Upon successful completion of the accelerator program and Pitch Day, the winning pitches will receive de-risking grants of USD 20,000, USD 18,000, and USD 12,000, respectively, based on their scaling plans.
  • Access to our network of investors to attract follow-on funding in grants, debt, and equity according to funding needs.

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Eligibility criteria

  • The business should be officially registered and compliant with regulatory authorities. Please provide the following:
    • A Certificate of Incorporation for a Limited Company or Partnership Deed for a Partnership Business.
    • 2 years audited accounts for growth stage companies OR 2-year management accounts for early-stage companies.
    • At least 2 contact details of the company’s references.
    • Team composition.
    • Curriculum Vitae for management team.
    • Tax Compliance certificate OR official documentation for tax exemption.


Application period dates: 27th November 2023 and deadline 8

Learn more about the Accelerator Program here and how to apply

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