West Africa Food Markets (WAFM) Challenge Fund

The West Africa Food Markets (WAFM) Pilot Programme is a 5 year initiative that seeks to increase the availability of staplefoods and purchasing power of farmers in food-insecure regions of the Sahel, as well as to increase their resilience to hunger and malnutrition during the regular hungry seasons and periodic shocks.

The Challenge Fund aims to invest in business models that will strengthen national and regional trade for targeted staple foods: maize, millet, sorghum and cassava. Businesses or companies are invited to bid based on rules that are set and publicized.

The intention is to get funds to businesses or companies that truly need them and can use them effectively. The funds are to help the companies realize the broader aims of the programme, which are to increase availability of staple foods, increase purchasing power of farmers and consumers in food-insecure regions of the Sahel as well as their resilience to hunger and malnutrition during the regular hungry seasons and periodic shocks.

WAFM Challenge Fund runs competitions for for-profit private companies only. These companies are invited to submit proposals outlining the business idea or concept for which they are applying for funding.

The WAFM Challenge Fund seeks to fund companies that stimulate cross-border trade in staplefoods through core business activity. Alongside the overall criteria, WAFM is looking to fund business models in Round 2 that aim to achieve one or more of the following objectives:

  • Increase processing and supply chain capacity in collaboration with smallholders
  • Increase trading capacity in collaboration with smallholders
  • Support the application of ICT interventions that address supply chain concerns
  • Increase warehousing capacity across all countries with inventory credit/warehouse receipts

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The applicant must be a for-profit-company.
  • The project must focus on activities that directly or indirectly stimulate cross-border trade of staplefood commodities.
  • The project must be working in the target staple foods value chains (maize, sorghum, millet and cassava).
  • The grant amount requested must be between GBP 100,000 and GBP 1m.
  • There is a requirement of co-financing of at least the same amount by the applicant.
  • The applicant will have to meet all eligibility criteria. Ineligible applications are declined and a feedback letter sent to the applicant. Limited comments will be provided to unsuccessful applicants and they may be requested to contact the PMU where they require additional information.


Being selected is the first of a three-part second stage of the funding process. It is structured in 6 steps. During this stage, WAFM Challenge Fund Management Team (CFMT) engages with and visits all companies preparing proposals. The final proposals are presented to the Independent Assessment Panel (IAP) followed by the Programme Steering Committee (PSC) for approval of projects that will win the competition.

How to apply

If you are interested in this programme, please follow the link below to apply

Click here to apply


Application Deadline: 27th November 2015, GMT 00:00

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