The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), on Monday, has announced a grant funding assistance of $3million (about N1bn) to youth-led and mid-stage companies in the food value chain sector of Nigeria.
This was disclosed in a press release signed by the Chief of Party, USAID Catalyst Project Resonance, Mr. Stephen Rahaim.
According to the statement, applications for the grant, tagged “USAID/Nigeria COVID-19 Food Security Challenge”, has been made available on the official website of the agency.
The application has commenced on Monday, April 12 and will close on Sunday, May 9.
According to the agency, the grant will help mitigate the food security crisis that was caused by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The agency is seeking to help youth-led companies and mid-stage companies based in Nigeria, with $3million, in a bid to increase the agricultural productivity and food security in the country.
According to the official exchange rate of Monday, the grant might be equivalent to N1 billion.
The agency also noted that the grant is in “pursuant to the authority contained in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the USAID Catalyst Project, implemented by SSG Advisors d/b/a Resonance, with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)”.
According to the statement, all applicants must meet the requirements as stated on the official website of the agency.
The application is only open for companies that have local presence in Nigeria. Applicants must be registered and authorized by the national government in Nigeria.
Applicants must also have a sustainable and financially viable business model for their innovation regarding the food security value chain of Nigeria.
USAID also disclosed that 15 to 25 youth-led companies successful applicant will receive a cash prize of $75,000(N28 million) each, while 10 to15 mid-stage companies will be awarded a cash prize of up to $150,000 (N57 million) each.
The statement partly reads, “Dear Prospective Applicants,
Pursuant to the authority contained in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the USAID Catalyst Project, implemented by SSG Advisors d/b/a Resonance, with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), invites eligible applicants to respond to the COVID-19 Food Security Challenge Request for Applications (RFA) 2021.
“As part of the Feed the Future initiative, the USAID/Nigeria COVID-19 Food Security Challenge seeks to spur, recognize, and reward outstanding business plans from both commercially viable youth-led enterprises and mid-stage enterprises in Nigeria that can rapidly expand their activities to improve food production and/or food security, thus improving the resilience of vulnerable households to the negative impacts of COVID-19.
Youth-led (up to age 29) companies: Provide $1.25 million through 15-30 awards of $25,000 to $75,000 in funding investment and technical assistance to commercially viable youth-led (up to age 29) companies to expand their activities to improve food production and/or food security. Preference will be given to youth-led applicants who leverage funds.
Mid-stage companies (any age group, businesses that have an existing customer base of more than 1,000 people): Provide $1.75 million through 10-15 awards of $75,000 to $150,000 in funding and technical assistance to commercially viable mid-stage companies in Nigeria that can rapidly expand their activities to improve food production and/or food security. Mid-stage applicants must provide 50 percent in leveraged funds.
Increase food and agriculture system productivity and enhance efficient production along the value chains to unlock agricultural production that has been limited by COVID-19’s impact on food production, processing, and distribution in Nigeria.
Develop and promote innovative local food-based models, including local production, processing, and marketing of highly nutritious foods for the prevention and/or treatment of wasting/acute malnutrition.
Promote climate and environmental resilience and biodiversity through the sustainable, holistic management of natural resources and ecosystems.
Promote socially responsible marketing/advertising to increase demand for safe, nutritious foods and other nutrition-related commodities and services.
“The Challenge will target Nigerian women and men, smallholder farmers, and others working in all parts of the agriculture value chain that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.”