The AgriFI Kenya Challenge Fund (AKCF) of part the wider AgriFI Kenya programme, a European Union initiative to support productive, adapted and market-integrated smallholder agriculture. The challenge fund, executed by Self Help Africa and Imani Development, provides financial support to agri-enterprises to contribute to improvements in the capacity of smallholder farmers/pastoralists to practice environmentally sustainable and climate-smart agriculture as a business in inclusive value chains. 


AKCF runs over three calls for proposals, with the overall programme covering approximately 60 months. It is not possible to submit new project proposals anymore. 



AKCF aims to award EUR 18 million to 50 agri-enterprises. The third call is divided into two windows. The first window focuses on established medium-sized agri-enterprises. In this window, applicants can apply for grants from EUR 200,000 to EUR 750,000. The second window has a specific focus on smaller agri-enterprises in selected counties in Western, Nyanza, North Rift, South Rift, Northern and Coastal regions. Through this window, AKCF provides grants between EUR 100,000 and EUR 200,000. The grants in both windows can cover a maximum of 50% of the total value of the proposal. The balance must be financed by the applicant from matching funds in the form of cash/cash equivalents, credit or equity from external financers. 


Project focus 

The fund targets to integrate 100,000 smallholder farmers/pastoralists in sustainable value chains. In line with the AgriFI Kenya objectives, proposals will be assessed on: 


  • Economic viability: Business revenue growth, market potential and business capacity. 
  • Social impact: Inclusion of smallholder farmers/pastoralists, improvement of smallholders' incomes, creating employment opportunities, enhancing food security and nutrition, addressing gender inequality and youth unemployment, and creating opportunities in arid and semi-arid counties. 
  • Environmental impact: Including climate-smart approaches, both at farm and SME level. 


Eligible applicants 

Applicants must be duly incorporated in Kenya as a for-profit entity (a company or a cooperative) and must have at least three years of uninterrupted operations. Applicants for the first window must have a yearly turnover in the range of EUR 200,000 to EUR 50,000,000. Applicants for the second window must have a yearly turnover for the last three years in the range of EUR 100,000 to EUR 200,000. For additional eligibility criteria, please contact Advance Consulting. 



Selection follows a two-stage procedure: 


  • Stage one: concept note
  • Stage two: full proposal, subject to positive evaluation of the concept note


Why work with Advance Consulting?

Advance Consulting deals with funding programmes, such as AKCF, and fund managers on a daily basis, so we have a deep understanding of how all of this can work in the best interest of your company. Please note that Advance Consulting is not affiliated with the programme sponsor (European Union) or the granting organizations (Self Help Africa and Imani Development). Contact for further information on the AKCF programme.