Is the funding a grant only or is there a repayable grant element?
WAFM funding is grant only.
Are there any applicable restrictions to the use of the funds?
Yes. The Funds must be used for activities aligned to the four key areas that WAFM is targeting, and must be geared towards promoting cross border trade in the Ghana-Burkina Faso and Nigeria-Niger trade corridors. A budget is agreed on between the Fund Management team and the company on usage of the funds. The key targeted areas for this round are:
- Increasing processing and supply chain capacity in collaboration with smallholders
- Increasing trading capacity in collaboration with smallholders
- Supporting the application of ICT interventions that address supply chain concerns
- Increasing warehousing capacity across all countries with inventory credit/warehouse
How many Challenge Fund recipients will typically be selected per-country per-round?
There is no pre-determined number of selected companies’ per-country. Each application is reviewed independently regardless of the country of operation.
Are there restrictions on what can be considered as the match requirement?
Yes, WAFM does not allow in-kind contributions. Other donor funding received for a different set of activities will also not be considered.
What are some of the winning concepts that have received favorable reviews by the Challenge Fund review board?
To-date: value-add processing with evidence of an existing cross-border market; storage along cross-border corridors; outgrower networks with evidence of existing cross-border market; innovative marketing and sales approaches. Bar storage, which is great and increases production through reduction of post-harvest losses. The majority of what we have found is production and processing focused with marketing and trade as a secondary add-on. Models focused on marketing and trade are very welcome – traders, freight forwarders, etc.
Who is on the Challenge Fund review board?
The review board is comprised of an independent panel of assessors that are drawn from the four countries and who have agribusiness and commercial expertise.
What are some of the ideas you will NOT be looking for in a Challenge Fund application?
Each idea is welcome. However, to align with WAFM’s objectives, we are looking for ideas that will increase cross border trade in the selected value chains along the two trade corridors.
Challenge Fund applicants are provided with financial and technical assistance support. Can applicants suggest their own technical assistance providers rather than work with one assigned by the Challenge Fund?
No. Applicants will be required to work with the providers recommended by WAFM.
I represent a financial institution that is privately held and with an interest in growing its agricultural portfolio (of lending, trade finance, equity, etc.) targeting these value chains for the purposes of expanding agricultural production and marketing and/or cross-border trade. Can my financial institution apply for Challenge Fund resources?
No. Unfortunately, financial institutions do not qualify for WAFM funding. WAFM is interested in companies/enterprises that are working directly with farmers or that are directly involved in the cross border trade. However, you can refer enterprises in your portfolio to apply for WAFM funding.