The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria has launched a COVID-19 Food Security Challenge that will provide $3 million grant and technical assistance to youth-led and mid-stage companies working in the food value chains in Nigeria.
The pandemic has disrupted already fragile agricultural value chains in Nigeria, especially smallholder farmers’ ability to produce, process, and distribute food.
USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson said the agency was launching the COVID-19 Food Security Challenge to help innovative Nigerians alleviate food insecurity. “This assistance encourages private sector-led solutions to boost food production, processing, and create market linkage along the agriculture value chain in a sustainable way across Nigeria,” she said.
In launching the initiative, USAID seeks commercially viable youth-led and mid-stage companies already working in food production, processing, and distribution. Successful applicants will present ideas that demonstrably help farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain increase agricultural productivity and food security within the next six months.
The initiative will award 15 to 25 youth-led companies up to $75,000 each and award 10 to15 mid-stage companies up to $150,000 each. Winners will receive funding and technical assistance to rapidly expand their activities to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s food value chain and improve the resilience of vulnerable households to the negative impacts of the pandemic.