The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the USAID/Nigeria COVID-19 Food Security Challenge which offers $3 million in funding and technical assistance to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s agri-food systems.
Through this challenge, USAID will offer $3 million to youth-led companies (up to age 29) and mid-stage companies (those having an existing customer base of more than 1,000 people) in Nigeria.
Nigeria is at present confronted with a food security crisis that is deepened by COVID-19 global pandemic and its negative consequences on the food value chain in the country. The pandemic has severely affected an already weak agri-food system and value chain across the nation. Millions of people, and especially the most vulnerable households are threatened with hunger and malnutrition due to the socio-economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and large-scale disruption to food production, processing, distribution, and marketing systems.
In response to this crisis, USAID/Nigeria seeks to collaborate with commercially viable youth-led and mid-stage companies that are already operating in food production, processing, and/or distribution across Nigeria.
A statement by the USAID challenge team said the agency is requesting that these partners assist farmers and other stakeholders in the food value chain to increase agricultural productivity and food security within the next six months.
“The challenge anticipates awarding 15 to 25 youth-led companies up to $75,000 each and awarding 10 to15 mid-stage companies up to $150,000 each. The winners will receive funding and technical assistance to rapidly expand their food production or food security 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,” it said.
The application window closes on May 9, 2021 at 5:00 pm WAT. The statement urged interested Nigerians to view its website at https://www.usaid.gov/innovation/nigeriacovid19 or email the organization at NigeriaCOVID19challenge@resonanceglobal.com for more information about the challenge.