CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator 2024 (Up to $20,000 Grant) – APPLY NOW

Are you a business in the agricultural industry that has developed an innovative solution aimed at addressing food insecurity and increasing resilience in the East and Southern Africa region? If so, you are encouraged to apply to our program and receive tailored support along with access to financing to help bring your innovations to a larger scale.

CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator 2024
CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator 2024

Program Overview

The CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator (CFSA) program is a science-driven accelerator specifically designed to assist agribusinesses in scaling their climate-smart innovations that tackle key challenges within the food systems of East and Southern Africa.

By combining investment readiness with customized science-based technical assistance, CFSA equips agribusinesses with the tools and knowledge necessary to achieve greater commercial viability, environmental consciousness, and sustainability. In the upcoming 2024 cohort, CFSA has joined forces with the Agroecology Initiative to offer support to agribusinesses in adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices.

This collaboration aims to integrate the principles of agroecology, which involve applying scientific knowledge, practices, and innovations in transitioning food systems towards more sustainable and equitable production and consumption.

Target Sectors / SDGs

  • SDG 1 – The objective of eradicating poverty is supported by promoting economic activities.
  • SDG 2 – Zero Hunger can be achieved through the adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices.
  • SDG 3 – Improved health outcomes can be attributed to practicing mixed maize farming, which includes aquaculture, livestock, legumes, and other crops.
  • SDG 5 – Gender equality is promoted by providing support to women entrepreneurs and farmers within the supply chain.
  • SDG 8 and 10 – Decent work and economic growth, including for youth, are pursued through various initiatives.
  • SDG 13 – Climate action is advanced through the promotion of climate-smart agriculture and sustainable farming practices.
  • SDG 17 – Partnerships with ecosystems are developed to contribute towards achieving the goals.


  • CSA Technical Assistance: Under this program, each agribusiness will work closely with CGIAR scientists and experts to receive specialized technical support that is based on evidence and encourages the adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices. This assistance aims to address challenges related to ecosystems, strengthen the business’s practices, and enhance their bankability. Additionally, agribusinesses may have access to valuable research and data.
  • Impact Measurement and Management (IMM): The agribusiness teams will undergo training on how to effectively measure and manage the impact of their climate-smart agriculture and agroecology practices. This training will help them utilize their data to improve their business performance, identify areas of value creation, and achieve their desired outcomes in terms of positive environmental and social impacts. The training will be provided by a network of CGIAR scientists and experts.
  • Investment Readiness: Each agribusiness will collaborate with a CGIAR partner and their network to receive support in becoming investment ready and developing their business. This assistance aims to help the agribusinesses secure financing from the private sector.
  • De-risking Grant: The winning pitches that successfully complete the accelerator program and Pitch Day will receive de-risking grants. The amounts of these grants will be USD 20,000, USD 18,000, and USD 12,000 respectively, based on the scaling plans of the agribusinesses.
  • Access to investor network: The agribusinesses will have the opportunity to connect with a network of investors to attract follow-on funding in various forms such as grants, debt, and equity. This access will be based on the specific funding needs of the agribusinesses.

Eligibility Criteria

  • To ensure compliance with regulations, it is necessary for the business to be officially registered. Please kindly provide the following documents and information:
  • A Certificate of Incorporation for a company or Partnership Deed for a partnership business.
  • For growth-stage companies, 2 years of audited accounts or, for early-stage companies, 2 years of management accounts.
  • At least 2 contact details of references for the company.
  • Information regarding the team composition, including roles and responsibilities.
  • Curriculum Vitae for every member of the management team.
  • A tax compliance certificate or official documentation indicating tax exemption status.
  • The business should have a well-defined and inclusive strategy that prioritizes the involvement of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. This strategy should be evident in at least one aspect of the business model, such as ownership structure, management team composition, workforce policies, supply chain practices, or target customer base.
  • Applicants must be for-profit companies that can demonstrate their commercial viability. It is important for the company to be either already profitable or on a clear path towards profitability. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporate entities, and consultants will not be eligible for consideration.
  • The business should be operating within one of the following countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.


Here are the important dates for the application process:

  • Application period: From November 27th, 2023 to January 8th, 2024.
  • Selection period: From January 15th to February 16th, 2023.
  • Kick-off event: Scheduled for March 25th to 27th, 2024.
  • Technical assistance: Available from April 1st, 2023 to September 30th, 2024.
  • Pitch Day and announcement of grant recipients: Expected in October 2024.

How to Apply for CGIAR Food Systems Accelerator 2024

To initiate the application process, please click on this link

For further information about the program kindly visit the official website.

Application Deadline

January 8, 2024.



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