Grants up to €250,000 available to support Irish agri-food businesses in Africa
Irish agri-food companies of all sizes are being encouraged to apply for grant funding to explore and seize exciting opportunities to develop new markets in Africa. Minister Seán Fleming, Minister of State for International Development, and Minister Pippa Hackett, Minister of State with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity, today launched the call for applications for the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP), which for over ten years has been supporting Irish companies to realise their ambition of doing business in Africa.
The AADP offers Irish Agri-businesses an invaluable opportunity to develop and harness the potential from innovative partnerships with companies in sub-Saharan African countries, providing matched funding grant support of up to €250,000 to Irish companies. The call will stay open until 14th April.
Minister of State at Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, said:
“Ireland is a global leader in sustainable food production. AADP funding enables Irish agri-food companies to leverage their experiences and expertise with local companies in Africa to develop exciting opportunities and new partnerships that are mutually beneficial, commercially viable and have the interests of small-holder primary producers at their core”.
Minister Seán Fleming said:
“The AADP programme offers Irish food producing businesses the opportunity to explore new markets in Africa, while also providing important investment in local African businesses. It is a win-win for everyone. “Food security globally, and particularly in parts of Africa, has worsened recently due to climate change and conflict. Developing sustainable agri-food businesses has never been as important. The AADP has supported the development of sustainable food producing businesses in areas such as diary, horticulture, and animal and crop health products.
“I recently attended the Dakar Summit on food sovereignty in Senegal. Ireland is strongly committed to supporting people experiencing hunger. I look forward to visiting more agricultural projects supported by Ireland over the coming weeks.”
A Government of Ireland initiative, the programme is jointly managed by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
The AADP has supported dozens of Irish companies to develop sustainable and rewarding commercial ventures in Africa that include the development of agriculture value-chains, market testing animal and crop health products, horticulture, livestock genetics, dairy and cheese production facilities.
The substantial grants on offer help businesses to manage their financial risk and to use their expertise and resources to work on projects jointly with African companies to deliver a strong and positive impact on local communities.
Projects must be based in 18 eligible countries in Africa, must be commercial in focus and deliver real benefits to local communities. All state funding must be matched by the Irish company. Funds are also available for feasibility studies. The closing date for receipt of applications is the 14 April 2023.
Minister Fleming and Minister Hackett were joined at today’s launch by Mary Van Dijk of Bimeda Animal Health and Pat Cussen and Martin Ormonde of Healy’s Honey. Through the AADP, Healy’s Honey works with local honey producers in Tanzania. Bimeda is an Irish-owned company which has, in conjunction with local partner Best Tropical Fruits Ltd, led a project to train primarily female smallholder fruit farmers in Kenya in the farming of Black Soldier Flies.
Black Soldier Flies will consume the farmers’ waste fruit, which would otherwise attract disease-carrying pests as well as producing harmful methane. The farmed Black Soldier Fly larvae will also be used as sustainable source of protein in animal feed. The project will also generate an additional revenue stream for female smallholder farmers.