Under the 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020) for Zambia, the European Union and the Government of Zambia have agreed on a EUR 99 million “Support to the sustainable commercialisation of Zambia’s smallholder farmers” Programme. The first and largest component of this operation aims at supporting investments conducive to strengthening the market integration of smallholder farmers into value chain developments, through innovative business models including agribusiness operators and smallholders. This fund support implementation of the programme through design and management of a €26m grant scheme to better integrate farmers and agribusiness actors, within their value chain, providing incentives to the development of the smallholder agricultural sector in Zambia.

This project seeks to create markets for up to 150,000 small scale farmers and producers, and more than 8,000 new jobs in the sector over the next five years.  The project will embrace a collaborative approach in its implementation with Self Help Africa providing leadership and management and Imani Development providing technical oversight and operational support.

Imani’s role includes services such as:

  • Technical design of the Action (Concept Development);
  • Training and Capacity Building to the Lead Partner on running and managing Challenge Funds;
  • Technical Assistance, including undertaking extensive Value Chain Assessments, applying the Market Systems Development and Sustainable Livelihoods Assessment frameworks;
  • Co-establishment of the Independent Investment Committee;
  • Fund design, marketing, and launch of the targeted thematic calls for proposals;
  • Development of applicant due diligence criteria and processes;
  • Comprehensive screening and due-diligence of applicants;
  • Technical Support to applicants in reviewing business plans, as well as implementation support to successful applicants;
  • Identification, management, and procurement of skills through a comprehensive Short-Term Technical Assistance pool of experts;
  • Coaching and advisory services to successful applicants;
  • Stakeholder engagement and management, particularly in the areas of trade and business associations, as well as financial service providers;
  • Preparation and dissemination of communication and visibility materials relating to available credit and financial support services;