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Top 10 Agriculture Business Grants In Nigeria

Top Agriculture Business Grants In Nigeria

Are you a Nigerian agricbusiness entrepreneur? Check out these agriculture business grants to explore free funding options for your business.

Agriculture is one of the highest contributors to the Nigerian GDP. 

The sector employs about 70% of the country’s labour force according to Dr. Ezra Yakusak, Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). However, small-scale farmers face many challenges like poor infrastructure and inefficient farming practices due to lack of access to finance.

If you’re among those who have bright ideas for your agri-business but lack capital, grants from government agencies, foundations, and impact investors can provide the much-needed funding to help upgrade your operations.

Recommended For You: Learn everything you need to know about applying for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, writing a stand out proposal, and winning the $5,000 grant. We even included a TEEP application checklist to help you stay on track. Start Your Journey Now

In this article, we will provide an overview of some agriculture business grants in Nigeria. Whether you need funding for new equipment, training of farmers, or research into improved varieties, these grants can support your work. Read on to find options that match your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Agriculture grants provide financing for projects aimed at strengthening the farming sector via innovation adoption, increased productivity, farmer training programs, etc.
  • We included 10 of the best, grants, awards, and challenges which agriculturally-oriented individuals can apply for to win funding for their businesses.
  • To secure agricultural grants, it’s wise to apply through partnerships with registered groups like cooperatives or incubators.
  • Priority sectors are staples, horticulture, livestock, aquaculture, etc. with emphasis on technology use, sustainability, value addition, and socioeconomic inclusion.

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What’s an Agriculture Business Grant?

Agriculture business grants are funding programs offered by government, private companies, and philanthropic organizations to provide financial assistance for projects related to farming and agribusiness.

These grants aim to address issues like low productivity and profitability, lack of access to finance, and inefficient practices and policies hindering agriculture. They promote the adoption of innovations and tools to strengthen the sector.

Agriculture business grants do not need to be repaid like loans as long as the funding is used for intended activities and required reporting is completed. The funding amounts and specific targets differ across each grant program.

Top 10 Grant Funding Opportunities for Agribusiness In Nigeria

Several major funding opportunities from leading organizations offer grants to support agriculture projects across Nigeria. Here are ten initiatives you should consider applying for:

1. U.S. African Development and Ekiti State Government Grant

United States African development foundation offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) partners with Nigeria’s Ekiti state government to provide grants worth $50,000 to $250,000 for projects by farmer cooperatives, producer groups, and agribusinesses in the rice and cassava value chains.

Grant amount: US$50,000-US$250,000

Eligibility

  • Your organization must have a proven track record of collaboration and a functioning infrastructure to effectively manage and use grant funds.
  • Only organizations with a clear understanding of the problem they are addressing, a strong commitment to community benefit, and robust financial management systems will be considered.
  • You must have demonstrated your ability to work together effectively for at least one year and have a minimum of 100 active members or suppliers.
  • Organizations must be fully African-owned.
  • You must be committed to long-term success and have the capacity to deliver sustainable impact.

How to Apply

Download the application form and submit your proposal to nigeriaekiti@usadf.gov

2. The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Programme

Tony Elumelu Foundation offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Even though the Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship program is not solely for agribusiness ventures, it covers innovative business ideas in the agricultural sector. So if your agricultural business or idea is to offer innovative solutions, then you should apply. 

TEF aims to catalyze the economic prosperity of Africa by empowering young entrepreneurs through funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

Grant Amount: $5,000 seed capital along with technical support through a 12-week intensive training program, mentorship opportunities, and more.

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be African entrepreneurs aged 18 and above
  • Have bankable for-profit business ideas or startups
  • Have a business under 5 years of operations in any high-growth sector, including agriculture

How to Apply

Applications are submitted online through TEF’s portal during the yearly application window.

A Nigerian Entrepreneur? See How to Write a Solid Business Grant Proposal

How to Write Business Grant Proposal

Here are step-by-step guide to write a winning business grant proposal in Nigeria. Use the tips here to win your dream grants.

3. AYuTe Africa Challenge in Nigeria

AYUTE Africa offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Are you an early-stage or growth-stage agritech business/company with groundbreaking solutions that are making a tangible impact on smallholder farmers? If you answered with a ‘yes,’ then you stand a chance to get $20,000 in funding from Ayuta Challenge. 

This incredible enterprise development program, spearheaded by Heifer International and brought to life by Wennovation Hub, seeks to unearth, nurture, and empower innovative, tech-driven agric-centric enterprises that are poised to transform the lives of smallholder farmers across Nigeria.

Some of the programs benefits includes:

  • Support and resources designed to propel your agritech venture to new heights. 
  • Access to mentorship, training, and networking opportunities.
  • Funding to help you grow, scale, and thrive.

So, if you’re an agri-preneur with a passion for innovation and a commitment to empowering smallholder farmers, don’t miss this chance to be part of something truly transformative. Embrace the AYuTe Africa Challenge Nigeria and let your ingenuity ignite a brighter future for Nigerian agriculture.

Reward Amount: $20,000

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be between 18 and 35 years old
  • Be a Nigerian citizen with an official ID
  • Have innovative ideas in the agriculture sector
  • Demonstrate proven solutions to social problems, implementable, technically feasible, economically sound, and environmentally friendly
  • Be founder or co-founder of the represented enterprise, active role in operations and leadership
  • Have no criminal record
  • Show partnership and collaboration with other stakeholders
  • Register/incorporate the company with relevant government agencies in Nigeria
  • Business must have the potential for job creation and poverty reduction
  • The idea must align with relevant national policies and international treaties (e.g., SDGs)
  • Address smallholder farmer productivity, income, labour intensiveness, resilience, access to information, and strong competitive advantage.

How to Apply

To apply, head over to AYuTe’s official website and fill out the application form once the portal is open for applications. Applicants will receive a confirmation email/SMS upon successful submission.

The application timeline for last year was from 17th July to 31st July 2023, so we expect the timeline to remain roughly the same for this year.

4. GAIN Micro Grant for Empowerment

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is offering unique funding support for Nigerian agribusinesses driving greater nutrition outcomes. Select small and medium enterprises operating in Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa and Oyo states focused on biofortified crops can benefit from equity-free grants.

This new initiative aims to scale up biofortified food production and commercialization benefiting consumers across Nigeria. 

Grant Amount: ₦3 million 

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be a Nigerian above 18 years of age.
  • Have completed business registration under CAC one year prior for individuals and three years prior for groups like cooperatives. 
  • Operations must be based in the focal states.

How to Apply

Head over to the GAIN micro-grant official website and click on the ‘Apply Here’ button below the page. Applications for 2023 closed on November 12.

5. Arrell Global Food Innovation Awards

Arrell Global Food Innovation Awards offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

The Arrell Global Food Innovation Awards is an annual program that recognizes pioneering work and inspirational leadership in strengthening food systems worldwide. So if you’re a scientist already making pioneering discoveries in food security, this is for you.

In 2023, two prize categories were rewarded for both scientific contributions and community-focused achievements related to overcoming food security challenges. 

Award Amount: CAD 100,000

Eligible Criteria

  • Applicants can come from any country, including Nigeria.
  • Nominees can include individuals or groups across private, public, and non-profit spheres focused on areas like nutritional security, sustainable production, crop genetics, poverty reduction, etc.
  • Nominees must have sufficiently documented their direct roles in delivering truly exceptional impact aligned to either knowledge creation or grassroots change. 
  • Winners must also commit to event participation to share their work more widely.

How to Apply/Nomination Package Requirements:

  • Nominee’s details: name, position, address, phone number
  • Specified award category (research or community)
  • Nominating the organization’s name and contact details
  • Endorsing signature from a senior official
  • A comprehensive description of the nominee’s achievements
  • Up to 3 letters of support from individuals or organizations familiar with the nominee’s work
  • Submit all documents to the specified mailing address on the official website.

 The deadline for application in 2023 was March 10.

6. SMEDAN Conditional Grant Scheme

SMEDAN offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) serves as Nigeria’s major government institution focusing on the establishment, growth, and sustainability of MSMEs. 

Among its key interventions is the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) which provides financing support to microenterprises, including enterprises in the agricultural sector. The program is spearheaded by the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) to foster the growth and prosperity of small businesses across Nigeria and the broader African continent. 

Grant Amount: According to the latest announcements, the grant amount is $100,000 – $1,000,000

Eligibility Criteria

  • Micro enterprises: Sole proprietorships, partnerships, cooperatives, or associations with less than 10 employees and asset value below ₦5 million excluding land and buildings.
  • Participants must complete prescribed entrepreneurial skill development training organized by SMEDAN and its partners.
  • Beneficiaries must have registered their businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
  • Participants should have viable microenterprises in manufacturing, processing, or service provision rather than trading and commerce.

How to Apply

  • Navigate to the USADF website
  • Start the application process by completing the Business Profile Section.
  • Proceed to fill out the remaining sections of the form by attentively responding to the provided questionnaire.
  • Once you’ve meticulously completed all the required sections, finalize your application by clicking the “Submit” button. 

7. Fondation de France and Comité Français pour la Solidarité Internationale

CFSI offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

These French agencies, Fondation de France and Comité Français pour la Solidarité Internationale, have collaborated to promote family farming in West Africa through grants for initiatives that improve value chain development, sustainable farming practices, etc.

Grant Amount: €10,000-50,000

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be legally registered non-profit organizations and associations based in West Africa or the European Union operational for 1+ years in agriculture.

How to Apply

Visit the official site to start your application.

8. USADF Agriculture Grant

The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is extending an invitation to registered agricultural cooperatives, producer groups, processors, and enterprises across select African countries to apply for grant financing. 

These grants, according to USADF, are specifically designed to empower organizations that are committed to enhancing their capabilities, boosting revenue generation, creating employment opportunities, and improving farmer incomes in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Somalia, etc. 

Grant Amount: $250,000

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be agriculture cooperatives and producer groups in the above-mentioned countries having at least 200 members operational for 2+ years.
  • The group or cooperative must be fully run by Africans.

How to Apply

Start your application by clicking this link and filling out the form. Visit the official website for more information.

9. Small Grants for African Heritage Projects

Heritage Management Organization offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Heritage Management Organization under its HerMaP-Africa initiative provides small grants for organizations and groups working on socio-economic community development projects related to local heritage sites across Africa.

Grant Amount: $5,000 – $50,000

Eligibility

  • Applicants should focus on projects that will have a lasting impact on heritage preservation and community development.
  • Projects should enhance local skills and foster collaboration among organizations.
  • Projects should demonstrate concrete benefits to heritage protection and the local community.

How to Apply 

Submit applications through the online portal. Visit the official site for more information.

10. Pitch AgriHack Challenge

Pitch AgriHack Challenge by Heifer International and Generation Africa offers grant funding opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs in Nigeria

The Pitch AgriHack Challenge is an annual competition that seeks to identify and support innovative agritech solutions that address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in Africa. 

The competition is organized by Heifer International and Generation Africa and is supported by a consortium of partners, including Google, Bayer, and USAID.

Award Amount: The winner of the Pitch AgriHack Challenge will receive a grant of up to US$10,000. The runner-up will receive a grant of up to US$5,000.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Pitch AgriHack Challenge, your agritech startup must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a legally registered company or organization.
  • Have a clear and innovative agritech solution that addresses a specific challenge faced by smallholder farmers in Africa.
  • Be at an early stage of development (ideally post-prototype, but not yet fully commercialized).
  • Have a strong management team with relevant experience in agritech and business development.
  • Be committed to using your solution to create a positive impact on the lives of smallholder farmers.

How to Apply

Head over to the Pitch AgriHack Challenge website and start your application by clicking on the ‘Apply’ button.

Writing a Perfect Agriculture Business Grant Proposal

To win an agriculture grant, you need an excellent proposal highlighting why your project deserves funding. Follow these tips for writing an impactful grant application:

  • Clearly define the problem your project aims to address using local data and stories to build a compelling case.
  • Describe your solution explaining the innovative ideas, technologies, and approaches you will implement. Support with evidence of their effectiveness.
  • Set clear targets for the impact your project will achieve around increased productivity, farmer incomes, jobs created, etc.
  • Build a sound implementation plan with reasonable budgets, timelines, and key activities like farmer training programs.
  • Assemble a skilled project team with subject matter experts, community partners, etc. to demonstrate a likelihood of success.
  • Share previously completed projects and credentials to showcase your team’s track record.
  • Describe how the project will continue to sustain impact beyond the grant tenure by training locals, developing models for revenue generation, etc.
A Nigerian Entrepreneur? See How to Write a Solid Business Grant Proposal

How to Write Business Grant Proposal

Here are step-by-step guide to write a winning business grant proposal in Nigeria. Use the tips here to win your dream grants.

FAQs

What Are the Main Types of Agriculture Grants in Nigeria?

Major categories are government schemes like CBN programs, private impact investor grants by groups like USADF, agribusiness innovation grants by Heifer, small project grants by foundations, and open innovation calls by the European Commission, etc.

What Is the Typical Grant Size for Agriculture Projects?

Grants can range from a thousand naira for pilot community projects to millions for multi-year, large-scale programs by established groups. Most common amounts range from $20,000 – $100,000.

How Can Individuals Apply for Agriculture Grants?

As an individual, your best bet is to partner with registered groups like cooperatives and producer companies endorsed by programs or apply through incubators.

Which Sectors Are Priority for Agriculture Grants?

Focus areas are usually staple crops, horticulture, livestock, aquaculture, apiculture, agri-tech, etc. with emphasis on technology integration, sustainable practices, value addition, and women/youth.

Choosing the Right Agriculture Business Grant

With several major funding opportunities for agriculture enterprises in Nigeria, focus on selecting programs aligning with your entity’s structure, experience level, geographic focus, beneficiaries reach and implementation capabilities.

Carefully assess grant priorities like empowering youth and women, adoption of digital tools, job creation, farmer income gains etc. to choose programs where you strongly address their supported causes. Maximize your likelihood of success by applying for grants best matched to your strengths.

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