The U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria has provided $3 million in grant funding and technical assistance to youth-led and mid-stage companies working in food value chains in Nigeria.

In a statement by the USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson, the grant, launched through a COVID-19 Food Security Challenge, will open application from April 12 to May 9, to youth-led and mid-stage companies.

“Nigeria is experiencing food insecurity compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and its effects on the food value chain in the country.

“The pandemic has disrupted already fragile agricultural value chains, especially smallholder farmers’ ability to produce, process, and distribute food.

“This disrupts agricultural productivity and markets, and negatively impacts livelihoods, especially among vulnerable households, women, and youth.

“We are launching the COVID-19 Food Security Challenge to help innovative Nigerians alleviate food insecurity. 

“This assistance encourages private sector-led solutions to boost food production, processing, and create market linkage along the agriculture value chain in a sustainable way across Nigeria.”

“In launching the Challenge, USAID seeks commercially viable youth-led and mid-stage companies already working in food production, processing, and distribution.

“Successful applicants will present ideas that demonstrably help farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain increase agricultural productivity and food security within the next six months.

“The Challenge will award 15 to 25 youth-led companies up to $75,000 each and award 10 to 15 mid-stage companies up to $150,000 each.

“Winners will receive funding and technical assistance to rapidly expand their 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,” the statement read.

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