Foodtrade Eastern and Southern Africa Programme

Aims to catalyse innovative private sector investment to improve and develop regional staple food markets.

The window for fund applications is currently closed.


FoodTrade Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) is a 5 year trade enhancement and promotion programme focusing on staple food crops. Funded by the UK Government and managed by Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), FoodTrade ESA operates in 9 East and Southern African countries. The programme works with private sector and relevant institutions to improve storage, inputs and service markets, information and coordination mechanisms and policy and regulation with the aim to get more people trading in regional staple food markets.

What the fund will achieve

The Challenge Fund aims at stimulating innovative business models that deliver commercial benefits, solutions to market failures in regional food staple markets as well as jobs, income and market access for the poor and smallholder farmers.

How to apply

Visit FoodTrade East and Southern Africa website to view details on the Challenge fund projects and how to apply. Please also visit the website to check if any existing challenge fund rounds are still open for applications.

Background information on the fund

Grants will make up funding of up to 49% of the approved investments that companies make within the geographical scope of the programme. Investments are selected through competitive calls for business proposals (challenge fund windows).

To date, FoodTrade ESA has launched 3 challenge fund windows. Each window has had a special focus but all have had the larger aim of unlocking regional staple food trade and creating positive impact by delivering increased employment and income, improved staple prices, improved access to markets, inputs and services, and increased volumes traded. More information on the grants awarded can be found on the FoodTrade East and Southern Africa website.


FoodTrade East and Southern Africa website


+255(0) 737 209 079

Published 1 March 2016