Agricultural Commercialization and Innovation Fund (ACIF)
The ACIF will provide matching grants to finance viable business plans of producer organizations, such as cooperatives,smallholder’s agribusiness groups (matched at 30%) and agribusiness-based SMEs (matched at 50-70%).
The ACIF is going provide targeted investment incentives to farmers organizations, poor farmer groups, SMEs, and agribusinesses) along the selected priority commodities who invest in new production technologies, business models or other services/functions needed in the commodity. It is expected that IFAD contribution to the ACIF will be of the order of US$20,9 million (60%), where as beneficiary contribution through matching grants will be in the order of US$ 13,9 million (40%).
The ACIF is focusing on innovative investments in sectors and with smaller size clients where there is currently little interest from commercial Financial Institutions (FIs).Hopefully, investments done by the ACIF will arouse interest of Commercial FIs,to support the development of the agriculture sector.
TRADE will liaise closely with other development partners to ensure that ACIF have harmonized terms and conditions, with any similar matching grant fund, to ensure that there will be no temptation for the private sector to shop around for the softest terms. Initial discussions have been held with UNDP, managing the Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) concerning this topic.
ACIF aims at supporting interventions meant to improve access to new technologies (including climate resilient options); infrastructure and/or equipment to expand SMEoff-taking capacity; infrastructure and/or equipment to improve the storage and transport to markets by producers; and services/functions targeted to specific value chain constraints.
The ACIF will not finance non-commercial projects or public social services infrastructure or activities, such as schools, and roads and will not finance any project with high risk of
negative environmental impact.