Grants of up to €250,000 are being offered to Irish agri-food companies to develop new markets in Africa.
The Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP) has been supporting Irish firms to do business in Africa for the past decade.
The programme is a joint initiative between the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
Companies of all sizes are eligible to apply for the grant funding ahead of the deadline of April 30.
The AADP links up Irish agri-businesses with companies in sub-Saharan African countries through “innovative partnerships”.
To date, it has supported Irish companies to establish markets for animal and crop health products; horticulture; livestock genetics; dairy and cheese production.
The matched funding grant support of up to €250,000 will help Irish businesses to manage their financial risk and to use their expertise and resources to work jointly on projects with African companies.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Pippa Hackett explained that the funding had helped foster important partnerships between companies.
“By learning from each other, both partners have discovered opportunities that have delivered significant benefits, not only in supporting sustainable growth of the local food industry, and building markets for local produce, but also in supporting mutual trade between Ireland and Africa,” she said.
Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy said:
“Over the past fifty years we have transformed our food system in Ireland, from subsistence farming to a food island with world-leading agri-food businesses.
“Through the AADP, we are enabling the sharing of Irish business knowledge and expertise with partners in Africa.
“This allows a win-win outcome, supporting Irish companies looking to grow and African companies looking for investment or know-how.
“At a time when questions of food security are on our global agenda, the AADP allows Irish businesses interest in investing in Africa do so while at the same time building really positive impact for the African agri-food industry,” the minister concluded.