Accelerating Resilient Food Systems in Africa - ARFSA

Published on:
10 July 2023
Last checked on:
2 October 2023

Do you represent a civil society organisation, business or knowledge institute working to increase food security in developing countries? Would you like to use your knowledge and expertise to accelerate resilient food systems in Africa? If so, apply for a subsidy from the Accelerating Resilient Food Systems in Africa (ARFSA) programme.

What is ARFSA?

The Accelerating Resilient Food Systems in Africa (ARFSA) programme aims to accelerate the resilience of local food systems in Africa and Yemen by increasing productivity, stability, sustainability and value addition for national and regional markets. The programme helps organisations with proven experience to scale up and accelerate activities that significantly contribute to resilient local food systems. The goal is to develop local food systems that are more resilient to shocks such as geopolitical conflicts and climate change.

For whom?

ARFSA supports partnerships that contribute to resilient food systems in Africa and Yemen. Partnerships can consist of civil society organisations, businesses and knowledge institutes.

Partnerships must carry out project activities that support food-insecure people and producers. Activities should focus on smallholder farmers and farmer households, paying special attention to women and youth.


The programme has one call with a total budget of 12 million euros. Per project, the minimum subsidy amount is 1 million euros, and the maximum is 2 million euros.

Civil society organisations and knowledge institutes do not have to provide their own contribution. Note that we do not include own contributions in the maximum subsidy amount available per project.

For each business in the partnership, a maximum subsidy of €500,000 is available. Businesses must match the requested subsidy with their own contribution. The total project amount can exceed 2 million euros.

For example:

If 2 businesses and 1 civil society organisation in a partnership request the maximum subsidy amount, this equals 2x €500,000 + 1 million euros = 2 million euros subsidy. As businesses have to provide 50% own contribution, the project's total budget is 3 million euros. 


Projects must take place in the countries listed in the table below. Please see Annex 1 of the Government Gazette publication (in Dutch) for more information.

Development cooperation countries Aid and trade combination countries
Benin Côte d'Ivoire
Burkina Faso Egypt
Burundi Ghana
Ethiopia Kenya
Mali Morocco
Mozambique Nigeria
Niger Senegal
South-Sudan South Africa

When assessing subsidy applications, we will award 5 extra points to projects in the development cooperation countries.


You must meet the following conditions before applying for this subsidy.


You must submit a mandatory quick scan and receive a non-binding recommendation from us before submitting a full proposal.


  • The partnership has a maximum of 4 partners, including the lead applicant;
    • It is possible to subcontract organisations. In this case, in your application, please explain why the organisation is subcontracted and not part of the formal partnership.
  • The partnership includes at least one Dutch organisation, one local organisation and one civil society organisation.
    • 'Local organisation' refers to an organisation registered in the project country. Civil society organisations can be registered in the Netherlands or abroad.
    • Please note that if an applicant submits multiple subsidy applications, a maximum of 2 may be granted a subsidy.
  • The partnership must be formed before submitting the subsidy application. 
  • Each partner is registered as a legal entity.
  • All partners need to be essential for reaching the project goals. 
  • The lead partner must have proven experience of managing similar projects in the last 5 years.


  • Projects must focus on one or more of the results indicated in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' food security results framework, see Annex 2 of the Government Gazette publication (in Dutch).
  • Project activities must be gender-sensitive or gender-transformative.
  • Projects must be based on a proven, existing concept.
    • We will look at additionality and value for money if activities in one country are scaled up to another country or the project scales up activities in a different region in the same country.
  • Project activities must follow the OECD guidelines for International Corporate Social Responsibility (ICSR).
  • Projects should try to avoid risks to the climate and environment.
    • When assessing applications, positive contributions to sustainable land use and climate adaptation are included in the score we give.
  • You must carry out the project's activities within 3 years. You must start project activities within 3 months of receiving a grant.

For more information and all other conditions, please see the Government Gazette publication (in Dutch).

How to apply

To apply for this subsidy, you must follow 2 steps:

1. Submit a quick scan

To apply for ARFSA, you must first submit a quick scan. The deadline for submitting a quick scan is 4 September 2023. We will review your quick scan and provide you with a non-binding positive or negative recommendation.

Please download and complete the quick scan form below and email it to

2. Submit a full proposal

Once you have received our recommendation on your quick scan, you can apply for an ARFSA subsidy by submitting a full proposal. 

You can apply for a subsidy from 2 October 2023, 9:00 CEST until 18 December 2023, 15:00 CET.

Please note that we will reject applications that have not received our recommendation on the quick scan.

Required documents

You must complete and submit the documents below and upload them to your subsidy application.

  • You must upload the completed forms and attachments.
  • Complete all documents in English.
  • Make sure to include the necessary signatures, including those of your partners.

After your application

We only process complete applications received during a subsidy round.

Once you have submitted a subsidy application, we will decide whether you are eligible for a subsidy within 22 weeks.


  • Monday, 4 September 2023
    Quick scan closes
  • Monday, 2 October 20239:00 CEST
    Open for subsidy applications
  • Monday, 18 December 202315:00 CET
    Closing date for subsidy applications

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions on our page Frequently asked questions about ARFSA.


More information

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency carries our ARFSA on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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