Call for applications: Grant funding to SMEs in South and Southern Africa in the value chain of indigenous plants

introduction -the beginning         benefits of funded research    
ABS Compliant Biotrade in South(ern) Africa (ABioSA)
Aims and objectives
Focus of grant
Doanload application forms


Introduction / Background


South Africa, being the 3rd most biologically diverse country in the world, with other SADC countries is host to emerging biotrade value chains of economic importance. Various regional and country policies were accepted to support the biotrade sector. SADC has a Biodiversity Strategy and Biodiversity Action Plan in place. In South Africa, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has established a National Biodiversity Economy Strategy, and along with other government policies and strategies, establishes a good policy platform for the development and growth of the biotrade sector. The biotrade sector is also impacted by the policies and strategies of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), in particular its Bio-economy Strategy and its bill for the “Protection, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems”. The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has an impact on the biotrade sector through its current Industrial Policy Action Plan.

Job creation, poverty alleviation and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) are key targets in these policies and strategies, not only in South Africa, but also in the region. In addition, due to the infancy of the industry, small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMEs) who already have a product but have difficulty to access and/or grow their market are having difficulty to grow their enterprises as they struggle to comply with national and international regulatory requirements and to improve the quality of their products.


About the ABS Compliant Biotrade in South(ern) Africa” (ABioSA)


The project “ABS Compliant Biotrade in South(ern) Africa” (ABioSA) is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative ( under the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammen­arbeit (GIZ) GmbH, to provide technical and financial support to SMEs and cooperatives in the biotrade sector. The project works closely with South Africa’s DEFF, which leads the SA Government’s approach to biotrade. The project supports transformation and key government targets including job creation, empowerment of women and rural development – in South Africa and the region.


Aims and objectives of the ABioSA project


The project aims to build a high-growth innovative biotrade sector that complies with international and domestic ABS regulations, creates jobs and contributes to productive, sustainable use of the plant biodiversity in South Africa and the region (localisation of value-addition). The awarded grants of the ABioSA Innovation Fund should result in grantees meeting these objectives, including growth in their turnover and an increase in sustainable practices. These objectives respond to the South African and regional Governments’ objectives of job creation, rural development, poverty alleviation and the development of the biotrade sector. 


[back to top]


Focus and conditions of grant 


The current call for grant application is targeted at SMEs and Cooperatives in Southern Africa (70% South Africa, 30% other Southern African countries) who already have a product but have difficulty to improve the quality thereof, access and/or grow their market, develop new products to expand their existing ranges and/or become ABS compliant with the understanding that the new product(s) will be developed and access markets no later than March 2021. The call is NOT open to sector organisations (BSOs) such as associations, councils, incubators and laboratories or government implementing agencies servicing ABS compliant SMEs.

Grant applications should focus on the high-impact value chains which have been preselected by the project:

  1. Marula fruit
  2. Aloe ferox
  3. Essential oil cluster
  • Lippia javanica essential oil
  • Rose geranium essential oil
  • Helichrysum essential oil
  • Buchu essential oil
  • Cape camomile essential oil
  1. Seed oil cluster
  • Marula seed oil
  • Baobab seed oil
  • Mongongo seed oil
  • Kalahari melon seed oil
  • Ximenia seed oil
    • X. Americana
    • X. Caffra

*However, such focus does not exclude grant funding for convincing innovative proposals for other value chains shortlisted by BioPANZA as well as moringa.


Application information

Applications close on 16 October 2019. A voluntary information session will be held on 17 September 2019 at Leriba Hotel, 245 End St, Clubview, Centurion, South Africa from 13:00 – 16:30. This will allow applicants sufficient time to engage with the application process, by which time they will be able to raise any key questions and concerns they have encountered and the GIZ team to support where needed. Please RSVP to Serole Sehona @ before 13 September 2019 confirming your attendance

Download » applications forms including a document outlining further requirements [DOCX - 577.73 kb].


[back to top]