Apply to the Food System Challenge and get support to scale your impactful business solution

The Food System Challenge seeks to solve core challenges in the agricultural and agri-food sector in Lebanon.


In Brief

With Lebanon facing one of its toughest crises in 2021, the Food System Challenge aims to support Lebanese SMEs working across the agri-food value chain to sustain and improve local food production, transformation, and consumption.

The Food System Challenge is implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Berytech through support from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

If your business or cooperative has an innovative and impactful idea to address these challenges:

  • Access to Energy
  • Access to Raw Material
  • Import Substitution

The Food System Challenge Offers

Your business or cooperative will benefit from a tailored package of business development services, technical assistance, and financial support to achieve long term growth.

period of the program

6 Months

Your business will undergo a transformational journey of 6 months or more, with clear milestones and objectives set from the start.


10 SMEs & Cooperatives

For this round of applications, 10 SMEs and Cooperatives will be selected to benefit from a tailored package of support.

business support

Up to $100k

Your business will receive a package of business services, technical assistance, cash and in-kind grants, with a total value of up to 100,000$.


Benefit from support to scale your impactful business solution

The total value and composition of the transformational journey package is determined as based on the solutions you propose to address the below challenges.

The Challenges

The Food System Challenge is looking for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Cooperatives which have solutions that address the core challenges affecting the food system as listed below. SMEs and Cooperatives that will be selected to join our program will receive business, technical, cash and in-kind support so that they can scale their operations and develop their ideas.

Companies are now in crisis mode due to their dependence on fuel-based energy and transportation. The food security in the country is at stake and operations are becoming increasingly challenging. We are looking for SMEs and Cooperatives which have solutions that address this urgent challenge for their customers through sustainable and circular solutions including renewable energy initiatives that can impact the agriculture and agri-food sectors positively. Additionally, SMEs providing services on transportation and supply chain optimization to their customers are invited to apply.

Since the beginning of the economic crisis, agri-food SMEs are struggling to source raw materials, especially if imported, due to the devaluation of the Lebanese Lira. 

We are looking for SMEs and Cooperatives which have solutions that address this challenge for their customers by for example facilitating sourcing raw materials through vertical integration, contractual farming, waste/by-products valorization, and lower grade products valorization, recycling, circularity, etc.

Lebanon imports 85% of its food consumption. Along with the devaluation of the Lebanese Lira and the economic crisis, this is threatening food security at all levels.

We are looking for SMEs and Cooperatives that provide solutions to their customers substituting food products or raw material usually imported, and input supplies for the agri-food sector.  

Along with the challenges at operational level, companies and cooperatives are facing multiple challenges in regards to pricing, brain drain, and human resources. 

We are looking for SMEs and Cooperatives which provide to their customers solutions that address these challenges and support themselves as well as other businesses and cooperatives to survive and grow.  

Who Can Apply

  • Legally registered businesses and cooperatives.
  • Already established SMEs with minimum 10 employees.
  • Agri-food or agriculture cooperatives.
  • Businesses/cooperatives working in agricultural production, food transformation, food marketing and consumption.
  • Businesses/cooperatives with a solid business idea addressing the food system challenges.
  • This includes but is not limited to: Input suppliers, Registered farmer organizations, Collection centers, Transporters, Storage centers, Processors, Distributors, Wholesalers, Exporters & Importers, Retailers and Agri-food cooperatives.

    Selection Criteria

    Your business idea should show:

    • Feasibility: Show us you are able to implement your idea.
    • Innovation: Your idea has elements of introducing new technology, a new approach, or a new process that can have an impact.
    • Scalability: Your idea should be scalable and benefit a wider community of individuals, farmers, or agri-food businesses.
    • Your solution must be cost effective with an expected high return on investment.

    Additional points will be given to:

    • Women-led businesses or cooperatives, applicants empowering women, or applicants employing women and youth.
    • At least 10% of the selected applicants will be cooperatives.

    The Program's Outcomes

    food security icon

    food security

    A well functioning food system in Lebanon to improve food security.

    Enhanced competitiveness

    Efficiency and resilience of cooperatives and SMEs working across different streams of the food systems.

    women employment

    Employment Opportunities

    Creating employment opportunities especially for women and vulnerable individuals.

    The Food System Challenge is funded by BMZ through the United Nations World Food Programme


    The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (German: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung), abbreviated BMZ, is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. Founded in 1961, the Ministry works to encourage economic development within Germany and other countries through international cooperation and partnerships. 

    UN World Food Programme: The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and the world’s largest humanitarian organization. WFP is saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change. 

    Implementing Partners



    Yes, however you need to prove how your solution will have a positive impact on the food system in Lebanon and how the program will help you scale your business and not only maintain your operations.

    Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco Productions, NGOs, NPOs and non-Lebanese companies or cooperatives are not part of the Food System Challenge beneficiaries, unless they have a commercial register in Lebanon that allows them to sell products.

    Ideally yes, however they can prove that they have 10 employees that are officially employed on a full-time basis.


    Yes, taking into consideration that the Food System Challenge provides technical, financial and business support to help your solution have a positive impact on food production and the local food consumption in addition to creating jobs.

    Meet the Team

    Need more info?

    If you have any questions or need information email us on