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

The Food System Challenge supports businesses to solve core challenges of the food system in Lebanon, and more specifically in the sectors of dairy and meat production (cow, goat, sheep), cereals and pulses (and its by-products), protected horticulture (Classical green houses, hydroponics, and aquaponics), and domesticated edible herbs and plants.

Applications are now open.

In Brief

The Food System Challenge aims to support Lebanese SMEs and cooperatives working across the agriculture and agrifood sectors to address core food system challenges with maximum impact.

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).

The Challenges

The Food System Challenge is looking for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with solutions for the core challenges affecting the Lebanese food system. To ensure optimal impact, business-to-business solutions are strongly encouraged.

  • Access to Water and Energy: Improve water and/or energy access for producers, farmers, and other players across the food system at all levels (production, processing, post-harvest, and supply chains).
  • Import Substitution: Scale up and expand existing substitutes to imported food products, raw materials, and input supplies.
  • Increasing Production Quantity, Quality, and Efficiency: Boost production quantity, quality, and processing efficiency, in farming, storage, transportation, and other food system stages, while increasing revenue for value chain stakeholders, creating jobs, and improving local sourcing through strengthened backward linkages.
  • Reducing and Valorising Food Loss: Reduce food loss at farming, post-harvest, processing, wholesale, and retail levels through reducing, valorization, recycling, or circularity, with financially and executively sustainable solutions.

    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.


    12 SMEs & Cooperatives

    For this round of applications, up to 12 SMEs and Cooperatives will be selected to benefit from a tailored package of support.

    business support

    Up to $35k in matching grants

    6 medium-to-mature organizations will be granted up to $35k, requiring a matching contribution of the same amount from their side.

    6 emerging organizations could be granted up to $35k, while benefiting from a reimbursable grant of the same amount to cover their matching contribution.

    Who Can Apply

    Legally registered and established enterprises in Lebanon, specializing in fields like food production and transformation, farming, collection and storage, with:  

    • A proven and sustainable revenue model.
    • A minimum of 6 and a maximum of 50 full-time employees.
    • A plan to scale up an existing solution with proven market share, addressing one or more food system challenges.
    • A sales/return proof for selling the solution (product or service).

    Selection Criteria

    Winning proposals will be selected based on an assessment of the following criteria:

    • Scalability: The solution addresses an issue impacting different stakeholders and holds significant potential for expansion, benefiting a broader range of people, including farmers and businesses in agrifood.
    • Added value: The proposed solution stands out in its competing landscape and provides distinct advantages that could deliver clear benefits to the business, but also to the entire sector.
    • Impact: The proposed solution significantly benefits small producers and has a meaningful direct impact on vulnerable populations, offering them measurable improvements in income, job stability, and food security.
    • Innovation: The solution introduces new technology, a new approach, or a new process that can enhance operations and products.
    • Feasibility: The solution can realistically be implemented within the scope and timeframe of the Food System Challenge program, with market demand indicating its potential success.
    • Cost efficiency: The solution must be cost-effective, promising a high return on investment, and should include a strategy for maintaining steady revenue beyond the support of the Food System Challenge program.

    Additional points will be given to:

    • Women-led businesses aimed at empowering women’s involvement in food systems or striving to increase employment rates of women and youth.
    • Environmentally sustainable proposals, aiming to minimize harm to natural resources or the environment.
    • Proposals submitted by companies with owners, founders, or employees with disabilities.

    Types of Support

    The Food System Challenge


    • Equipment and facility rehabilitation expenses that are directly linked to production, processing, and manufacturing.
    • Technical assistance and business development services.

    Doesn’t Cover: 

    • Salaries, recurring office expenses & utilities, furniture, staff insurance, research & development, and other similar expenses.
    • Purchase of real estate.

    *Winning applicants are required to meet a minimum 100% matching requirement, covering at least 50% of the support package cost with their own funds. This must be verified through financial documents or other proof of payment before the grant is disbursed.

    The Program's Outcomes

    food security icon

    food security

    A well-functioning local food system in Lebanon with efficient and resilient producers, cooperatives and SMEs that can serve local food and nutrition needs.


    A food system that can ensure economic inclusion of small-scale actors such as small-holder farmers into core processes.

    women employment

    Employment Opportunities

    A food system that offers employment opportunities and increases income especially for vulnerable populations such as at-risk women, people with disabilities, youth, and elderly people.

    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

    Applications are now closed.

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


    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