Marketplace for Nutritious Foods

The Marketplace for Nutritious Foods is managed by GAIN, with initial funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and is designed to strengthen networks, foster innovations and provide investment to bring affordable nutritious foods to market.

Overview

The Marketplace has launched in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania with a focus on two key functions: as the Community of Practice and the Innovation Accelerator.

The Community of Practice (CoP) is a network of local entrepreneurs, investors and institutions working in agriculture and nutrition. Through meetings and online discussions, CoP members explore solutions, share lessons learned and exchange knowledge about market opportunities and policy changes to improve the quality and delivery of nutritious foods.

The Innovation Accelerator drives up the scale of viable and profitable nutritious food innovations. Twice a year, members of the CoP working along the agricultural value chain are encouraged to submit proposals for innovative concepts that will increase access, affordability and diversity of nutritious foods for vulnerable populations.

“The Community of Practice gives us the opportunity to learn more about how to improve and make our business grow,” says Octávio Muchanga, managing director of a local peanut butter–producing company, Xikhaba, in Mozambique. “We learn about new approaches to position our product and about the importance of nutrition and how we can contribute to improving the nutrition of Mozambicans.”

GAIN’s Role

GAIN is the orchestrator of the Marketplace for Nutritious Foods. GAIN coordinates the Community of Practice, puts out the call for proposals and finances the nutritious innovations—these include business plans and eventually technical and financial assistance.

Project goals

To create local markets full of diverse, nutritious and affordable foods. Through improved access, consumers, particularly women and children, benefit from diets that are diverse and nutritious.

More-immediate goals include:

  • Continue quarterly CoP convenings in all three countries.
  • Announce awardees for the second round of the Innovation Accelerator in Mozambique, and awardees for Tanzania’s first round.
  • Expand the Marketplace into other countries.
  • Attract additional investors who are interested in supporting profitable business ideas that improve nutrition.