Case Study 3 – Innovation grants: growing opportunities for Pacific agrobased SMEs

Year of Publication: 2020

     Download resource file


When operating at their optimum and adhering to industry and environmental standards, Pacific agro-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) create opportunities for farmers, fishers and other value chain actors. However, their full potential for addressing societal challenges, poverty alleviation, food and nutrition security, ecosystem sustainability and building resilient communities is not being fully realised in Pacific Island States.


Key Messages

  • Pacific agro-based SMEs play an important role in the development of local food crops and fisheries value chains, agri-food system sustainability and building resilience of rural communities. They contribute to skills development and provide incomes for farmers, fisherfolk and other value chain actors, especially women and youth.
  • SMEs face several challenges: limited access to financing, technology and timely expert advice. Unexpected weather and other catastrophic events as well as seasonal availability of raw materials severely impact their operations. Governments, donors, development partners and financiers need to understand these constraints and be flexible when providing financial and technical support.
  • Competitive grant funding is a cost-effective way to enable innovation in Pacific agro-based SMEs to respond to their needs to grow their businesses. Funding will be used to secure technical assistance, new equipment and tools, business coaching support and product and process certification, as well as to train staff, farmers/fishers, enabling them to develop new and improved products and services, modernize facilities, diversify markets and increase efficiency and sales.
  • SMEs require an enabling policy and institutional environment to nurture and support their efforts to compete in local and global markets.

What is in it for you?

(i)                 Knowledge of innovative approaches and ideas that you have revealed.

(ii)                Evidence-based policy recommendations to support informed decision making

(iii)               Strategies for replicating certain approaches and actions to maximise return on investments