Feed the Future, a U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, is calling on innovators to come up with digital tools that can help combat the Fall Armyworm menace in Africa.

Together with its partners, Feed the Future has put aside $400,000 for five digitals tools and approaches “that can help identify and provide actionable information on how to treat the Fall Armyworm in Africa.”

“The prize is seeking digital tools and approaches that provide timely, context-specific information that enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to identify, treat, and track incidence of fall armyworm in Africa,” said Feed the Future while releasing the rules on the competition.

While the target of the prize are solutions that are for African smallholders, Feed the Future says that “given the global nature of this problem, we anticipate some of these solutions could have relevance beyond Africa.”

The prize seeks solutions that:

  • Enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to accurately identify incidence of fall armyworm in their crops.
  • Produce timely, context appropriate, and empowering insights for smallholder farmers to treat the incidence of fall armyworm.
  • Reduce productivity losses caused by fall armyworm among those using the tool or approach.
  • Ensure the appropriate and responsible use of pest management assessments, tools, and interventions.

The emergence of FAW in Africa threatens harvests and economic growth on a continental scale and could push more people towards extreme poverty, undernutrition and hunger.

Feed the future has set aside five prizes totalling $400,000 in prizes and which will be made as follows:

  • One grand prize of $150,000 to the most viable solution
  • Two significant awards of $75,000 to the most promising solutions
  • Two up and comer awards of $50,000 to early stage developments that show the most potential

Feed the Future says that with advances in digital communications, social networks, satellite imagery, electronic data collection and sharing, sensing technologies, crowdsourcing, and the global movement to share open data, there is still need for more information than ever that can be efficiently communicated and made relevant for farmers.

The entry period to the contest is between: Wednesday 28th March – Monday 14 May 2018

For more information about the entry process, see the Innovators Handbook, Judging Criteria, Eligibility Criteria and Terms and Conditions here.

Prospective competitors can also send queries via email to fawtechprize@nesta.org.uk.


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