Application Deadline: 14th May 2018, 23:59 ET,
Fall Armyworm Tech Prize : 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.
Fall armyworm (FAW) poses a serious threat to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Originally from the Americas, FAW outbreaks first occurred in West Africa in early 2016 and is now on the precipice of devastating food supplies across the continent, exacerbating global poverty and hunger. FAW attacks more than 80 different plant species, and agriculture experts estimate the pests may cause over $13 billion in losses for crops like maize, sorghum, rice, and sugarcane in countries. It can also fly up to 1,600 kilometers (nearly 1,000 miles) in 30 hours meaning it can easily migrate to surrounding farms and countries.
At present, FAW in Africa threatens harvests and economic growth on a continental scale. Feed the Future, America’s global hunger and food security initiative, aims to transform lives toward a world where people no longer face extreme poverty, undernutrition and hunger. To achieve this, Feed the Future works hand-in-hand with partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the cycle of poverty and hunger.
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.
This prize is focused on sourcing and sparking innovations for African smallholder farmers and those that work with them. But given the global nature of this problem, we anticipate some of these solutions could have relevance beyond Africa.
- 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.
- FAW are open to solutions from individuals, groups, organizations and companies globally, particularly local innovators from sub-Saharan Africa.
- As part of USAID’s ongoing commitment to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, we particularly encourage competing teams that involve women in all steps of your tool or approach’s formulation, management, and execution.
- 20 finalists will be selected and invited to participate in the co-creation event taking place in Uganda towards the end of June for three to four days.
- Two representatives will be invited to attend for each selected idea. An allowance will be provided to cover expenses for travel and subsistence and the administrative arrangements.
- In addition, each finalist will receive $2,000 to support the development of their prototype.
Development Plans and Testing
June – August 2017
- After the co-creation event finalists will have eight to ten weeks to hone their innovations.
- During this period, user testing will need to take place. The finalist’s prototypes will be tested on sub-Saharan African smallholder farmers and extension services to understand how viable the product is and how much of a difference they think it could make in recognizing and intervening in the spread of fall armyworm.
- As part of their final submission, finalists will need to complete a development plan (similar to a business plan) and submit a video submission, details of which will be outlined.
- There will be ongoing mentoring support during this time.
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