Feed the Future, supported by Land O’Lakes International Development and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, has opened its call for applications for the Fall Armyworm Tech Prize.
The prize offers to fund up to $400 000 in digital solutions that aim to help stop the African spread of fall armyworm – a pest that is devastating agriculture and demolishing billions of dollars’ worth of crops across the continent.
Selected digital solutions will strengthen resilience against fall armyworm and mitigate risks to food security across the continent.
Fall armyworm attacks over 80 different plant species. Agriculture experts estimate the pest could cause between $2,4-billion and $6,2-billion in losses for maize, a major staple crop on which more than 200-million people depend. Crops like sorghum, rice, and sugarcane are also at risk.
Unchecked, fall armyworm is a threat to the livelihoods of farmers and to food security across the continent.
How the prizes will be awarded:
* One grand prize of $150 000 will be awarded to the most viable solution;
* Two awards of $75 000 for the most promising solutions; and
* Two runner-up awards of $50 000 for early stage developments that show potential.
Applications may involve a range of digital solutions and must demonstrate how the proposed tool(s) will help smallholder farmers and those that reach them, such as extension agents, monitor, identify, treat or report the incidence of fall armyworm.
The application deadline is 14 May 2018 via https://fallarmywormtech.challenges.org/, with entries from around the world that are specific to the context of fall armyworm in Africa welcomed. Final prize awards will be announced later this year.