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A $400 000 competition which aims to find digital solutions to identify, track and protect crops from the armyworm — which has devastated agricultural produce across the continent — has received 228 applications from entrepreneurs and innovators — with 80% of these from Africa.
The announcement, made last Friday (25 May) in a press release by Nesta — a UK-based foundation which runs innovation challenges — on behalf of Feed the Future last Friday. Nesta said 80% of applicants to the its global Fall Armyworm Tech Prize were from African entrants.
The five countries with the highest number of entries were: Uganda (52), Nigeria (25), US (23), Ghana (22) and Kenya (21).
In all $400 000 in prize awards are up for grabs in the Fall Armyworm Tech Prize and winners will have a chance to develop their prototypes
Nesta, on behalf of Feed the Future, USAID, Land O’ Lakes International Development (LOL) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) launched the prize in March in search of tools that can work in different regions across the African continent.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), together with LOL and FFAR have contributed $400 000 in prize awards, and the winners will have a chance to develop their prototypes and see immediate feedback from smallholder farmers.
Feed the Future works with partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the cycle of poverty and hunger.