Smallholder farmers suffer from fundamental challenges to improving their own food security and their communities nutritional resilience. They face low agriculture productivity driven by multiple factors:
- Incomplete information and minimal services
- Climate change, weather variability and pest/disease outbreaks
- Few tailored financial and insurance products
- Lack of access to and choice of market and offtake options
- Low language and digital literacy
- The high relative cost of services and devices
- Gender gaps and a growing digital divide
Gates Foundation Smart Farming Grand Challenge
The Smart Farming Innovations for Small-scale Producers Grand Challenge for Development from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeks innovative digital solutions with potential to drive positive impact for smallholder farmer entrepreneurs. The agritech solutions delivered through bundled farmer services should be enabled by scalable digital and data platforms.
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ICT4Ag solutions should address one or more challenges facing small scale crop and livestock producer entrepreneurs in one or more areas of:
- Agricultural advisory
- Farm management decision support
- Input supply
- Market access and linkages
These grants are focused on ICTforAg solutions in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, India, and Bangladesh. There are two grant funding opportunists – Seed Grants and Scale-Up Grants. Applicants can only apply for one of these grant types.
USD 250,000 Seed Grants
Seed Grants are for Smart Farming solutions that can demonstrate potential in meeting the following criteria within 12 months:
- Leveraging digital technology innovations with the potential to scale,
- Show potential to improve incomes, productivity and ability to adapt to climate change;
- Address barriers to scaled adoption of digital services: access, affordability, language and digital literacy.
- Have the potential to be bundled with multiple farmer-facing services into an integrated solution;
- Are enabled by robust digital and data technology platforms and services;
USD 1,500,000 Scale-Up Grants
Scale Up Grants are for Smart Farming Solutions with demonstrated evidence of positive impact within 24 months. In addition to Seed Grant criteria, Scale-Up Grants must also:
- Leverage digital technology innovations with demonstrated readiness to scale and proven ability to bundle with other services;
- Be a scalable platform with sustainable bundled service delivery models;
- Demonstrate value capture by farmers or other value chain actors over the long term.
Apply Now! Deadline is February 25, 2021