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Bill & Melinda Gates FDN Calls for Solutions to Smart Farming Innovations for Small-Scale Producers, Win $1.5M

Bill and Melinda Gates foundation
Image source: Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation. Photo by Frederic Courbet

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation through the Grand Global Challenges calls for applications for Smart Farming Innovations for Small-Scale Producers.

This challenge by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeks smart farming solutions leveraging digital tech innovations with the potential to drive positive impact for small scale producer entrepreneurs. The solution need to be delivered via bundled farmer services and enabled by scalable digital and data platforms (Figure 1).

Solutions by applicants should be addressing challenges smallscale crop and livestock producers are faced with, in areas such as farm management decision support, agricultural advisory, finance, insurance, linkages, market access and input supply.

The Grand Global Challenge is looking out for solutions with human-centered design to clear the barriers always preventing Small Scale Producers from improving profitability, income and productivity. You then must propose Smart Farming solutions that can adequately help elevate smallscale production entrepreneurs.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Global Challenge will address,

  1. The issues of low productivity due to lack of access to information and services, weather variability, pest and disease outbreaks and climate change
  2. The problem of access to tailored financial and insurance products
  3. Finally, lack of access to and choice of market and offtake options.
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Your proposed solutions have to consider barriers to the adoption of digital farming services, like low language and digital literacy, the high relative cost of services and devices and, importantly, gender gaps and other potential downsides of digital solutions.

This is a challenge open to agritech entrepreneurs in Africa and Asia. And for Africans, these are the countries involved, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Nigeria.

Bill and Melinda Gates foundation
Figure 1. Bill and Melinda Gates foundation challenge goals

The Grand Global challenge has two prizes on offer – Seed Grants and Scale-Up Grants – each with their own requirements. If you want to apply, you must do so for only one of the grant types.

Seed Grants – $250,000

There is an award of up to US$250,000 to be implemented up to 12 months. This seed grant goes for proposals with Smart Farming solutions demonstrating potential in meeting provisions fit-for-purpose solutions for SSP enterprises who are seeking to sell a portion of production to markets. Also, solutions enabled by strong digital and data technology platforms and services. Find more of the requirements here.

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Scale-Up Grants – $1,500,000

Funds up to $1,500,000 to be implemented up to 24 months. These are for proposals with demonstrated ability and sufficient evidence to have positive impact. In order to qualify, your proposal must satisfy conditions set for the Seed Grants, and must also meet the following: leverage digital technology innovations with demonstrated readiness to scale and proven ability to bundle with other services; Meet all criteria regarding technology innovations, scalable platforms, and sustainable bundled service delivery models. See the rest of the requirements.

Deadline for application is 25th February, 2021. If you are up for the Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Global Challenge, Apply HERE

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Opportunities

A Male and A Female Entrepreneur to Win US$50K Each in the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize. APPLY!!!

GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize

Applications are open for the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize 2021 aimed at finding the brightest young agri-food entrepreneurs on the African continent. This is a search for agribusinesses that are bringing tech, innovation and passion to the agriculture and food space.

The Gogettaz Agripreneur Prize is organized by Generation Africa, a partnership between Econet and Yara International to strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector across the continent.

The prize is looking for agribusinesses that show the following features;

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Social and commercial impact
  • Originality and innovation
  • Market potential and traction
  • An investible team
gogettaz agripreneur prize

Who Qualifies to apply?

The applying agriculture entrepreneur should,

  • Be 35 years and below
  • Hold nationality (with an official ID) from any African Union member country
  • Be a founding member of the startup and play an active role in its operation
  • Have no criminal record

The submitted company shall meet the following terms,

  • The business should be legally registered in any AU member country and also headquartered on the continent
  • It is built to be financially sustainable either as for-profit or non-profit generating revenue and not solely dependent on donor funding
  • The venture currently plays a role in the agri-food sector and/or supports the development of the agri-food sector through an innovation or process improvement
  • The agri-food sector may be defined as businesses including:
    • Agri-food research & development
    • Primary food production (farming)
    • Crop nutrition
    • Irrigation
    • Mechanisation, automation or robotics, including drones
    • Crop protection
    • Hydroponics or urban farming
    • Transport, distribution, storage or logistics
    • Food processing
    • Packaging or marketing
    • Food retail or service
    • Waste management or recycling
    • Digital or technology solutions/services to the agri-food sector
    • Innovative finance solutions/services to the agri-food sector
    • Renewable energy or environmental solutions/services to the agri-food sector

After a thorough review of applications by expert jury, semi-finalists will receive notification via Facebook and email by the 17th of July 2021 where they will each be interviewed and asked for further information.

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By the 27th of July, the finalists will be announced with six (6) males and six (6) females to compete in the final virtual pitching contest at the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) virtual meeting 2021.

The Grand Prize

Two successful entrepreneurs; male and female, will each receive $50,000 for being the most innovative and scalable agric business idea. All GoGettaz finalists will also be awarded mentorship, programming linkages and other guidance to continue their entrepreneurial journey. APPLY HERE

Deadline for applications

The GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize welcomes applications till the 14th of June, 2021.

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