Nesta, USAID Announces Reward for Solution Against Fall Army Worm

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In pursuit of ending the continuous invasion of Fall Army Worm in Africa, Nesta, on behalf of Feed the Future, USAID, Land O’ Lakes International Development (LOL) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) have launched a prize, looking for tools and approaches that can work in different contexts across the African continent.

Having considered the Fall Army Worm (FAW) in different parts of Africa, it has been discovered that although there are solutions to solving the problem of FAW, however, the steps to take are different in each region based on a number of factors.

This means there is a lot of information to sift through when dealing with the FAW. In order to control the spread of the pest, smallholder farmers need improved access to immediate, accurate and actionable information on how to treat and protect their crops.

To this end, five innovation outreach hubs will be hosted in cities across Africa – Johannesburg, Abidjan, Lagos, Kigali and Kampala, so that innovators can understand the finer details of the FAW Tech Prize and how to go about applying.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), together 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 hand in hand with partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the cycle of poverty and hunger. In particular, it hopes to increase agricultural activity, boost harvests and incomes for rural smallholder farmers, generate opportunities for economic growth and trade in developing countries.

USAID’s Digital Inclusion team believes that with advances in digital communications, social networks, satellite imagery, electronic data collection and sharing, sensing technologies, crowdsourcing, and the global movement to share open data, more information than ever can be efficiently communicated and made relevant for farmers. While digital tools are not the only solutions to FAW, technological solutions can help serve as a force multiplier to an already strained advisory service.

Media are invited to attend the innovation hub outreach event in Johannesburg.