News story

Fighting poverty in Africa with agritech: apply for funding

Organisations can apply for a share of £5 million to work with partners in Africa on innovative agriculture and food projects that alleviate poverty.

Scientist conducting crop research

Around 75% of the poorest people in Africa live in rural areas. They depend heavily on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods.

Climate change, scarce resources, demographic and dietary changes, and changing markets all present challenges and threaten gains made in fighting global hunger and poverty.

Innovation in agriculture and food systems is low in developing countries, particularly in Africa where only 28% of farmland is planted with modern crops compared with 65% globally.

The Department for International Development and the Global Challenges Research Fund working through the AgriTech Catalyst have up to £5 million to invest in agri-tech and food chain innovations in Africa.

Agritech innovation must alleviate poverty

Projects must show they could alleviate poverty through the adoption of agricultural and food systems technology and innovation.

Organisations can undertake:

  • early stage feasibility studies
  • or mid-stage industrial research
  • or late stage experimental development

Innovations must be sustainable, minimise pollution, food loss and waste, and promote safe, healthy and nutritious diets. They must also consider gender equality and animal welfare.

Projects can focus on:

  • integrating smallholders into global and local supply chains
  • increasing the value of production to smallholders
  • control of crop pests, weeds and diseases
  • meeting quality standards and improving productivity
  • reducing food losses ‘post-farm gate’ and through the value chain
  • food safety issues through the value chain
  • new food technologies and data-driven food systems, including for urban areas
  • challenges in downstream food processing, distribution, or storage and value addition
  • innovation that supports food systems to deliver nutritious, healthy and safe food

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 14 October 2019, and the closing date is at midday on 8 January 2020
  • projects must be led in the UK and include at least 1 UK and 1 African partner and 1 business
  • briefing events will be held on 24 October 2019 and 6 November 2019
Published 30 September 2019