Department for International Development
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Combating food shortages: apply for funding

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Innovate UK

Organisations can apply for a share of £3 million to help develop agricultural and food systems in collaboration with African partners.

Food and resource scarcity are among the defining challenges of the 21st century. Global estimates for undernourishment rose from 775 million people in 2015 to 821 million in 2017, with African countries seeing the highest prevalence, estimated around 20% of the population in 2016. This risk is made greater by the growing threat of climate change to crops.

Up to £3 million of funding is available through Innovate UK and the Department for International Development (DFID), for organisations looking to boost the rate and scale of food systems innovation in Africa.

The competition is part of the Agri-Tech Catalyst, which provides funding to projects that have a positive impact on poverty through agricultural technology and innovation.

Find out more about the Agri-Tech Catalyst

Picking up the pace

Projects must look to increase the rate and scale of development in ground-breaking agricultural and food systems technology in Africa across the supply chain.

They can be based within any sector or discipline, and must:

Applicants may want to focus on DFID funding priorities, including:

  • reducing food loss on the farm and through the value chain
  • control of crop pests, weeds and diseases
  • food safety issues through the supply chain

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 1 April 2019, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 29 May 2019
  • UK-based organisations of any size are eligible to apply
  • Online brokerage events will be held on 5 April, with a focus on:
  • briefing events will also be held in Birmingham on 22 March 2019, and online on 9 April 2019

Find out more about this competition and submit an expression of interest.

The UK is home to ground-breaking industry and research at the forefront of environmental and agricultural management to tackle food scarcity. Find out more about the Industrial Strategy Transforming Food Production challenge.


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