USAID Feed the Future Fall Armyworm Tech Prize 2018 for innovators from sub-Saharan Africa

USAID Feed the Future Fall Armyworm Tech Prize 2018 for innovators from sub-Saharan Africa

Deadline: May 14, 2018

The Fall Armyworm Tech Prize is now open. The prize is seeking digital tools and approaches that provide timely, context-specific information that enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to identify, treat, and track incidence of fall armyworm in Africa.

This prize is focused on sourcing and sparking innovations for African smallholder farmers and those that work with them. But given the global nature of this problem, we anticipate some of these solutions could have relevance beyond Africa.

  • Enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to accurately identify incidence of fall armyworm in their crops.
  • Produce timely, context appropriate, and empowering insights for smallholder farmers to treat the incidence of fall armyworm.
  • Reduce productivity losses caused by fall armyworm among those using the tool or approach.
  • Ensure the appropriate and responsible use of pest management assessments, tools, and interventions.


At present, FAW in Africa threatens harvests and economic growth on a continental scale. Feed the Future, America’s global hunger and food security initiative, aims to transform lives toward a world where people no longer face extreme poverty, undernutrition and hunger.  To achieve this, 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, Feed the Future aims to:

  • Increase agricultural productivity and generate opportunities for economic growth and trade in developing countries.
  • Boost the harvests and incomes of rural smallholder farmers, who are the key to unlocking agricultural growth and transforming economies.
  • Improve agricultural research and development and get existing, proven technologies to more people.
  • Increase resilience to prevent recurrent crises and help communities better withstand and bounce back from crises when they do happen.

USAID’s Digital Development for Feed the Future 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 and approaches are not the only solutions to fall armyworm (and depending on the context, may not be appropriate), technological solutions that can help serve as a force multiplier to already strained advisory services.


The Prize will accept entries that meet following criteria.

  • Open to solutions from individuals, groups, organizations and companies globally, particularly local innovators from sub-Saharan Africa.
  • As part of USAID’s ongoing commitment to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, they particularly encourage competing teams that involve women in all steps of your tool or approach’s formulation, management, and execution.
  • All entrants need to demonstrate a willingness to share their experiences and learning to help establish a body of knowledge that can bring about a sustained change in smallholder farmer outreach, awareness, and action with respect to digital tools and plant health, as well as pest and disease management.
  • Applicants need to ensure they have the capacity to adapt their existing solution to address FAW, or, to develop a prototype of the solution within the prize time frame. Limited support will be provided to help achieve this, but applicants must be able to develop and test prototypes during the course of the prize, if selected.
  • Applicants must have rights to all of the intellectual property in the submission. Applicants will retain the intellectual property rights to their entry to the prize. Such intellectual property must be clearly marked as proprietary. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they are not infringing on the intellectual property of others.
  • Entries need to be submitted in English by 14th May 2018, 23:59 ET, and will be assessed against the judging criteria for the Prize.

USAID will conduct a responsibility determination prior to award, to ensure that award to the organization meets applicable U.S. laws, including regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Judging Criteria

The Prize is looking for ideas that best meet the judging criteria outlined below. This section outlines the 6 criteria by which applications will be assessed and judged throughout the prize process.

All entries will be judged against following criteria.

  • Criteria 1  Digital Tools
  • Criteria 2 Actionable Information
  • Criteria 3 Accessibility
  • Criteria 4 Potential Impact
  • Criteria 5 Market Potential
  • Criteria 6 Adherence to Regulations, Privacy and Norms.


Click here to enter the Prize.

For more information, visit Fall Armyworm Tech Prize.