USAid contest targets food security innovations from Zambia, Latin America and Caribbean


US Agency for International Development (USAid) Administrator Gayle Smith recently announced at the organisation’s first-ever Ag Innovation Investment Summit this week the launch of two new open competitions for entrepreneurs with promising, innovative solutions to food insecurity in Latin America, the Caribbean and Zambia.

Winners of the competitions will receive funding and mentoring from the US Government’s Feed the Future initiative to pilot, market and scale their proven solutions to benefit smallholder farmers in developing countries. Feed the Future will invest up to US $5.75 million through these two competitions.

“When we invest in innovators and entrepreneurs, we’re not just investing in a cool new technology or a promising business, though we are doing that,” said USAID Administrator Smith. “Through Feed the Future and other efforts, we are helping countries become a little bit stronger, and a little less vulnerable to crises and conflicts. We are helping people build the core set of capacities they need to withstand the next disaster. And those investments will yield returns for decades, returns that will help us end hunger and extreme poverty, and build safer, more prosperous communities all over the world.”

The announcement comes ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit later this June in Silicon Valley and is part of a Feed the Future program to commercialize technologies and approaches that address development challenges. By helping entrepreneurs scale what works to reach smallholder producers and rural communities, Feed the Future is reducing hunger and poverty around the globe.

The call for technologies and approaches to boost food safety in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti, will be open until August 8, 2016.

Zambian organizations can apply to the call for new partnerships that improve nutrition and boost growth in the country until July 29, 2016.