The aim of this competition is to increase the pace of development and scale of uptake of agricultural and food systems technology and innovation in Africa by:
- other food systems actors such as manufacturers, processors, retailers, distributors and wholesalers
Agriculture and food systems are changing rapidly, which has important consequences for diets. Uptake of new technology and innovation in this area is low in developing countries, particularly Africa.
Your project proposal must show benefits to African country agriculture and food systems in order to contribute to healthy, safe and nutritious diets. It must clearly demonstrate a research or innovation component.
Your project’s innovations must:
- be sustainable in the context of environmental challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity
- minimise negative effects such as pollution, food loss and waste
- promote safe, healthy and nutritious diets
There are many opportunities and challenges for food systems, as described by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.
The Agri-tech Catalyst will take innovative ideas from any sector or discipline. Ideas must show the potential to have a positive impact on poverty through the uptake of agricultural and food systems technology and innovation. The scope of the Catalyst includes:
- primary crop and livestock production, including aquaculture
- non-food uses of crops, excluding ornamentals
- challenges in food processing, distribution or storage, and value addition (such as through a change in the physical state or form of the product)
- improving the availability and accessibility of safe, healthy and nutritious foods
Your project and its outcomes must fit within the Official Development Assistance (ODA) criteria.
Your application must demonstrate how the primary benefit from your project will be a contribution to international development outcomes, specifically:
- enhanced food and nutrition security and
- welfare of the poor in urban and rural areas in developing countries
Activities carried out in the UK must be clearly relevant to delivering impact in a developing country. Any benefits to the UK must be secondary in nature and result from delivering the primary benefit. Your proposal must clearly demonstrate the ways it will impact in developing countries.
If your project will support crop breeding it must have clear potential for impact at scale, in more than one country.
We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets and technological maturities.
Gender analysis and data disaggregation
Men and women experience poverty differently and face different obstacles in moving out of poverty. A significant gender gap in agriculture means women have unequal access to and control over productive assets and income, despite contributing a significant share of agricultural labour.
If your project is not sensitive to how this affects agriculture productivity, marketing and processing, the impact will be limited and potentially exacerbate gender inequalities. It should not be assumed that the household is a unit in which everything is pooled and shared, and in which the household head makes decisions on behalf of all household members.
Your proposal should recognise that to promote gender equality and empower girls and women is not only a goal in its own right. It is often a means to improving agricultural productivity or achieving food and nutrition security.
You must include an analysis of the gender factors impacting on the innovation. For example, you may find it is inappropriate to refer to ‘farmers’ without indicating whether you are referring to male farmers, female farmers, or both. Consider whether you need to include expertise on gender and social analysis within your project.
You must separate data about other variables, where relevant, such as ethnicity, age, disability and spatial geography.
You must make sure that all your proposed research, both in the UK and internationally, complies with the principles of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) and other UK funders’ common guidance on ‘Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research’.
Projects likely to directly compromise farm animal welfare outcomes will not be funded. Projects likely to benefit animal welfare will be viewed favourably.
UK institutions should be aware of the extract from the guidance:
“When collaborating with other laboratories, or where animal facilities are provided by third parties, researchers and the local ethics committee in the UK should satisfy themselves that welfare standards consistent with the principles of UK legislation (e.g. the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986), and set out in this guidance, are applied and maintained. Where there are significant deviations, prior approval from the funding body should be sought and agreed.”