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Agri-Tech Catalyst funding to improve food production in the developing world

Posted on 17/09/2018

DFID has announced £10m investment for research projects seeking to tackle the most pressing challenges facing food production systems in Africa.

As Africa has become urbanised, there has been a shift to low-nutrition diets which has a negative impact on health and wellbeing, including educational achievement for children. At the same time, additional steps in the ‘from field to fork’ process (harvesting, collecting and transporting, processing and packaging) have increased the risk of food shortages and price rises, which are likely to disproportionally affect the poor. This risk is made worse by the growing threat of climate change to crops, such as the higher risk of drought, flooding and erratic rainfall.

Innovations funded by UK aid through the Agri-Tech Catalyst will seek to tackle these challenges, ultimately helping to prevent food shortages, price rises and diet-related illnesses, and end hunger around the world. The Agri-Tech Catalyst is a UK programme that awards funding for research projects looking to improve food production in the developing world. The UK is providing £10m of additional investment for research projects seeking to tackle the most pressing challenges facing food production systems in Africa, such as low-nutrition diets, the risk of food shortages and the threat of climate change.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“With over three quarters of people living in extreme poverty in rural areas and two thirds of those, mainly women, earning a living from agriculture we know that a healthy and prosperous agricultural sector in African countries is vital not only to ending hunger, but also reducing poverty and growing businesses.”

About the Agri-tech Catalyst (round 7) competition

There is currently up to £3 million of funding available from the Department for International Development (DFID) for early-stage feasibility studies, mid stage industrial research and late-stage experimental development. Projects must work on agri-tech and food chain innovations with partners in eligible African countries.

The aim of this competition is to increase the pace of development and scale of uptake of agricultural and food systems innovation by farmers and food systems actors (such as manufacturers, processors, retailers, distributors or wholesalers) in Africa. All projects must be collaborative and must include at least one partner from the UK and one from an eligible African country. All funding for businesses and research organisations will be sent through the administrative lead organisation.

You can find out more on the competition page.

Key dates:

  • Registration closes – 21 November 2018 12:00pm
  • Competition closes – 28 November 2018 12:00pm

Please contact a member of the KTN Agri-Food team if you would like to discuss a potential application.

Resources from competition briefing and consortia building events

KTN hosted a briefing and consortia-building workshop for this competition on Thursday, 27 September 2018 in London and a networking event on Friday, 5 October 2018 in Edinburgh. The aim of the workshops was to enable potential applicants to get a better understanding of the competition process, rules and scope. The workshops were also designed to help with networking and consortia building, and the London event offered a great opportunity for delegates to pitch their capabilities to potential collaborative partners.

You can view the webcast recording of the London briefing event here. You can download key presentations from the briefing event in the related documents section below.