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Over Sh12 million up for grabs for entrepreneurs addressing food crisis

Loaders packing Beans produced by members of Meguara Farmers’ Cooperative Society purchased by the World Food Programme to lorries at Romosha area in Trans Mara, Narok County. [Edwin Nyarangi, Standard]

The World Food Programme (WFP) has set aside over Sh12 million in search of innovations addressing the global food crisis affecting now more than 800 million people.

Dubbed the WFP Innovation Challenge, the 2023 edition is running courtesy of the WFP Innovation Accelerator which sources, supports and scales innovations that disrupt hunger.

The agency said the deadly combination of conflict, climate change, and the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is at the root of soaring hunger numbers.

"The economic fallout of the pandemic, and then the war in Ukraine, has pushed prices up and put food out of reach for millions of people across the world," said WFP in a statement. 

Based in Munich, the innovation accelerator provides entrepreneurs and startups with funding together with hands-on support for innovative solutions to mitigate the rising cost of inputs and food, strengthening productivity and outcomes along food value chains as well as building resilient communities through livelihood creation and youth engagement.

“The WFP Innovation Accelerator has a track record of organising 45 flagship innovation boot camps to date, supporting over 395 teams to rapidly refine their innovations, field testing over 100 projects within WFP operations, and bringing 16 disruptive innovations to scale, reaching 9 million people in 2021 alone.”

Selected teams

With the deadline for application set for November 3, the hub further said the selected teams will be invited to participate in an intensive week-long WFP Innovation Bootcamp in February 2023.

“Selected projects will be able to apply for the WFP Sprint Programme, a six-month acceleration programme providing up to Sh12.1 million ($100,000) in equity-free funding, mentorship, and access to WFP’s global network of partners and field operations across more than 120 countries and territories.”