| Sectors: Food security, sustainable livelihoods, women empowerment
| Granting entity: Grand Challenge, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
| Deadline: February 25
| Type of support: Early stage grant + Scale-up grant
| Funding/benefits: Seed Grants – Up to USD 250,000 to be implemented up to 12 months; Scale-Up Grants – Up to USD 1,500,000 to be implemented up to 24 months.
| Applicants: non-profit organizations, for- profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions.
| Locations: Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria; Asia: India (Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh), Bangladesh
Synopsis: Smart Farming Innovations for Small-Scale Producers Request for Proposals (RFP) seeks Smart Farming solutions that leverage digital technology innovations that have the potential to drive positive impact for smallscale producer (SSP) entrepreneurs delivered through bundled farmer services and enabled by scalable digital and data platforms. Solutions should address one or more challenges faced by smallscale crop and livestock producers in one or more areas of agricultural advisory, farm management decision support, input supply, finance, insurance, market access and linkages. Solutions should use human-centered design to elucidate the barriers that prevent SSPs from improving productivity, profitability and income – then propose Smart Farming solutions that can help elevate smallscale production entrepreneurs. Some of the fundamental challenges to address include: 1) low productivity driven by lack of access to information and services; climate change, weather variability and pest and disease outbreaks; 2) lack of access to tailored financial and insurance products, and 3) lack of access to and choice of market and offtake options. Additionally, solutions will need to consider barriers to adoption of digital farmer services, such as low language and digital literacy, the high relative cost of services and devices and, in particular, gender gaps and other potential downsides of digital solutions (e.g. the growing digital divide).
Consortiums: To increase the probability that projects funded through this RFP will continue after the initial project completion and evolve into a continuing global public good or sustained solution, applicants are encouraged to consider of a range of partners to form a consortium. This investment will prioritize those who partner with organizations interested in Smart Farming in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as long-term opportunities.