Application Deadline: July 8, 2022
The Global Alliance Innovation Exchange (iX) challenge, delivered by Innovate UK KTN Global Alliance Africa, is supporting a large agri-based manufacturing company in Kenya to identify innovative solutions to two significant and immediate challenges that they face. Two East African challenges are now open, and the winning applicants will each receive up to GBP 25,000 seed funding to work on a solution for these specific challenges in collaboration with the challenge holder.
Global Alliance Innovation Exchange is an Innovate UK KTN programme specially designed to help the UK and international organisations search for game-changing solutions to innovation challenges. KTN has run 130+ innovation challenges across the world including 5 challenges in Africa so far. All of these have successfully found promising solutions to the challenge holders’ problems.
The first Challenge, which closes on 8 July, is seeking innovative solutions to prevent crop damage caused by migrating birds. Damage to crops by birds is an enormous challenge in Africa. As the birds migrate across large distances, they often target farm crops as an abundant and easily accessible food source, nesting nearby in great numbers to take advantage of the localised, plentiful food supply.
Avoiding harming the birds in any way, farmers need to find a solution to keep them from landing on the crops or to move them further down their migration routes. This Innovation Exchange Challenge is looking for novel solutions to address this issue.
The second Challenge, also closing on 8 July, is seeking affordable and easy-to-maintain solutions for sorghum grain threshing (and other grains). East Africa traditionally has a structure of small farms over large areas of land where farmers grow a wide variety of food and industrial crops. Most farm operations are carried out by hand, including manual harvesting. Crops are then dried and threshed on the farm before being transported for sale.
This post-harvest grain handling by hand leads to an estimated 20-30% yield loss, affecting farmers’ revenue and livelihood. This Innovation challenge is looking for versatile options for mobile equipment that may be used by farmers to improve this situation.
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