Uganda will this week host to the ‘Fall Armyworm Tech Co-Creation Event’, an initiative that seeks digital tools and approaches that provide timely, context-specific information, allowing smallholder farmers and those who support them to identify, treat, and track incidence of fall armyworm in Africa.
Taking place in Uganda at the Africana Hotel from June 26th to June 29th, the affair – organized in part by Nesta, a global innovation foundation – will bring together innovators, experts, and stakeholders from various parts of the world. It will feature a cash award known as The Fall Armyworm Tech Prize.
The event comes at a time when the Fall Armyworm, a notorious pest ravaging parts of the African continent, threatens the livelihoods of millions of people while contributing to heavy losses in the agriculture industry.
As part of the competition, $150,000 will be awarded to the team with the most viable solution, while two awards of $75,000 will go to the most promising solutions, and two awards of $50,000 to an early stage solution that shows the most potential.
The competition has already attracted 228 entries, with over 80% of them from Africa. The event’s organisers have confirmed that there will be 40 innovators, two for each finalist team at the three-day Co-Creation Event in Kampala Uganda, affording finalists the opportunity to celebrate their status and provide them opportunities to continue to develop their prototypes through co-creation and expert advice.
Finalists will participate in workshops, panels, and activities such as business development planning, prototyping, understanding the farmer context and a marketplace where their prototypes will be on display for early feedback, as this will help them improve and further develop their prototypes.
The finalists’ solutions include ‘A Mobile Layaway Solution to Combating Fall Armyworm’ from the USA; ‘Boa Me’ from Ghana, a solution known as ‘CornBot: Farmers Everyday Virtual Assistant for Sustainable Maize Production’ from Nigeria; and ‘LEA: Pests? Problem solved!’ from Uganda, among others.
“We are thrilled to welcome the finalists to Kampala for the Co-Creation Event. We know that we’ll be working with a group of fantastic innovators on their journey to fight fall armyworm. The Co-Creation Event marks the start of a period of support that will help finalists work on their initial ideas and make them even greater,” commented Liz Vossen, form Nesta.