2018 Fall Armyworm Tech Prize for Africa

Fall Armyworm Tech Prize

The prize is seeking digital tools and approaches that provide timely, context-specific information that enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to identify, treat, and track incidence of fall armyworm in Africa.

Entries Open

28th March 2018

Deadline for Entries

14th May 2018

Co-Creation Event

End of June 2018

Award Event

September/October 2018

Scroll down for more information


The Problem

Fall armyworm (FAW) poses a serious threat to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Originally from the Americas, FAW outbreaks first occurred in West Africa in early 2016 and are now on the precipice of devastating food supplies across the continent, exacerbating global poverty and hunger. FAW attacks more than 80 different plant species and agriculture experts estimate the pest may cause over $13 billion in losses for crops like maize, sorghum, rice, and sugarcane. It can also fly up to 1,600 kilometers (nearly 1,000 miles) in 30 hours meaning it can easily migrate to surrounding farms and countries.

Given the spread and rate of the outbreak, interventions are needed at a transnational level. Information on how to respond and prevent the pest needs to quickly be transmitted to smallholder farmers and those who advise them.

In order to control the spread of FAW and reduce the risk of a future humanitarian crisis, smallholder farmers need improved access to immediate, accurate and actionable information on how to mitigate, identify and combat the fall armyworm. Digital technologies can be utilised in expanding the frontiers of information access to sub-Saharan Africa. Increasingly available digital technologies including sensors, geospatial imagery and data analytics can be leveraged to allow smallholder farmers to gain useful advice and make informed decisions.

About the Prize

At present, FAW in Africa threatens harvests and economic growth on a continental scale. Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, aims to transform lives toward a world where people no longer face extreme poverty, undernutrition and hunger.  To achieve this, Feed the Future works hand-in-hand with partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the cycle of poverty and hunger. In particular, Feed the Future aims to:

  • Increase agricultural productivity and generate opportunities for economic growth and trade in developing countries.
  • Boost the harvests and incomes of rural smallholder farmers, who are the key to unlocking agricultural growth and transforming economies.
  • Improve agricultural research and development and get existing, proven technologies to more people.
  • Increase resilience to prevent recurrent crises and help communities better withstand and bounce back from crises when they do happen.

Five prizes totalling $400,000 in prizes will be made as follows:

  • One grand prize of $150,000 to the most viable solution
  • Two significant awards of $75,000 to the most promising solutions
  • Two up and comer awards of $50,000 to early stage developments that show the most potential

With advances in digital communications, social networks, satellite imagery, electronic data collection and sharing, sensing technologies, crowdsourcing, and the global movement to share open data, more information than ever can be efficiently communicated and made relevant for farmers.  While digital tools and approaches are not the only solutions to fall armyworm (and depending on the context, may not be appropriate), technological solutions can help serve as a force multiplier to already strained advisory services.

Prize Statement

The prize is seeking digital tools and approaches that provide timely, context-specific information that enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to identify, treat, and track incidence of fall armyworm in Africa.

This prize is focused on sourcing and sparking innovations for African smallholder farmers and those that work with them. But given the global nature of this problem, we anticipate some of these solutions could have relevance beyond Africa.

The prize seeks solutions that:

  • Enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to accurately identify incidence of fall armyworm in their crops.
  • Produce timely, context appropriate, and empowering insights for smallholder farmers to treat the incidence of fall armyworm.
  • Reduce productivity losses caused by fall armyworm among those using the tool or approach.
  • Ensure the appropriate and responsible use of pest management assessments, tools, and interventions.

Participant Journey

  • Milestone 1

    Call for Submissions – Entry Period

    Wednesday 28th March – Monday 14 May 2018

    • The Fall Armyworm Tech Prize call will be open for seven weeks.
    • For more information about the entry process, see the Innovators HandbookJudging CriteriaEligibility Criteria and Terms and Conditions
    • We will publicize any other Question and Answer opportunities on the platform.
    • We recommend entrants read the FAQs before entering the prize.
    • Prospective competitors can also send queries via email to fawtechprize@nesta.org.uk.
    • Submissions received after the deadline date and time listed above may not be considered.
    • All eligible submissions will be assessed and judged to reach a decision on the 20 finalists
    • Submissions received after the deadline date and time listed above may not be considered.
    • All eligible submissions will be assessed and judged to reach a decision on the 20 finalists


    Submission Deadline Monday 14th May 2018: 23:59 ET

    • Milestone 2

      Finalists’ Co-Creation Events

      End of June – Dates TBC


      • 20 finalists will be selected and invited to participate in the co-creation event taking place in Uganda towards the end of June for three to four days.
      • Two representatives will be invited to attend for each selected idea. An allowance will be provided to cover expenses for travel and subsistence and the administrative arrangements.
      • We will notify finalists at least three weeks before the event to provide time to make the appropriate arrangements.  The actual dates will be publicized beforehand for applicants to plan.
      • Please make note of the timeframe as it is a requirement that selected finalists attend.

      In addition, each finalist will receive $2,000 to support the development of their prototype.

    • Milestone 3

      Development Plans and Testing

      June – August 2017

      • After the co-creation event finalists will have eight to ten weeks to hone their innovations.
      • During this period, user testing will need to take place. The finalist’s prototypes will be tested with sub-Saharan African smallholder farmers and extension services to understand how viable the product is and how much of a difference they think it could make in recognizing and intervening in the spread of fall armyworm.
      • As part of their final submission,  finalists will need to complete a development plan (similar to a business plan) and submit a video, details of which will be outlined.
      • There will be ongoing mentoring support during this time.


      Deadline for Final Submissions 12th August 2018 23:59 ET

    • Milestone 4

      Final Award Event

      End of September/October 2018 – Date TBC

      • In late September or October 2018, a final awards event will be held.
      • Winners will have the opportunity to present their prototype and plans to convened stakeholders.
      • The Awards will be announced.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    Who can enter?

    The Prize will accept entries that meet the following criteria. See the Eligibility Criteria page for more details:

    • Open to all.
    • Local applicability.
    • Willingness to share the learning.
    • Prototyping Skills.
    • Intellectual Property.
    • Incomplete Entries.
    • Applications in English.
    • USAID Responsibility Determination.

    Judging Criteria:

    What will the judges will be looking for?

    All entries will be judged against the following criteria. See the Judging Criteria page for guidance)

    • Criteria 1  Digital Tools
    • Criteria 2 Actionable Information
    • Criteria 3 Accessibility
    • Criteria 4 Potential Impact
    • Criteria 5 Market Potential
    • Criteria 6 Adherence to Regulations, Privacy and Norms.

    Who’s behind the Prize?

    Feed the Future is America’s initiative to combat global hunger and poverty. It brings partners together to help some of the world’s poorest countries harness the power of agriculture and entrepreneurship to jumpstart their economies and create new opportunities.

    The Challenge Prize Centre was established to increase practical evidence and understanding about challenge prizes so they can be used effectively by governments, charities and businesses to have a tangible positive impact on society.

    NaijaGEM’S Photo Contest

    Young African Leaders Initiative

    Are you ready to show the beauty of Nigeria through magnificent photography? 

    Image 1


    The U.S. Mission Nigeria invites Nigerians to compete in its NaijaGems Photography contest to raise awareness of Nigeria’s natural beauty. Ambassador W. Stuart Symington who has visited all 36 states in Nigeria and initiated the competition said, “There are all across this country (Nigeria) places of spectacular beauty, including some of the rarest and most beautiful flora, flowers and fauna,  rock structures, rivers, waterfalls, and historic structures, things created by God and things created by man from one end of this country to the other. We want you to take a picture of one of those Nigerian gems – things or places that cause every Nigerian and every other person in the world who sees it to go “WOW.”

    Start a Business…Lucrative Ideas you can Start Today

    There is much to be admired and celebrated in Nigeria. We are giving Nigerians an opportunity to tell their positive stories in pictures.
    The contest is open to all adult Nigerians. We are looking for originality and creativity, compelling photography skills, and a Wow effect – within a picture displaying natural beauty of a meaningful location or object in Nigeria.

    The contest winner will take home a Canon EOS 5D mark iv, the second and third place winners will also receive high-quality Canon cameras and top photos from the 36 states and the FCT will win consolation prizes.   The best photos will be featured in a NaijaGems photo exhibition in Abuja.
    The results will be announced on the Embassy website and on social media and the winners will be invited to the embassy to receive their prizes.

    We urge you to enter the contest or share this information with your friends and contacts. Please encourage them to participate.

    For a full explanation of the contest rules:

    Click Here

    U.S. Embassy in Nigeria

    Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive

    Central District Area, Abuja, Nigeria
    Phone: (234)-9-461-4000

    Start a Business… Everything you Need to Get Started

    Easy small business ideas you can start Today
    Want to start an online business in 2018? You can dive into entrepreneurship by starting an online store today. Whether you’ve got a 9 to 5 job or are looking for a lifestyle business, you can build a small business that works around your schedule. You’ll have the freedom to be your own boss, and build a brand.

     Get Started Here
    Why start an online business?
    Make money: If you’re looking to earn more money, starting an online store can help you boost your income. With most 9 to 5 jobs, there is a limit to what you can earn, but with ecommerce, the possibilities are endless.
    Work from home: Whether you’re a new mom or a globetrotter, you can run your online business from pretty much anywhere. All you need is an internet connection. Want to build a home-based side-hustle that allows you to work in your pjs? Or would you prefer to work lakeside at the cottage? You’ll have the freedom to take your work wherever you want to go.
    Flexible schedule: You can build your online business around your schedule. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you have the freedom and flexibility to plan your days any way you want.
    Pursue your passion: Ecommerce allows you the flexibility to sell products in any niche. From beauty to fashion to electronics, there’s an endless supply of products you can sell and markets you can target. Why not turn your favourite hobby into your dream career?
    Gain new skills: Are you a student looking to beef up your resume or a marketer wanting to gain more experience? You’ll learn a diverse range of new skills, like customer service and digital marketing, in a short period of time. The skills you’ll learn will make you a better entrepreneur or employee.
    What type of small business should you start?
    Handmade: One popular home-based business idea is to sell custom products; for example, this year homemade cosmetics like beard oils and face masks are particularly trendy. Other options include handmade jewelry, apparel, handbags, lip balm, candles, bath bombs and more. With handmade products, your customers will receive a one of a kind product which will help you stand out online. If you’re crafty and enjoy creating products, a DIY business is a great way to start your first online business.
    Dropshipping: Dropshipping allows new entrepreneurs to build a new online store risk-free. When you sell a product to your customer, the manufacturer then packages and ships the product directly to them on your behalf. You only need to buy the goods as customers order them. This keeps costs low, which makes it an ideal business model for someone starting out. If you’re interested in dropshipping, check out our enamel pins,LED sneakers or cell phone cases case studies.
    Ready to become an entrepreneur? Now is the perfect time to start building your online empire.

     Get Started Now

    What Happened to Your Research Projects/Paper(s)?



    Kind regards, 
    Your career success partner

    Afribary.com is an online academic research library with the vision to make available millions of quality African research papers (projects, seminars, term papers etc) online.

    Afribary enables any scholar, researcher or student to upload his/her quality research papers for millions of people who are looking for relevant materials to use for their research.

    So are you gifted in academic research? Do you have papers published in journals? Do you have quality research projects (final year research works, seminars, essays/papers, course materials?) Why not share your superb academic research with the world.

    Create Online Store for your Business Today!

    As a researcher you can upload your papers quickly (it takes about a minute to sign up and start uploading your research works). You also decide whether to share them for free or place a small access fee for anyone who wishes to download your papers. Join thousands of lecturers, graduates, and researchers who are uploading/sharing their quality research papers for people around the world to access.

    Follow the simple two steps below to start;

    1. Click Here to Register(it takes only a minute) and check your email to activate your membership
    2. Click on the Upload button to start uploading your paper(s). It’s that simple!

    Note: If you wish to upload and share your paper for free you can tick the box at the bottom while uploading your research works.

    If you wish to upload and sell your paper(s) for a small fee go to Afribary.com/settings after uploading all your papers to update your payment details.

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    Your Business (Invest or Die)

    Hey there,

    In 2018, you have to invest REAL time and REAL money into your business or it’ll die.



    Because with technology advancing as fast as it is, you’re always one step away from the other guy taking you over.

    Yes – the other guy!

    He’s the guy who’s younger, smarter, hungrier, and gets up earlier!

    The one who has you and your business in his sites…

    …and wants to take you down!

    Because with the knowledge available on Google to ANYONE with the internet, your competition is growing day by day.

    And you have to change, evolve, and invest – or die.

    Or, maybe worse, you’ll become irrelevant.

    Warren Buffet said:

    “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”

    And the same is true for your business.

    I see it all the time.

    Someone starts a business, they see TREMENDOUS success, they back off and stop investing, they shrink, become irrelevant, and die.


    Because A LOT of business owners refuse to pivot, evolve, and change.

    They build something GREAT but never take the TIME and MONEY to invest in something GREATER.

    In other words, they plateau and settle.

    And my advice to you today – don’t do that!

    If you have something great, make it greater!

    If you’re starting something new, don’t shoot for “average,” or “good enough,” try to make it better than the best!

    Because if you OVERSHOOT and fail, you’ll be where you need to be.

    But if you shoot for “average” and fail, you’ll never get off the ground.

    Because the businesses and entrepreneurs who REALLY make it invest in themselves and their business.

    They can’t afford NOT TO.

    They know that it takes time and money to make it work.

    Because what’s comfortable is rarely profitable.

    I’ll leave you with this quote from Tim Ferriss:

    “The stars will never align, and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it.”

    To make 2018 the best year ever – you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone, invest in your business, and never, ever, ever settle for average.

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    Success is right in front of you.

    Never take your eyes off it.

    Go get it!

    Stop Lying…

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    Stop Lying…


    So, I was on a trip recently and ended up talking to a guy who was thinking about becoming a Life Coach.

    And when I asked him why he hadn’t moved forward with it yet, the LIES came out:

    “I’ll fail” 
    “I’m not good enough!” 
    “It’ll be WAY too difficult!” 
    “What kind of coaching or consulting could I REALLY do?”

    Now, these were lies he was telling himself about himself.

    They were keeping him back from his dream.

    Because lies kill dreams.

    And if you have a dream of being a coach or consultant (or, you have a skill or talent you want to get paid for) but haven’t moved forward with it….

    …you need to STOP lying to yourself.

    Now, I get it. 

    I know what it’s like to navigate the world of online business and coaching. And after a lot of failures, I finally stopped lying to myself and went on to create a successful coaching and consulting business.

    One that’s got me several high-paying clients!

    And not a lot of people know this but – I STILL get coaching and consulting clients today!

    All because of one thing -I stopped believing the LIES I told myself.

    Lies like the ones above (not good enough, it’ll never work, etc.). Because here’s what nobody tells you…

    …becoming a coach or a consultant doesn’t have to be difficult.

    All you need is:

    A deep desire to help people… 
    A blueprint for getting clients to pay you for it…

    Heck, you could even quit your day job with just one “big fish” client.

    I’ve had 6-figure clients multiple times – yes, for just ONE client!

    Now, I know…

    There are a lot of steps you can take to become a coach/consultant.

    But you don’t have to do all (or many) of them to start.

    Because, to get that FIRST CLIENT – you just need to believe you can and take action.

    Put yourself out there.

    Stop holding yourself back and yeah, take a risk.


    Because imagine how your life could change if you’re doing work that’s meaningful and profitable.

    Work that you’re uniquely MADE to do.

    I’m telling you – it IS possible and it can happen fast.

    So, I want to encourage you to keep thinking about it – what’s that one thing that everyone always asks you about?

    The thing you’re GOOD at?


    Because that ONE THING could turn into a full-blown business for you:

    What do your friends complain about that you think is EASY? 
    What do they say when they introduce you to others? 
    What do they say you’re AWESOME at and always compliment you for? 
    And, what would you do if you had 6 hours free every week to do whatever you want?

    Because the answers to those questions could turn into your 6-figure + coaching/consulting empire.

    So – think about it.

    Stop believing the LIES you tell yourself that keep you stuck.

    And start thinking BIG!

    You can do this.

    You just need to get out of your own way first 🙂

    Go get it,

    P.S. Remember – impossible is only an opinion!


    Kind regards, 
    Your Success Partner