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Apply Now: $1 Million Grant Funding for Agricultural Disease Surveillance Data

By Wayan Vota on October 29, 2018

gates foundation grant farmer

Farmers in low-income countries struggle to protect their crops from pests and disease like the Fall Armyworm. They are unprepared and ill-equipped to respond effectively due to:

  • Inconsistent access to crop protection products.
  • Inadequate knowledge of best-practice control strategies.
  • Insufficient awareness of pest and disease outbreaks.

Infestations can destroy crop yields completely, devastating low-income farming families who depend upon the harvest for their food and livelihoods.

In addition, few data exist on the true burden of crop pests and diseases for low-income countries, yet big data, computer algorithms, and mobile phones present an opportunity for a radical change in crop pest and disease surveillance for low-income countries.

Gates Foundation Grant Funding

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking innovative tools and technologies for crop pests and disease surveillance over large geographic regions in low-income countries.

  • Ideas with increased coverage of geographic area will be prioritized over ideas that increase diagnostic accuracy.
  • Ideas that are applicable or adaptable to multiple crops and diseases/pests will be prioritized over ideas that are specific to only one crop or pathogen

Apply now for Phase 1 awards of $100,000 and Phase 2 awards of $1,000,000 USD with farmer-facing applications that integrate into country-level extension services and function without requiring a smartphone or reliable Internet connectivity. The application deadline is November 14, 2018.

Sign up now to get more funding opportunities emailed to you!

Gates Foundation Funding Goals

To be considered, proposals must closely align with the goals of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Agricultural Development team to improve the well-being of millions of families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, allowing them to live more productive and rewarding lives.

Make sure your donor funding application can:

  • Offer an innovative and transformative solution for surveillance and early detection of crop pests and diseases;
  • Offer potential for dramatic cost reductions or increases in efficiency or precision in data collection compared to current strategies;
  • Be amenable to integration into a national or regional pest and disease surveillance and response system for crop plants;
  • Have potential applicability to at least two of the following crops: maize, wheat, rice, millet, sorghum, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, bananas, beans, cowpeas, chickpeas, and groundnuts;
  • Convey a clear potential for achieving data collection at broad geographic scale.

Potential Project Funding Ideas

Here are a few examples of the many possible ideas you could propose to the gates Foundation for grant funding. These ideas should be used to inspire your ideas – they are not prescriptive:

  • Multidisciplinary approaches that leverage emerging research in data science, engineering, biology, chemistry, computer science, telecommunications and other relevant fields;
  • Phone-based technologies (Please note: proposals using image analysis strategies must clearly show novel improvement over existing technologies either in integration of diverse data or algorithmic approaches, must address more than one crop and/or disease, and must clearly state the data requirements and achieved or target accuracy);
  • Novel sensor-based strategies affordable to low-income country users;
  • Approaches that leverage “passive” big data sources (remote sensing, crowd-sourced data, online content, social media, call center records, and other non-traditional data sources) and machine learning/artificial intelligence.

What are you waiting for? Apply today!

Filed Under: Agriculture, Funding
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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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12 Comments to “Apply Now: $1 Million Grant Funding for Agricultural Disease Surveillance Data”

  1. Andrew Ngetich says:

    Many passion fruit farmers in kenya speciffically uasin gishu county, have challenges on providing water to their crops because they cant afford the drip irrigation systems thus depending on rainfall as the only source of water. If we can help this farmer install drip irrigation on the passion fruits he/she can produce the passion fruits to the markwt throughout the season and also help increase yields and due to healthy crop and we will have minimized diseases and pests.

    • Hernan Velasquez says:

      Como ayuda y sugerencia:
      Construir depositos de agua de lluvia por medio de canales alrededor de las viviendas.
      Captura de agua (humedad ambiental) con pantallas de plastico y conduccion a traves de mangueras construidas con material reciclado proveniente de embases plastcos y perforados con clavos cada tramo que regulan la cantidad de agua capturada y distribiuida.
      Realizar cultivos con cubierta de plastico para evitar presencia de malas hierbas y mejorar el riego


    Is this Loan also available for Agriculture machinery for crop production as well as for improvement in existing irrigation system? Being an extension worker may I coordinate your foundation in Punjab Pakistan?

  3. Bayuke Baluwie Jacob says:

    I would be very grateful if this fund would be granted to me to fight this canker in Ghana

  4. Omogoye Yinka Williams says:

    If we provide a proper system that is strategically located to receive farm produce and link same with end users, we would’ve effective reduced the loss of produce to damages as a result of lack of storage

  5. Oludi benard says:

    This funding is really good for developing the knowledeg of farmers. I pray that for livestock disease survilance also come on board. Especialy the knowledeg of farmers about East Coast fever on cattle, newcastal, fulpox and comboro and cocsidiosis in birds, so generally in selected livestock. Thanks to all.

  6. I’m a farmer in sub sahara in a country called Lesotho I pungue maize we have a problem of pests I really need a grant that can help us to fight thus daelema

  7. MR. A. N. KALU says:

    I’m a farmer in sub sahara in a country called GHANA I pungue mavegetable we have a problem of pests I really need a grant that can help us to fight thus

  8. Niwagaba Brighton says:

    I am a farmer in Uganda. I do tomatoes. I face lots of pests and disease challenges in my area. I have also built FARMBUZZ mobile app to reach out to other farmers. I hope we will be assisted under this fund to help us reach out to the world. We hope to see agriculture being done not only as a means of survival but as a business in its own right.

  9. Niwagaba Brighton says:

    I am Brighton. A passionate farmer. I do tomatoes. We face lots of challenges in the agricultural fields. From pests,diseases,seasonality and irrigation,etc. I have also built FARMBUZZ mobile app to reach out and connect all farmers around the world so that we share such stories and find solutions. I hope to get the best funding services from this program . This will enable us reach out our vision to the world in transforming agriculture.
    I dream of that day when agriculture will be done not only as a means of survival but as a business in its own rights.

  10. David M Mpanda says:

    I am David. An Innovator who design the machine that will help the sunflower growers thresh their product easier. It is affordable to even a small farmer holders.

  11. Dear Sir/madam, I am đinesh Kumar yadav From India and my charity trust name is Shiv shakti math, a social welfare service for poor children and poor girls to gain education, skills training and livelihoods. Please help me with grant and funding. Thanks.