Oct 26, 2016
AWARD Launches 2016 GAIA AgTech Innovation Challenge

AWARD is proud to announce that Gender in Agribusiness Investments for Africa (GAIA) is now accepting applications from institutions and enterprises for the 2016 GAIA AgTech Innovation Challenge.

Gender inequality is costing the continent US$ 95 Billion every year[1] and closing the gender productivity gap in the agricultural sector could increase Africa’s total yields by 20-30%.

AWARD has launched GAIA with a goal of increasing agribusiness investments in technological and business model innovations that help close the gender gap, with a particular focus on innovations by African women scientists.

GAIA will create and manage an “AgTech solutions market place” that ensures visibility, commercialization and scaling up of agricultural research innovations (AgTech) that lead to more inclusive growth of Africa’s agricultural sector.

2016 Call for Innovations

Do you have a big idea that has been piloted successfully in East Africa that focuses on:

  • Closing yield gaps in crop and livestock value chains?
  • Reducing postharvest losses?
  • Improving agri-market efficiencies?

We are looking for institutions and business enterprises with innovations spanning the research-to-commercialization continuum, and those addressing business model re-invention.

Innovations should contribute towards transforming agricultural practices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania for improved incomes and food security for smallholder farmers and closing the gender gap. The AgTech innovations should demonstrate how the close the gender gap and especially clear benefits to women smallholder farmers, and other women value chain actors. They should be scalable across multiple geographies in sub-Saharan Africa.  We particularly encourage African women scientists to apply.


AWARD GAIA is looking for innovations that:

  • Are in the agriculture or allied sectors
  •  Demonstrate clear benefits to women smallholder farmers and other women value chain actors
  • Have an innovative technology or business model
  • Have a clear for-profit business model with high potential for scale
  • Have some proof of concept on the ground, conducted pilots and are preferably generating revenues
  • Are looking for funding to commercialize/scale
  • Have operations in one of the following: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania

The top 20 innovators will be chosen from the applicants to participate in an in-depth boot camp, and then be showcased to investors, incubators, and other support organizations in Nairobi, Kenya in November 7-10, 2016. The goal of this challenge is to support promising women working in agriculture to refine their business models, and help connect them to additional influencers in the agriculture sector.

To apply, please complete this application form; for any enquiries, please contact: awardqueries@cgiar.org.

Submissions will be evaluated on a rolling basis until 28th October 2016. Early submissions are encouraged, and winners will be notified on 31st October 2016.


[1] “Africa Human Development Report 2016: Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa” http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/hdr/2016-africa-human-development-report.html


African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). Hosted by World Agroforestry Centre, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri. P.O Box 30677-00100 Nairobi, Kenya.

Email: awardqueries@cifor-icraf.org | Tel: +254 (0) 20 722 4242