The Rockefeller Foundation, Dalberg, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have launched The Rockefeller Foundation Cassava Innovation Challenge to address food loss and spoilage in the cassava value chain. Part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise initiative, the Challenge will provide up to $1 million, as well as technical assistance from Dalberg and IITA, to further develop novel solutions that increase shelf life.
Who Should Apply?
The Challenge is open to all organizations—whether for-profit or nonprofit—including governmental and inter-governmental organizations. Collaborations between organizations are encouraged. Where such collaboration exists, one lead applicant must submit on the behalf of the group.
Why Cassava and Nigeria?
Cassava is critical for food security in Africa and is the main source of nutrition for around half of the continent’s population, more than 500 million people. However, this root crop has a very short shelf life and, if unprocessed, will spoil within 72 hours after harvest.
In Nigeria—the world’s largest cassava producer (more than 20 percent of global production, producing more than 50 million tons annually)—nearly 30 million smallholder farmers grow cassava. There’s limited access to existing varieties of cassava, almost no preservation from harvesting to processing, and processing is far away, which leads to spoilage.