Deadline: Sunday, January 15, 2023
Record high food prices have triggered a global crisis that will drive millions more into extreme poverty, magnifying hunger and malnutrition while threatening to erase hard-won gains in development. While some of the triggers for this crisis are modifiable using geopolitical diplomacy and justice, others, like climate change and increasing variability, need a more concerted, responsive, and sustained effort from scientists and policymakers.
Climate change and food security have an immutable link. Climate change has a cascading impact from agroecosystems to agricultural production, to the people and countries and ultimately consumers depending on reliable food production and availability. Africa is already and will continue to suffer the downstream effects of climate change, therefore, underlining a need to have climate adaptive food systems. In August 2020, a research priority setting exercise of 1,202 food security and nutrition (FSN) scientists on the African continent identified priority needs under climate adaptive food systems to be:
Responding to existing food security challenges in the face of climate change will require increasing productivity both to meet consumption demands and to limit further agricultural land expansion into natural ecosystems. An adaptation modelling scenario has shown that a 25% increase in crop yields would almost completely offset the impact of climate change on child malnutrition. However, we must also increase production reliability (not just the average) as inter-annual climate variability and shocks increases risk for small scale producers. The approaches needed to address climate change must consider constraints faced by African small scale producers, including limited access to irrigation and financing, nutrient-depleted soils, and often poor access to markets and added-value food systems.
We propose that adapting to climate change is a cyclical process, rather than a single innovation or intervention. Sustainable and equitable climate adaptation will require strengths in each component of the adaptation cycle. Each part of this cycle must be owned and led by committed local groups, countries, and stakeholders, and is founded upon a strong and engaged network of African climate and adaptation scientists.
In this RFP, Grand Challenges Africa would be interested in supporting efforts to strengthen the process and system-level aspects of this virtuous cycle.
We believe that sustained organised investments into the African continent focused not only on the science innovator but also on the gaps within the science innovation ecosystem (e.g., research centres, government, private sector, funders, etc.) will deliver irreversible gains for translational sciences and are necessary for strengthening climate adaptive capacity. Our investments will focus on activities and innovations that support the adaptation science ecosystem in a sustainable fashion rather than supporting one-off interventions. We are interested in strengthening the research foundations of climate adaptation planning, risk management, translation from research to action, and investment for the success of each country’s climate agrisystem.
This RFP seeks innovative approaches to enhance climate adaptation for agriculture in Africa in ways that link directly with and strengthen the ecosystem of local actors and institutions. We are looking for 18-24 month projects that will address the objective below.
Specifically, the objective of the challenge will be:
To support innovations that strengthen agriculture-related risk management processes and adaptation prioritization, planning, and investment, through intra-Africa research collaboration on data, data science, and modeling. For example.
Seed projects (proof of concept projects) – studies that have a new idea that needs to be validated and data collected to support or confirm the idea - USD $100,000.
Transition to scale projects – projects that have proved their concept works and need to validate in a controlled environment as they seek to develop the product or process and prepare it for scaling - USD $200,000.
All the projects will be within a grant term of 18-24 months.
We are looking for projects that meet the stated objectives above, and:
We will not fund projects that meet any of the following criteria:
The Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) is a pan-African, non-profit and public charity organisation that supports, strengthens, and promotes science and innovation in Africa. The SFA Foundation serves the African research ecosystem by funding excellent ideas in research and innovation; enabling interdisciplinary collaborations and building and reinforcing environments that are conducive for scientists to thrive and produce quality research that generates new, locally relevant knowledge
The SFA Foundation is committed to improving the quality of lives for African people and to promote the uptake of research in communities, industry, private and the public sector. It is further committed to strengthening the entire research ecosystem by creating major Science Technology Innovation programmes implemented through a well-established grant-making scheme, advocacy, and promotion of scientific excellence, with emphasis on intra-Africa collaboration and evidence-based policymaking mechanisms.
Grand Challenges Africa (GC Africa) is a programme of the SFA Foundation that supports the creation of extraordinary innovations that address health and developmental challenges in Africa. The programme awards seed and scale up grants to the continent’s most impressive solutions.
Applications should be submitted via the SFA Foundation’s Grant Management System - Agaseke accessed here: https://agaseke.scienceforafrica.foundation/Login.aspx
Applications due no later than 15 January 2023, 5:00 p.m. East Africa Time