In Ethiopia and Nigeria, food safety is a pressing issue – in 2019, 33% of surveyed Ethiopian and 20% of surveyed Nigerians experienced serious harm from food and water, leading to illnesses, malnutrition, stunting in children, and even death.
Improving food safety is a global challenge, with innovative solutions being developed and tested every day worldwide. However, not enough of these have been applied in traditional food markets, where hundreds of thousands of people source their food, and even further up the food chain in Ethiopia and in Nigeria.
EatSafe: Evidence and Action Towards Safe, Nutritious Food (EatSafe), a five-year, multi-country program led by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is launching an Innovation Challenge on Monday 04 April 2022 to enable lasting improvements in the safety of nutritious foods in Ethiopia and in Nigeria.
EatSafe is calling all students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators, passionate about food safety and/or nutrition, to share their ideas on how existing food safety innovations can be adapted and applied in traditional food markets and along value chains to resolve upstream food safety issues, which increase the amount of safer food reaching local, traditional markets. The Challenge especially encourages young women working or interested in working in this field to apply.
The seven food safety innovation categories identified are in the areas of:
- Food waste technology
- Peer-learning platforms
- Platforms for supply chain management
- Retailing and packaging
- Sensors for food safety assessment
- Urban-rural linkages and food logistics
The solutions will help to tackle a wide range of issues such as lack of consumer awareness around safe and nutritious food; lack of knowledge on food origins; food perishability; undetected harmful substances; and food loss – to name just a few.
Richard Pluke, Chief of Party at EatSafe, commented: "With the EatSafe Innovation Challenge, we are trying to get national talent to contribute to making their fellow citizens healthier through safer food. Anyone passionate about food safety and/or nutrition can apply – no need to be a techie – and we highly encourage women and young people to take part in what will undoubtedly be a highly rewarding adventure."
The Challenge aims to empower candidates to scale their ideas and be part of the food safety solution, through technical and financial support, networking opportunities, and exposure. The process is as follows:
- Candidates select one of the innovation categories and develop a compelling concept as to how it could be adapted and applied to make food safer in Ethiopia or Nigeria (April 2022)
- Following workshops and a mentorship period (May-August 2022), two out of the five shortlisted finalists for each country are selected and announced during live pitching events (August 2022)
- The four finalists (two in Ethiopia, two in Nigeria) proceed to the global EatSafe Innovation Challenge grand final in Denmark (October 2022)
- USD $10,000 is awarded to the winning concept
- The deadline to apply is Saturday 30 April 2022.
Find out more (and apply) here: bit.ly/eatsafechallenge
About the Challenge in Ethiopia:
- Genet Gebremedhin, Senior Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Abenezer Feleke, Marketing & Communications Advisor, email@example.com
About the Challenge in Nigeria:
- Ibiso Ivy King-Harry, National Coordinator, SBN Nigeria, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Augustine Okoruwa, Head of EatSafe Country Programs - Food Safety, email@example.com
To request an interview:
- Edwin Shankar at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Challenge
The Challenge is an activity led by the EatSafe Consortium, which includes the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Pierce Mill Entertainment and Education, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics. It is supported by the Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network (SBN).
This Challenge was made possible through support provided by Feed the Future through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), under the terms of Agreement #7200AA19CA00010. The opinions expressed herein are those of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.