Updated Oct 29, 2020CLOSED

Smart Farming Innovations for Small-Scale Producers

Offered by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Smart Farming Innovations for Small-Scale Producers Request for Proposals (RFP) seeks Smart Farming solutions that leverage digital technology innovations that have the potential to drive positive impact for smallscale producer (SSP) entrepreneurs delivered through bundled farmer services and enabled by scalable digital and data platforms (Figure 1). Solutions should address one or more challenges faced by smallscale crop and livestock producers in one or more areas of agricultural advisory, farm management decision support, input supply, finance, insurance, market access and linkages. Solutions should use human-centered design to elucidate the barriers that prevent SSPs from improving productivity, profitability and income – then propose Smart Farming solutions that can help elevate smallscale production entrepreneurs. Some of the fundamental challenges to address include: 1) low productivity driven by lack of access to information and services; climate change, weather variability and pest and disease outbreaks; 2) lack of access to tailored financial and insurance products, and 3) lack of access to and choice of market and offtake options. Additionally, solutions will need to consider barriers to adoption of digital farmer services, such as low language and digital literacy, the high relative cost of services and devices and, in particular, gender gaps and other potential downsides of digital solutions (e.g. the growing digital divide).

Awards: There are two grant types – Seed Grants and Scale-Up Grants – each with its own requirements. Applicants can only apply for one of these grant types must select which level for which they are applying (proposal should not be submitted for both grant types).
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CLOSEDFeb 25, 2021Deadline
Up to $250,000Amount
12-24 Months Duration(Months)

Mandatory Requirements

Implemented In:
CountryGhana, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, Malawi, Senegal, Rwanda, Mozambique, Mali, Kenya, India, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania
Focus AreasAgriculture
Digital Development
Gender Equity (Gender)

Grand Challenges is open to both foreign and domestic organizations, including non-profit organizations, for- profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions. Individuals and organizations classified as individuals for U.S. tax purposes are not eligible to receive an award from the foundation as part of the Grand Challenges initiative.

Upon registration, applicants must provide information about the tax status of their organization as different terms and conditions may apply. You should confirm your organization’s tax status with the appropriate advisor or entity within your organization such as your grants or contracts department, finance, or office of sponsored research. The foundation may request additional information regarding your tax status. For information about tax statuses, you may check with your own advisors and review information provided on the Internal Revenue Service web site at: www.irs.gov.

Each challenge published under the Grand Challenges may include additional instructions regarding specific limitations regarding eligibility for that challenge.

Application Directions

We encourage you to use the provided RFP-specific LOI instructions document, which can be downloaded after clicking “Apply Now” on each application page and can also be found in the Supporting Material. You are required to submit either a Microsoft Word® or PDF document; no more than four pages in length describing your project as well as a one-page budget table and narrative. Proposals for Scale-up awards have an additional, one-page requirement (described below). Please do not include a cover sheet with your proposal. A cover sheet will be automatically generated from your registration data


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