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Three winning food security plans for Sub-Saharan Africa scaling-up research

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Published on: 2 March 2020 | Changed on: 02 March 2020

3 entrepreneurs have been selected to further develop and test on a larger scale their innovations to increase food security for the poorest part of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa. The entrepreneurs are given 9 months and a maximum budget of € 300.000.

The 3 entrepreneurs participate in the SBIR call for Food Security Sub-Saharan Africa.

The 3 winning companies and their projects

This February, the 3 best plans were chosen to test the innovation on a larger scale out of 6 projects that developed their innovation in 2019.


Blockchain Innovation wallet is a digital platform for various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. They aim to strengthen food chains and make them more sustainable. It wants to provide farmers and small businesses with fair, simple financial services and thus provide access to high-quality agricultural products, financing, training and advice. Innovation wallet wants to promote the financial inclusion of women by giving them access to their account and financing. Partners are Dodore Kenya Limited and the University of Nairobi.

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Bio-based Rodent Control Product is an environmentally friendly rodent remedy. Used in Ethiopia in combination with a rodent management programme in the Amhara Region to protect food crops. Female entrepreneurs will produce the product locally. This scaling phase is seen as the stepping stone to a much larger rollout in Ethiopia. This is a collaborative project with Amhara Bureau of Agriculture, the Africa Centre of Excellence for Innovative Rodent Pest Management and Biosensor Technology Development of Mekelle University and Debre Tabor University.


aMaizing is an index insurance policy for small-scale maize farmers in Kenya that pays out in case of harvest losses during periods that are too dry or too wet. Thanks to satellite data, crop losses can be accurately determined. The insurance is combined with advice and services aimed at better food production. Collaboration partner is ACRE Africa. In this phase, several mostly female farmers, will start testing the product.


The criteria based on which choices were made are impact on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa, innovation, project quality and economic perspective. We also looked at the cooperation with local partners in Sub-Saharan Africa, partners that help to upscale and focus on the involvement of women in the innovation.


With the programme 'Small Business Innovation Research' (SBIR), the government challenges entrepreneurs to solve societal problems with innovative products and services. SBIR aims to produce a demonstrably higher yield in the food chain for Sub-Saharan Africa or more accessible, affordable and healthier food, also for the poorest consumers.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency implements SBIR Food Security.