Let’s rethink food systems together: Apply to the WFP Innovation Challenge 2021!

WFP Innovation Accelerator
4 min readMay 31, 2021

Join our new cohort of innovators and implement your ideas as part of WFP’s global mission to end hunger

By Gulia Rakhimova

The World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator works to leverage the skills and talent of innovators around the world to find, pilot and scale novel solutions to hunger. We’ve launched the WFP Innovation Challenge 2021 in search of cutting-edge innovations to rethink our food systems. Do you have one? Apply here before 7 June 2021 at 11:59 pm (CEST)!

Why rethink our food systems?

These paradoxical trends exist because food systems — the path that food travels from the field to our plates — are not designed to equally meet the needs of all people. We have seen that some food systems can easily be disrupted by conflicts, climate shocks and COVID-19. Even in stable environments, geographic isolation and socioeconomic inequalities push people to rely on food assistance.

The good news is that today, we have the technology, know-how and innovative ideas to create more robust food systems and address hunger at its very root.

Apply to the 2021 WFP Innovation Challenge!

New application deadline: 7 June 2021

Can your innovation help rethink food systems? Apply to the WFP Innovation Challenge 2021 for a chance to implement your idea with the world’s largest humanitarian organization and create social impact. You may qualify to participate in the next virtual WFP Innovation Bootcamp, and have the opportunity to gain hands-on support and up to US $100,000 in equity-free funding to implement your project.

A food system is a complex network of resources, people and activities involved in producing food, transforming it, and making sure it reaches hungry people. Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud.

We are looking for bold solutions that can lead the way to the Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger and promote food security in the following priority areas:

  • Resilient Food Systems: enabling communities to better resist and recover from the effects of conflicts, natural hazards, pandemics and other shocks and stressors.
  • Safe and Nutritious Food Systems: increasing the availability of nutritious food and making food more affordable and accessible.
  • Inclusive Food Systems: promoting equitable livelihoods by empowering smallholder farmers and bringing food and income-generating activities to communities at the last mile.

Last year’s Challenge attracted about 800 applications from 95 countries.

We are excited by innovative ideas and talent that will be harnessed this year and welcome applications from start-ups, NGOs, academic institutions and government agencies.

Ready to disrupt hunger with us?

Established in 2015 in Munich, Germany, the WFP Innovation Accelerator brings Silicon Valley-style start-up approaches to spur innovation within the humanitarian and development sector. We have supported more than 90 projects in 46 countries, with 14 innovations scaling up globally, creating a life-changing impact for 3.7 million people in 2020 alone.

One of the scaling projects, Post-Harvest Loss Reduction (PHL) programme, boosts food systems’ resilience by preventing food loss at the farm level and increasing markets’ ability to absorb surplus food. PHL supports value chain actors across 9 countries to create sustainable business models while helping to reduce post-harvest losses by up to 98 percent through storage handling technology and services for smallholder farmers.

Among the projects piloting under the WFP Sprint Programme, KuzaOne promotes more inclusive food systems. Kuza’s digital platform provides learning and collaboration opportunities to smallholder farmers and micro-entrepreneurs in rural and remote areas in Kenya — helping them grow their businesses and earn viable incomes.

“Having all the information about farmers, inputs and aggregation transaction in one platform has improved handling of my customer data, including the way I manage my income.” Lucy Kaari, agripreneur and KuzaOne digital platform user

See some other examples of WFP innovations transforming food systems:

Start your online application now

The WFP Innovation Challenge 2021 is accepting applications between now and 7 June 2021 11:59 pm (CEST):



WFP Innovation Accelerator

Sourcing, supporting and scaling high-impact innovations to disrupt hunger.