Deadline: 2019-06-02 Award: $20,000 Open to: Distribution entrepreneurs*
The majority of people living in sub-Saharan Africa are farmers. Agriculture accounts for 64% of the labor force, and in rural areas 75% of people living on $1 a day work in agriculture.
Unfortunately the vast majority of these farms are not optimally productive. Yield per hectare for major crops like maize can be as much as 80 percent below their potential. Compared to rates in other countries, yields in Africa remain less than half of the global average.
Low yield has impact on individual farmers and macro issues. A farmer who produces lower crop yields has no chance to increase profitability. Looking more broadly, the yield gap is a key reason farmers in Africa are not producing enough food to sustain the continent’s rapidly growing population. Despite having about 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land, the continent spends about $40 billion annually on food imports.