The Rockefeller Foundation Cassava Innovation Challenge

Welcome to The Rockefeller Foundation Cassava Innovation Challenge, a global competition offering up to $1 million in funding to novel solutions that can increase the shelf life of cassava in Nigeria.

The Rockefeller Foundation, Dalberg, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have launched The Rockefeller Foundation Cassava Innovation Challenge to address food loss and spoilage in the cassava value chain. Part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s YieldWise initiative, the Challenge will provide up to $1 million, as well as technical assistance from Dalberg and IITA, to further develop novel solutions that increase shelf life.

Applications closed on July 8, 2016.
Successful applicants have been notified.

Update: The global interest in the Cassava Innovation Challenge was overwhelming. We received more than 600 initial applications and announced a shortlist at the end of July 2016. The range of ideas among shortlisted applications surpassed expectations. As a result, the Challenge organizers are extending the timeline for announcing the results by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

See the eligibility criteria, judging criteria, and FAQs to find out more about which kinds of innovations are eligible. Before you apply, please read the Guidelines and Challenge Rules. If you cannot find the information that you’re looking for, write to

Meet the Judges

Who Should Apply?

The Challenge is open to all organizations—whether for-profit or nonprofit—including governmental and inter-governmental organizations. Collaborations between organizations are encouraged. Where such collaboration exists, one lead applicant must submit on the behalf of the group.

This previously aired webinar describes the motivation behind the Challenge, the application and judging timelines, and answers questions from participants.

See the Challenge rules and/or Guidelines for more details on who can apply, and meet the Cassava Innovation Challenge Judges.

Why Cassava and Nigeria?

Cassava is critical for food security in Africa and is the main source of nutrition for around half of the continent’s population, more than 500 million people. However, this root crop has a very short shelf life and, if unprocessed, will spoil within 72 hours after harvest.

In Nigeria—the world’s largest cassava producer (more than 20 percent of global production, producing more than 50 million tons annually)—nearly 30 million smallholder farmers grow cassava. There’s limited access to existing varieties of cassava, almost no preservation from harvesting to processing, and processing is far away, which leads to spoilage.

Applications have closed.