BEIRUT – The Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH), primarily funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, announced today the 13 winners of the second MENA Call for Innovations. The winners will receive support in the form of grants, technical assistance and/or investment facilitation.
The selected innovators safely increase access to food in rural areas and projects that harvest alternative energy resources to support food production. Together, they have the potential to create jobs for women, youth and rural populations, and improve food security for hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East and North Africa, all while protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity.
The following 12 organizations will be supported with up to $1.85 million in grants, as well as technical assistance:
- Agrisolar (Egypt) – provides easy-to-install solar irrigation systems.
- AgriTopia (West Bank / Gaza) – provides smart greenhouse solutions fully automated system that measures soil moisture,distributes fertilizer, and irrigates crops.
- Biodôme (Morocco) – provides biogas units to farmers as well as a compost packing and promotion service.
- Egymag (Egypt) – takes waste from vegetable markets to create bio-fertilizers and poultry and fish feed from black soldier fly larvae.
- Green Eagle Tech (Egypt) – provides farmers with financing for solar irrigation systems that use less water.
- Green Watech (Morocco) – offers a tested, safe, low-cost, and efficient solution for wastewater treatment and reuse for irrigating vegetables destined for human consumption.
- Hydroponics Africa (Kenya, Sudan) – manufactures, installs and promotes customised hydroponic fodder and vegetable systems.
- Irma & Co (Lebanon) – makes and sells pepper paste made of peppers grown through drip irrigation technique, reducing water and energy use by up to 70%.
- Ma’an Youth Society for Environmental Conservation (Jordan)– uses organic waste to produce organic fertilizer, potting soil, and compost.
- Mozare3 (Egypt)– through Meeza prepaid cards, the company provides farmers with access to financing and markets, as well as agronomy support.
- Raptor Engineering Supplies and Contracting (Egypt) – provides rural farmers, with reliable and cost-effective solar pumping systems to irrigate their lands and produce more food.
- Sudagarlic (Sudan) – provides garlic-producing smallholder farmers with storage, processing, marketing, and distribution services.
The Call for Innovations is an activity under the Water and Energy for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development (WE4F). WE4F is an international partnership among the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development (in some countries). WE4F aims to increase food production, impact gender and poverty, and promote biodiversity and climate and environmental resilience by sustainably scaling solutions to meet the challenges in the water-energy-food nexus.
The WE4F Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (a consortium of Berytech, cewas, Chemonics Egypt and the International Water Management Institute) supports innovators in ten countries across the region to produce more food while using less water and energy. Together with investors and partners, the MENA RIH works to scale mid-to-later stage enterprises that have an environmental and social impact in the water-energy-food nexus.