We have just launched the Inqola FEED Innovation Prize (IFIP), an exciting prize that was created to highlight technological ideas and solutions that have the potential to create meaningful impact in the food system. Globally, we are finding an ever-increasing use of technology to drive change in the food system. Innovators are finding new methods of farming, including in the harshest conditions or in urban environments, finding new pathways for food to reach people, or new ways to decrease or re-utilize waste generated from food. We are seeing revolutionary applicability for innovation right now.
FEED has created the Prize to encourage South African innovators to join the revolution, and to highlight that their ideas, expertise, and work can have a significant and positive influence on the South African food system and the lives it affects.
We are specifically focusing on Internet-based solutions for this inaugural round of the Prize, we believe there is a specific need and interest in these solutions at the moment. These solutions also have the ability to spread rapidly through the Internet, so we are looking at solutions that could create impact in the food system quite rapidly.
About the Name
Inqola means ox wagon or shopping cart in Zulu, and we see the symbolism of how technological innovation can pull the agricultural sector into the future. We love the word’s interplay of the old and new technologies; and it is a reminder that technology has always played a role in our quest for food, from a bow and arrow, to a plow, to a wagon to carry and distribute food, to the use of higher yielding varietals of crops and to refrigeration. The Prize asks contestants to stake their claim in the history of feeding our country.
Why specifically a Prize
FEED had been part of the Food System Vision Prize, a global competition that invited organisations to come together to develop a Vision of the regenerative and nourishing food system that they aspire to create by the year 2050. The project encouraged systems-thinking and collaboration, two areas which resonated very much with what we believed was needed in South Africa. We saw how teams came together, many of whom stayed together to work on their solutions even if they had not made it to the final round on the Prize.
This gave us the idea that a Prize could be used as an intervention for the food system, to create excitement around and highlight a specific area of interest and need in the food system and to encourage new teams to form and come together in what can be a very worthwhile and promising space in the food system. The Prize also serves to encourage teams to focus on and refine their ideas and solutions that could potential lead them to the next phase of their development.
Lastly, we felt this was a great way to highlight existing and potential solutions to our various partners and to anyone interested in the solutions for problems they wish to solve in the food system. We are hoping that people will see value for themselves in some of the solutions presented and will choose to either use or to partner with those solutions. To this end, we will be showcasing all solutions on our website (via a Prize listing that we introduce in a few weeks).
We are happy to be supported for the Prize by our amazing partners, all great contributors to building fair and thriving ecosystems in South Africa. Thank you to the Simanye Trust, Southern Africa Food Labs, iZindaba Zokudla, University of Johannesburg’s Process, Energy and Environmental Technology Station (UJ-PEETS) and the Seriti Institute for sharing our vision for a fairer, more equal food system in South Africa.
Find out more
Find out more about or enter for the Prize here – Inqola FEED Innovation Prize | Food Equity, Equality and Democracy