Kampala – The IGNITE Food Systems Challenge is launching in Uganda, offering technical
support and US$300,000 to entrepreneurs to foster locally-driven solutions to tackle food
systems challenges, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Outbox Hub
The IGNITE Food Systems Challenge is supported by USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance
(BHA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, to assist start-ups in Uganda, small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives to scale up their solutions, contributing to the
economy while addressing gaps in the food system.
The programme seeks innovative solutions that contribute to food security through resilience
to shocks and stress, access to safe and nutritious food, improved supply chains, the
empowerment of smallholder farmers, and the advancement of food security for all.
The initiative comes at a time when the economic fallout from COVID-19 threatens Uganda’s
development gains. The poverty rate for people employed in crop agriculture rose from 22
percent before the pandemic to 29 percent during the pandemic.
Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy, with 55 percent of women and over 80
percent of people without a formal education engaged in the sector. The country’s National
Development Plan (NDP) highlights Uganda’s potential to become the food basket for the East
African region and encourages the use of technology to increase productivity in the agricultural
“Agriculture is our source of life. Without agriculture, there is no food, and without food, there
is no life,” said Ahimbisbwe Stanley, Assistant Commissioner Quality Assurance and
Standardization at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives in Uganda. “The
government is determined to enable farmers to transform from subsistence to commercial
production and we are investing our resources to connect smallholder farmers to profitable
agricultural value chains in Uganda and beyond.”
Piloting, implementing, and scaling innovative ideas lies at the heart of WFP and Outbox Hub’s
work. This programme will have an impact on promoting innovation in food systems and
advancing efforts towards achieving zero hunger in the world.
“The private sector is a vital partner in the quest to reach zero hunger by 2030,” said Marcus
Prior, WFP Uganda Deputy Country Director. “Women and youth are at the heart of all our
efforts to end hunger and we strongly encourage them to participate in this initiative.”
The IGNITE Food Systems Challenge is running simultaneously in Rwanda, South Sudan, and
Uganda, and is possible with the support of US$2 million from USAID.
“We are excited to collaborate with WFP to enable businesses to flourish while ensuring
everyone in Uganda enjoys their right to food,” said Richard Zulu, the Executive Director of
The winning ventures will receive funding of up to US$50,000 each as well as 6 months of
acceleration support, including connections to experts and mentors.
The call for applications opens on 21 April 2022 and will close on 20 May 2022. Interested
ventures are invited to apply online at: https://bit.ly/ignitefooduganda
# # #The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
About the Implementing Partners:
WFP IGNITE Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa was launched in December 2020, with help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, to leverage WFP’s brand, public and private partners, deep field access, and expertise to develop, nurture and scale sustainable innovations for increased food security in the region.
Outbox is an innovation and entrepreneurship support organization that brings together the people, knowledge, capital and infrastructure that enables entrepreneurs to build successful businesses through the growth of inclusive communities that create value where we operate. To date, Outbox works with Government and various development partners to create work opportunities for over 150,000 young people by 2025.