Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development Announces 17 Award Nominees at World Water Week

  • International Center for Biosaline Agriculture
    International Center for Biosaline Agriculture
Monday, 1 September 2014

STOCKHOLM – Today at World Water Week in Stockholm, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Sweden’s development agency (Sida), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands (MFA-NL) announced 17 award nominees for their program, Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development. Overall, the program partners will provide $32 million in funding to game-changing innovations that can produce more food using less water.

Water scarcity is one of the most pressing development challenges of the early 21st century. Between 2000 and 2050, the world’s population is projected to grow from almost seven billion now to over nine billion. During this same period, water demand is projected to increase by 55 percent globally, with the number of people affected by water scarcity and stress continuing to rise. As more than 70 percent of global water use occurs in the food value chain, feeding the world in 2050 will be difficult unless the global community finds better ways to enable food production with less water and makes more water available for food production, processing, and distribution.

Round-1 award nominees will receive between $100,000 and $3 million in funding and acceleration support to realize their vision. Initially, all awardees will receive Securing Water for Food assistance. However, they must continue to prove the viability of their innovation to receive future funding.

In its inaugural round, the Securing Water for Food GCD received 520 applications from universities, startups, and NGOs in more than 93 countries. Innovations ranged from novel technology to simple concepts reengineered for developing countries. All 39 finalists are at the cutting edge of innovation and have already demonstrated success during pilots. The 17 award nominees stood out as exceptional initiatives with high potential for transformative impact.

Among the award nominees for Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development Round-1 is theInternational Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) with their project “Model for seed production of resilient salt-tolerant crop species for Climate Smart Agriculture in Egypt and Yemen”. The project is about a market-driven model that makes salt-tolerant and resilient non-GMO crop genotypes available to smallholder farmers through seed production and distribution facilities and by providing training on planting and growing best practices.

To learn more about the Securing Water for Food Round-1 award nominees go to:, and follow @SecuringWater on Twitter. In spring 2015, Securing Water for Food will issue the next call for proposals.

To date, USAID and its partners have pooled over $200 million to fund five Grand Challenges for Development, demonstrating a mutual commitment to science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Learn more about the Grand Challenges for Development program at

Securing Water for Food disclaimer:
“This product is made possible through the support of the Securing Water for Food: a Grand Challenge for Development partners: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperating Agency (Sida), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was prepared by the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Securing Water for Food partners. Further information about Securing Water for Food can be found at