Private Sector Partnership Opportunities to Reduce Food Loss and Waste: Request for Applications
This post was written by Ahmed Kablan, Ph.D., senior science advisor, USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, and Mark Pigott, engagement manager, Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Activity, led by DAI.
As a senior science advisor with USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, I have seen firsthand the severe nutrition, climate and economic consequences of food loss and waste (FLW) on a global scale. As a result, today, on the third annual International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, I am excited to partner with the Feed the Future MSP Activity in seeking private sector partners in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria and Tanzania to coinvest in the uptake and scaling of technologies and management practices that reduce FLW with an emphasis on nutrition. Should additional funding become available, more countries may be added. The ultimate purpose of these partnerships is to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of Russia’s War in Ukraine and other systemic shocks that have exacerbated FLW.
Globally, 30-40% of all food is lost (i.e., never makes it to consumers) or wasted (i.e., thrown out) and contributes between 8-10% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To put this into perspective, the World Resources Institute calculated that if global FLW were its own country, it would be the world’s third-largest GHG emitter, surpassed only by China and the United States.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further exacerbated challenges within an already stressed food system. Despite hopes that the world would emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 and food security would begin to improve, world hunger rose further in 2021. Hunger affected 150 million more people in 2021 than 2019, nearly a 25% increase, due to the combined effects of COVID-19, conflict and climate change. As of June 2022, a further 49 million people were at imminent risk of falling into famine conditions due to Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine, uneven economic recovery from COVID-19, and climate shocks. As of July 2022, food prices are nearly 13% higher than they were at this time last year. Additionally, despite recent declines, wheat and nitrogen fertilizer remains 90% and 43%, respectively, higher than they did just two years ago in July 2020. The cost of fertilizer in Africa had already quadrupled since the start of the pandemic and skyrocketed further since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Price increases of staple foods, fertilizer and fuel run the risk of exacerbating malnutrition and creating a perfect storm that could damage years of work from governments and development organizations to reduce global malnutrition and hunger.
Addressing existing food systems inefficiencies, alongside new global challenges created by Russia’s war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, is more important than ever. Reducing FLW, in particular, presents an opportunity to advance nutrition and food security while reducing methane — one of the most potent GHGs that causes climate change.
Through the FLW Partnership Facility, MSP seeks to channel business resources, expertise, technology and influence to contribute to one or more of the following objectives:
- Pilot innovative solutions to reduce FLW with an emphasis on nutrient-dense products throughout the supply chain in target countries
- Reduce methane and other GHG emissions through reduction in FLW via improved practices in storage and distribution, and processing
- Create circular economy systems of regeneration within focus countries’ food systems so that waste does not exist but is instead used as feedstock for another cycle
- Strengthen the focus countries’ agricultural competitiveness through enhanced services, private sector engagement and investment, especially within nutrient-rich value chains
- Improve the focus countries’ resilience and capacity to mitigate and respond to food system shocks
Access the full request for application at www.mspgrants.com/flw.
Partners will be selected following an open and competitive application process. Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate a positive impact for women and youth and those that emphasize nutrient-rich products.
MSP will issue two-year grant agreements of $250,000-500,000 based on a 1:1 match (or 50%). Potential partners should be able to invest at least $250,000 over the course of two years, which we (USAID through MSP) will match, making the total project amount around $500,000 at a minimum.
Partners are selected through an open and competitive process. Applications will be received and reviewed in two groups, but due to limited funding, MSP will give preference to applications that are submitted by the Group 1 deadline. MSP will consider applications from Group 2 based on the remaining funds available, if any, after Group 1 applications are considered. Applicants are highly encouraged to apply in time to be considered in Group 1.
Applications due by:
- Group 1: December 9, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)
- Group 2: January 27, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)
Applicant’s conference (virtual):
- Group 1: October 17, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4). Register here.
- Group 2: December 15, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4). Register here.
Questions regarding this opportunity are accepted on a rolling basis between September 29, 2022, and December 2, 2022, for Group 1 and from December 20, 2022, through January 13, 2023, for Group 2. Answers will be posted every Tuesday. See the request for applications for details.
Questions must be submitted to [email protected] before 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4) on December 2, 2022, for Group 1 and 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4) on January 13, 2023, for Group 2.
Access the full request for applications at www.mspgrants.com/flw.
Submit questions to [email protected].
Issuance of this announcement does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of DAI, nor does it commit DAI to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of applications. Further, DAI reserves the right to reject or approve any or all submitted applications. The MSP Activity is advancing learning and good practice in market systems development and private sector engagement within USAID, USAID partners and market actors. For more information, access to technical resources and opportunities to engage, visit www.agrilinks.org/msp.