Olam extends food prize application deadline to March

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Food security priorities are driving applicants for Olam's Food Prize 2021. Pic: Olam International
Food security priorities are driving applicants for Olam's Food Prize 2021. Pic: Olam International

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Olam International Limited, one of the world’s leading food, cocoa and agri-businesses, has extended the application deadline for its bi-annual innovation prize to March 15, 2021, citing the challenges of COVID-19.

The Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security is awarded in partnership with Agropolis Foundation, which brings together over 40 member institutions, public authorities, and civil society actors for dialogue and interaction on agriculture, food and environment research. The winner will receive a $75,000 grant to scale the innovation.

"Olam is on a journey to reimagine global agriculture and food systems, and the Olam Prize recognises scientists who are helping to lead the way​," said Kamesh Ellajosyula, Chief Innovation Officer for Olam Food Ingredients. "We want to give the greatest number of innovators the opportunity to participate in the programme​.”

2019 winner

The 2019 Prize was awarded to a pioneering landscape mapping that’s re-imagining subsistence farming in Ethiopia.

Innovation Mapping for Food Security (IM4FS) – co-led by Dr Tomaso Ceccarelli of Wageningen University Research and Dr Elias Eyasu Fantahun of Addis Ababa University – recommends 'best-fit' combinations of crops, farming practices, and environmental and socio-economic conditions, to optimise smallholder yields of staple crops in food insecure areas.

Applied at scale, it has the potential to transform productivity in countries like Ethiopia, hit by food insecurity.

Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) is a new operating group born out of Olam International and consists of Olam’s industry-leading businesses of cocoa, coffee, edible nuts, spices and dairy.

Olam International has more than 25,200 customers worldwide with a value chain spanning over 60 countries and includes farming, processing and distribution operations, as well as a sourcing network of an estimated five million farmers.

"The Olam Prize couldn’t be timelier​,” said Sunny Verghese, Olam's Co-Founder and Group CEO. “Unlike other research awards, it recognises clear evidence of ideas that are already being tested or have the potential for rollout in the near-term, with the intention of funding and supporting impact on food availability, affordability, adequacy, and accessibility over the long-term​."

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