Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security



Location (s):

  • Online


Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security recognises and supports transformational research in global agriculture.


Increasing sustainable food production is crucial to nourish the more than 820 million people who regularly go to bed hungry and the additional 2 billion people the world will have by 2050. The Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security aims to support scientific research that can deliver transformational impacts within global agriculture.

Awarded in partnership with Agropolis Fondation, the Prize recognises an innovative scientific research project for its potential impact on the availability, accessibility, affordability and adequacy of food, in line with UN SDG#2: End Hunger.

Entries for the 2021 Prize are now open and the winner will receive an unrestricted US$75,000 grant for the scaling up of proven research. Applications are welcomed from academic or research institutions, civil societies and the private sector, and can focus on any region, environment, crop or part of the agricultural supply chain.

Past winners

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.

The 2017 Prize went to Durum wheat breeder Dr Filippo Bassi of ICARDA for his development of a strain of heat-tolerant wheat, able to withstand the 40°C temperatures of sub-Saharan Africa.

Since receipt of the Prize funding, the new varieties have been well established in Senegal and Mauritania and successfully cultivated for the first time in Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and the Republic of the Gambia.

Female farmers along the Senegal River have been trained to become village-based seed enterprises. They have produced 100 tonnes of seeds to date with the goal of reaching 1,000 tonnes by 2022, with continued government support. 

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:


  1. Research projects in plant science, soil science, nutritional science, agricultural sciences or other field of scientific research impacting food security will be considered for the Prize.
  2. Applicants will be considered from academic or research organisations, civil society organisations and the private sector.
  3. The research can be based anywhere in the world, and can be focussed on innovation for food security in developed and/or developing countries.
  4. The research project must be ongoing, and have enough evidence of achieved or potential impact to fulfil the judging criteria e. Research into the genetic modification of organisms is not eligible for the Prize.
  5. Olam employees are not eligible for the Prize


Deadline: As soon as possible

Cost/funding for participants:

The winner of the Prize will receive US$75,000 (including VAT where applicable) which is to be spent unrestrictedly on furthering the research project and/or scaling up its impact.

Find your Dream Opportunity Abroad!

Search from 5306 opportunities in 185 countries