Corn leaf damaged by fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda.Corn leaves attacked by worms in maize field.

Fall Armyworm Tech Prize

The Fall Armyworm Tech Prize funds digital solutions to stop the spread of fall armyworm in Africa - a pest that is demolishing millions of acres worth of crops across the continent and threatening food security. The tools funded by this prize allow smallholder farmers to identify, track and prevent fall armyworm infestations.

Development Contact

Lauren Hershey

This program is no longer accepting applications

About the Fall Armyworm Tech Program

Fall armyworm, a damaging moth-like insect, attacks over 80 different plant species. Agriculture experts estimate this pest could cause between $2.4 and $6.2 billion in losses for maize, a staple crop in Africa. Crops like sorghum, rice and sugarcane are also at risk, making the fall armyworm a threat to the livelihoods of farmers as well as food security across Africa.

In collaboration with Feed the Future, the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative and Land O’Lakes Venture37, we support digital solutions that aim to help stop the spread of fall armyworm in Africa by giving smallholder farmers interactive tools and information to fight the pest.

The Fall Armyworm Tech Program is specifically developing technologies that:

  • Enable smallholder farmers and those who support them, to accurately identify the incidence of fall armyworm in their crops;
  • Produce timely, context-appropriate and empowering insights for smallholder farmers to treat the incidence of fall armyworm;
  • Reduce productivity losses caused by fall armyworm among those using the tool or approach; and
  • Ensure the appropriate and responsible use of pest management assessments, tools and interventions.

In November of 2018, we awarded five Fall Armyworm Tech Prizes during the AfriCom Conference in South Africa. Awardees have developed apps with the potential to scale solutions to other countries.


Fall Armyworm Virtual Advisor

Grand Prize of $150,000 for the Most Viable Solution

The Grand Prize integrated the Fall Armyworm Virtual Advisor, an interactive solution, into’s award-winning mobile service, Africa Farmers Club, an online group that enables more than 150,000 farmers across Africa to find information about farming. The virtual advisor teaches farmers through games and provides farmers with personalized recommendations for identifying, tracking and treating fall armyworm.



Runner-Up Awards of $75,000 for the Most Promising Solutions

The EzyArmyWorm, an enhancement of the pest and disease diagnostic in the EzyAgric app, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help farmers detect fall armyworm across possibly affected crops at any stage of the production cycle. The tool provides farmers with notifications and real-time information on detecting, managing and treating the pest.


AfriFARM (Africa Fall Armyworm Response Mechanism)

Malawi and Tanzania

Runner-Up Awards of $75,000 for the Most Promising Solutions

Built on CommCare, a digital platform designed for low-resource settings, AfriFARM provides learning modules tailored to user needs on topics including management, identification, scouting, treatment options, safety considerations and incidence reporting.

Project Concern International

Crop Disease Prediction & Advisory Services


Frontier Innovation Awards Of $50,000 to Early-Stage Solutions

Crop Disease Prediction & Advisory Services allow users to access information on fall armyworm, engage experts, make incidence reports and request inputs/services through two tools. An Interactive Voice Response system gives users access to content in their preferred local language on any mobile phone. Additionally, an Android app provides users with media content such as photos, videos and infographics on the pest.




Frontier Innovation Awards Of $50,000 to Early-Stage Solutions

Igeza is an app that enables early fall armyworm detection and instant interaction with a control center. Igeza integrates location and audio-visual services used by the smallholder maize farmer to scout, scan and identify fall armyworm and map their farms. The control center connects all notifications to a pool of experts who can analyze the evidence and recommend management responses.

Henson Geodata Technologies



Frontier Innovation Awards Of $50,000 to Early-Stage Solutions

CornBot is an audio-visual mobile application that interacts with farmers in their local language. CornBot talks them through a process that helps identify, control and manage fall armyworm. CornBot also aggregates data on the prevalence of fall armyworm, providing real-time data for formulating policies and intervention.

eHealth Africa

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