Call for Applications: FAO International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Deadline: 19 March 2021

January 28, 2021


Innovation is changing the way food is produced, processed, traded and consumed and building more resilient and robust food systems. Both digital technologies and innovative practices for growing food have the potential to transform food systems, providing smallholder farmers with a better future, making farming more sustainable and ultimately closing the digital gap between developed and developing countries.

Since 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Federal Government of Switzerland encourage innovation by publicly recognizing best practices through the International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. The award does not only acknowledge digital innovation, but also new or existing products or practices that are used in a specific context, to increase effectiveness, competitiveness and resilience.

The innovation award is divided in two categories:

  • Category A: USD 30,000 is awarded for excellence in digitization and innovation for sustainable food systems.
  • Category B: USD 30,000 recognizes an innovation that specifically empowers youth in sustainable food systems.


The call for applications are now open to individuals, private companies or institutions with an innovation that is already in action and has demonstrated concrete results. Applicants must submit their applications before the deadline on 19 March 2021. Selection Criteria 1. ALL CATEGORIES

All applications will be judged according to:

  • quality and merit of the innovation;
  • potential benefit, impact and sustainability;
  • scalability;
  • value for money.


  • Applicants need to clearly indicate how the innovation impacts more than one level of supply chain from farmers to consumers.
  • Applicants should demonstrate how the innovation strengthens the link between farmers and consumers, e.g. through tracking sustainability features of traded food and agriculture products on labels.


  • Applicants need to show how the innovation strengthens the role of youth (under 35) in sustainable food systems.