We are so excited to announce that The Cassava Virus Action Project has been named a finalist in Fast Company’s world changing Ideas for 2019!

Watch a new video about our work here: https://vimeo.com/329068227!

Now in its third year, the World Changing Ideas Award showcases 17 winners, more than 200 finalists, and more than 300 honorable mentions, with Health and Wellness, Education, and AI and Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent judges selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 2,000 entries, such as Food, Energy, and Developing World Technology.

About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With a goal of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.

Our Entry-The Cassava Virus Action Project:  Our world changing idea is to save cassava, a plant that feeds 800 million people globally by using pocket DNA sequencing & supercomputing & data analytics all while increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM. 1 billion people live in extreme poverty and the majority of them are smallholder farmers. The world has all the tools to end hunger. Our team has the world changing idea to use these tools to save cassava, a plant that feeds 800 million globally and, in the process, we will build infrastructure and scientific capacity to handle any outbreak or pandemic in east Africa. And the bonus- this will bring equity to science at a pace never seen before. The highest tech solutions will be driven by east Africa for the globe. Now that’s a world changing paradigm shift long overdue. The Cassava Virus Action Project’s (CVAP) mission is to use the latest technologies, such as pocket DNA sequencing and supercomputing, to positively impact the lives of 10 million farmers and their families in the next 6 years. The project plans to scale its work with farmers by engaging with an already established network and by building new connections to the technology and medical hubs in the region.

The Cassava Virus Action Project is a network of researchers, farmers and technology industry people collaborating to use genomic technologies to improve the management of these Cassava viruses. We have a not-for-profit fiscal sponsor called Multiplier in the USA, which accelerates impact for initiatives that protect and foster a healthy, sustainable, resilient and equitable world. Our goals are to 1) Increase plant yields for farmers for 10 million people in 6 years and 2) open 3 hi-tech labs in the region that can handle future outbreaks and pandemics in the region. If scientists and technologists in east Africa analyze the DNA of the virus, quickly and close to the crop or host, you could understand what virus it is and decide what action to take. We will empower local communities to make decisions that maximize their crops while also minimizing the spread of these pathogens. Bringing the strongest women on the planet, the smallholder farmers in East Africa, into the light will only help the globes plight for food security. Direct rapid DNA/RNA sequencing of infected material on-the-spot or near sample collection sites turns this conventional paradigm on its head by taking the laboratory closer to farmers’ fields. This reduces overall costs and gives crop protection officers and farmers in rural communities’ information critical for sustainable crop production and management of pests and diseases, thus ensuring food and income security for millions of Africans.

Help us scale: https://multiplier.org/project/cassava-virus-action-project/

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