RFI - Market Research Only - Water and Energy for Food

Funding Agency:
US Agency for International Development


The Water and Energy for Food (“WE4F”) challenge fund is a partnership between Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the U.S.Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands (hereafter the founding partners). Through WE4F, the partners want to expand the sustainable scale of innovations that impact the sectors food and water, food and energy or all three sectors of the nexus (food, water, energy) to increase the sustainability of agricultural food value chains, improving energy and water efficiency, as well as to improve climate resilient agriculture in developing countries and emerging markets in accordance with the SDGs, with a particular focus on the poor and women.

Response Date: Oct. 15, 2019

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Our goal is to source and accelerate innovations in the following areas that will enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution.

a) Water Efficiency and Reuse – especially targeted at the food value chain. This will become a greater necessity as water availability is threatened by competition between industrial, agricultural, and energy uses. Improving water efficiency and reuse has tremendous potential water-saving benefits that may have multiplier effects at various levels of a country’s economy.

b) Water Capture and Storage. These systems are in high demand in many regions where rain occurs at limited times. With projected increases in rainfall variability due to climate change and increased demands for food production, capture and storage systems at various scales are needed to secure water supplies throughout the year and build resiliency to drought and floods.

c) Salinity and Salt Water Intrusion. In coastal areas, overpumping and rising sea levels are leading to saltwater intrusion, forcing farmers to use marginal quality water for irrigation. With more than 30% of the world’s population living in coastal areas and drawing food supply from fertile deltas, urgent solutions are required to reduce the impacts of salinity on the quality of aquifers and food production.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants from any category of organization or institution, U.S. or non-U.S., are welcome to respond to this solicitation. Specific categories of organizations and institutions that are welcome to respond include, but are not limited to, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, foundations, educational, industrial, and academic institutions, civic groups, and regional organizations. Securing Water for Food welcomes and encourages high quality applications, especially from women-owned/women-led enterprises and developing country entrepreneurs.



Amount Description

The estimated ceiling for this RFA is $7.5 Million USD from Securing Water for Food. Subject to the availability of funds, the individual Award(s) will range from $100,000 to $2,000,000. It is anticipated that 5-15 proposals will be funded.

Funding Type





Environmental & Life Sciences
International Opportunities
Social Sciences

External Deadline

October 15, 2019