CRS-led Cassava Initiative Awarded $100,000 From Intel

GLCI laptop

Benard Odero, GLCI Kenya country program manager, shows a ruggedized mini computer being piloted in the field for data collection. Photo by Debbie DeVoe/CRS

We received some great news today! Intel Corporation named our Great Lakes Cassava Initiative one of four winners of its INSPIRE•EMPOWER Challenge. The challenge sought innovative ideas for applying technology to address some of the world’s most pressing problems, and our submission won one of the $100,000 prizes. More information is available at

Millions of families in East and Central Africa rely on cassava as a primary food source, but two virulent diseases are wiping out fields across the region. The Great Lakes Cassava Initiative, led by CRS, aims to help 1.15 million farmers identify key cassava diseases, grow disease-resistant varieties and ultimately replant healthy fields in six countries. The initiative will use the award to expand a pilot project using rugged, miniature Intel laptops to improve data exchange and communication across the region–a critical need when working with so many remote farmers and partners.

Reported by Debbie DeVoe, CRS regional information officer, East Africa

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