Norad Joins the Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge

Today, we are pleased to welcome the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) to the Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge for Development (WE4F). Norad has joined WE4F along with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Norad will contribute 85 million Krone (about $8.5 million) to the program, helping scale water- and energy-efficient agricultural innovations.

Farmers around the world are facing the consequences of climate change, rising prices of agricultural inputs, and water and energy insecurity. If the farmers most affected by these challenges cannot access innovative technologies, then they cannot increase food production without producing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to biodiversity loss. Additionally, local and global food systems will never become climate resilient or sustainable. To mitigate these challenges, governments must look to the private sector for partnerships and locally-led solutions. 

WE4F supports small- and medium-sized enterprises in scaling their technologies to improve smallholder farmers’ lives and increase food security. This is most critical for sub-Saharan Africa, where farmers face droughts and famines. Meanwhile, businesses in the region lack funding that would scale their operations and enable farmers’ access to their technologies. Norad’s contribution will fund the Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub, enabling the hub to provide local SMEs with grants, technical assistance, and investment facilitation. Supported SMEs also will focus on integrating women and smallholder farmers into their business models.  

As part of WE4F, Norad will help direct the vision of the program by supporting the continued engagement of the private sector to elevate local businesses, sharing lessons learned on increasing access to renewable energy, and strengthening the capacity of water-energy-food nexus stakeholders. 

For more information on the Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge, visit For those interested in partnering with WE4F, please contact