Design a solution to create food security for indigenous and disenfranchised communities

Design a solution to create food security for indigenous and disenfranchised communities

The nonprofit organization Food Ladder is offering a prize pack to the creator of a low-cost food-growing system.

October 1, 2018

Award-winning not-for-profit organization Food Ladder is offering a AUD20,000 (USD $14,432.10) prize pack to the winning candidate who designs a sustainable, low-cost commercial food-growing system to be rolled out to disadvantaged communities around the world.

Food Ladder is the only not-for-profit organization that uses advanced commercial grade agricultural technology coupled with a unique social enterprise model to create food security and economic development for indigenous and disenfranchised communities. Food Ladder hopes to extend its reach by creating a 2.0 model that can be replicated around the world at a more attainable price point.

The prize includes AUD15,000, a funded trip to see your design built, implemented and in action, and a 12-month fellowship with Food Ladder. While Food Ladder’s head office is based Australia, the prize is open to entrants from around the world.


Food Ladder 2.0 will be a food growing system for use in third world countries, that is highly economical, robust and easy to create from found, repurposed or affordable materials and locally purchased assets.


The system could be a permanent structure for remote communities or alternatively a transportable ‘pop-up’ structure for use in refugee/aide contexts.


The winning design will have very low capital expenditure — think AUD2,000 and under, plus low ongoing costs.


Must-have requirements:

  • The system must be at least the equivalent of 18 x 5m in size
  • Each side must be a minimum of 2m high with a pitched or curved roof.
  • Ventilation — i.e. vented roof or roll-up sides
  • An automated irrigation system
  • Be insect-proof
  • Feature sustainable, agriculture technology — i.e. hydroponics
  • The structure must have similar properties to polythene greenhouse film — i.e. sturdy and UV stable with insulation properties
  • The structure must have longevity



  • Solar panels
  • Water pump



Submit your design as a step-by-step: ‘How to build and operate your own Food Ladder 2.0’ guide. Visit for examples.


As we operate across the world the ‘How to build and operate your own Food Ladder 2.0’ guide needs to be intelligible to an international audience. As such, the guide should prioritize visuals over text. Images, icons, graphs and drawings should be used to explain how the design is to be built and operated. The guide must be able to be disseminated through online platforms.


Also include:

  • 3D rendering - CAD accepted
  • Construction timeline
  • Budget breakdown
  • Itemized list of materials


Please submit your entry on





Submissions close November 30, 2018 | 11.59 p.m. AEDT


Shortlists announced January 14, 2019 | 9 a.m. AEDT


Shortlist Interviews commence January 21, 2019 | 9 a.m. AEDT


Winner announced February 21, 2019 at an evening gala event in Sydney.


For competition terms and conditions visit