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Grow Asia Hackathon unearths new Agritech entrepreneurs to help farmers

25 July 2019 | News

Grow Asia, Corteva Agriscience, MUFG Bank, Ferrero and Enterprise Singapore partnered on the Grow Asia Hackathon to nurture data-driven solutions to benefit smallholder farmers; The three winners, Chektec, FutureFarmer and Ladang each received S$5,000 funding from the corporate partners

Image Courtesy: Grow Asia Hackathon

Image Courtesy: Grow Asia Hackathon

Grow Asia, a multi-stakeholder partnership platform for agricultural development, on 23 July 2019, announced the winner of the Grow Asia Hackathon, held in partnership with Corteva Agriscience, MUFG Bank, Ferrero and Enterprise Singapore. The Hackathon aimed to uncover a new generation of Agritech entrepreneurs and digital solutions which improve agricultural operations, promote sustainability and improve the quality of life for smallholder farmers.

The 10 finalists pitched their solutions to an expert panel on 22nd July 2019 in Singapore, comprising leaders from businesses and Singapore government agencies. Singapore was chosen as the host country for the Grow Asia Hackathon due to its strategic positioning as a regional hub for Agritech innovation, R&D and start-up funding.

“Asia’s Agritech environment is thriving, with investments doubling in the past year,” said Paul Voutier, Director of Knowledge and Innovation, Grow Asia. “However, the market is still open for innovation as adoption levels are low and very few digital solutions are being built. Falling data and hardware costs will drive further growth – it’s an exciting and important time to be embracing technology in agriculture.”

There are around 71 million smallholder farms in ASEAN, and digital technology could provide them with access to finance, reduce transaction costs and increase their yields. 

Farra Siregar, ASEAN Managing Director, Corteva Agriscience™ said, “Smallholder farmers form the backbone of South East Asia’s agriculture industry, but they face many challenges today – from financing their farm enterprises to ensuring good harvests in the face of increasing water and labour constraints. Digital technology plays an important role in enabling farmers’ access to financing and application technologies. At Corteva Agriscience, farmers are at the heart of everything that we do. We are pleased to be a lead partner of this Hackathon which has provided a fantastic platform for the industry to tackle these challenges together, connecting the creative minds of the tech community with the farmers who will benefit from the solutions.”

Shue Heng Yip, Head of Asia Oceania, Digital Transformation Division, MUFG said, “Digital transformation is firmly ingrained in the way MUFG does business. Particularly in Asia, we understand the importance of empowering smallholder farmers and business owners with technology that can connect them to the necessary resources to grow their businesses.  We continually seek new innovations that can bring formal financial services to the people who need them in Asia.”

Grow Asia remains committed to promoting the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration in digital innovation. The platform invests in programs that will enhance the livelihood of South East Asia’s smallholder farmers and partnering with stakeholders that can help test and scale impactful digital solutions.

About the Grow Asia Hackathon: The Grow Asia Hackathon challenges were held in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia between June and July 2019, attracting 132 participants in total from 15 teams in Singapore and 16 teams in Indonesia. The Hackathon centred around three main challenge areas – finance, drones & smart irrigation and traceability & sustainability. The winning teams each received funding of S$5,000 and will be considered for Proof of Concept projects with the corporate partners. For more information, visit https://growasiahackathon.com/. 

Winning ideas

Chektec

A software-as-a-Service solution with a mobile-first strategy for operational workflow value chain and integrating workplace, safety, health, environment and sustainability practices.

FutureFarmer

An actionable goal-based agrifinance planner that enables smallholder farmers to achieve their future goals.

Ladang

A farming partnership platform that connects agricultural graduates and farmers in farming projects, allowing them to work together and providing them with funding, assistance, and market access. 

Grow Asia and Hackathon partners will support Chektec, FutureFarmer and Ladang to further develop and implement the solution.

 

 

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