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Apply Now: $200,000 Remote Sensing Agriculture Technology Challenge

By Wayan Vota on February 18, 2019

cocoa farmer funding

Smallholder farmers produce the vast majority of the world’s cocoa, the basic ingredient for chocolate. Cocoa farmers face daunting challenges: declining yields, mounting threats from pests and disease, and persistent poverty. Unfortunately, farmers rarely get the timely training, advice, and financial means they need to change their circumstances.

€175,000 Ag-Tech Developer Challenge

The Rainforest Alliance has launched a new initiative designed to stimulate innovation and improve cocoa farmers’ livelihoods: the Ag-Tech Developer Challenge that calls on innovators to support cocoa farmers globally.

The Ag-Tech Developer Challenge has two cash prizes, one of €100,000 ($115,000) and one of €75,000 ($86,000) for remote-sensing, high-tech, and Earth-observation companies that can build a remote-sensing data product that links to and adds value to mobile-enabled farm development plans.

Contest applicants should design their remote sensing solution to be piloted with cocoa farmers in Ghana, where the Rainforest Alliance envisions reaching 30,000 farmers by the end of 2020. The winning remote sensing solutions eventually will be used for Farm Development Plans in other cocoa producing landscapes in Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Ecuador, and Nigeria as well, with the aim of reaching about 120,000 cocoa farmers globally.

Apply Now: Deadline: 15 March 2019

Submission criteria

To participate in the Ag-Tech Developer Challenge and have a chance at $200,00 in prize money, please submit a proposal that includes:

  • A remote sensing element
  • A clear link to the Adoption Observations and ability to answer FDP API request
  • The title of the innovation
  • The technical requirements to make the innovation run
  • A high level implementation plan for the innovation
  • A business case for the innovation, including pricing and costing
  • A short description of how you envision the future business relationship with the enterprise
  • A budget and budget allocation
  • Name and contact details
  • Maximum 5 pages
  • All material submitted must be in English
  • Send submissions to Tsmorenburg@ra.org before the 15th of March
  • Optional: Video pitch at a maximum 2 minutes

The judging criteria will focus on the added value of the innovation to the FDP process, the scalability of the innovation, and the development time required for launching the innovation. All applications will be evaluated by a high-profile panel that includes:

  • Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist of Google;
  • Kim Frankovich, Vice President Cocoa Sustainability of Mars Inc.;
  • Farouk Nyame, Technical Manager of the Cartography Unit in the Ghana Cocoa Board;
  • Daan de Vries, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer of the Rainforest Alliance.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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