U.S. Data-Driven Farming Prize Awards $300,000 for Innovative Agricultural Solutions in Nepal
Today, Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s initiative to combat global hunger and poverty, presented four agricultural innovators with its Data-Driven Farming Prize awards at a ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal. Db2Map and PEAT won the top prize awards for the most viable solutions, receiving $100,000 each and ICT for Agriculture and Spero Analytics received prizes of $50,000 each for demonstrating significant potential, equaling a sum of $300,000 in prize awards for developing innovative solutions that help Nepal’s smallholder farmers improve productivity. Launched in February 2017 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, the Data-Driven Farming Prize sought tools and approaches that source, analyze, and translate data into actionable, timely, and context-specific information for smallholder farmers to improve value from agriculture productivity.
The Data-Driven Farming Prize winners who created the most viable solutions include:
- Db2Map, of Nepal, for their GEOKrishi program which integrates satellite, government, and crowdsourced data into actionable advice for farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs.
- PEAT, of Germany, for their Plantix 2.0 mobile application which, after uploading a picture, sends farmers plant diagnosis and management options via their smartphones.
The Data-Driven Farming Prize winners who demonstrated significant potential are:
- ICT for Agriculture of Nepal, for their mobile and web based platform that provides comprehensive information and enables dialogue between value chain actors and farmers.
- Spero Analytics of Canada, for their wireless solar mesh network to communicate soil moisture data to agricultural extension services.
The Prize attracted a total of 143 applicants from 21 countries, including 83 from Nepal. Of the 13 finalists, six were from Nepal. The Prize worked with the 13 finalist innovators to refine their products, build their networks, and ensure their solutions would meet the needs of smallholder farmers. Already, mentors, research institutes, implementers, and innovators have been building partnerships that will extend beyond the life of the Prize. Sabeen Dhanani, Deputy Coordinator, Digital Development for Feed the Future noted, “The prize was designed to help Nepali smallholders generate more in revenue from productivity gains by using the winning solutions.”
Implemented by DAI and Nesta Challenges, the Prize was delivered with the support of several partners including the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), and the Microsoft Innovation Center, Nepal.