Pacific Agrihack Lab

[THIS CALL IS CLOSED]

Call for Applications – Get a chance to pitch in the Agrihack Lab Workshop in Tonga and win 5.000€ to scale-up your ICT4Ag innovation

Theme: ICTs from Farm to Table – Connect & Innovate for Pacific Agribusiness and Value Chain Development.

Aim: The Pacific 2018 AgriHack Lab aims to identify and assess the potential for upscaling novel or existing ICT4Ag innovations for overcoming challenges in Pacific agriculture, agribusiness and value chain development namely: 1) Communication and market development, 2) Transport logistics and 3) Capacity building of farmers/ SMEs.

Who can apply?: ICT experts, tech savvy young professionals, farmers and/or agri-entrepreneurs operating in Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, or Vanuatu.


Background

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been identified as one of the most promising technologies for improving agricultural performance and increasing efficiencies in agribusiness and value chains. During the Regional Forum on Developing Pacific Local Food Crops & Fisheries Value Chains from 7-10 May 2018, in Suva, Fiji, three major action areas have been identified for the wider application of ICTs in support of the agricultural transformation in the region:

  1. Communication and Market Development

Currently, there is a disconnect between the farmers/ SMEs (suppliers) and the buyers (e.g. hotels). Many farmers/ SMEs are unaware of the possible buyers and their needs; quantity, quality, preferred dates of delivery and price and vice versa. A disconnect also exists among the actor groups themselves; e.g. farmers can aggregate their offers to meet the needs of buyers e.g. hospitality and tourism sector or processors and exporters. Applications and platforms have been developed and piloted but success has been limited due to lack of continued funding or problems with ownership and property rights which hinder further use beyond the pilot phase. Appropriate policies, strategies and tools are needed to support the wider adoption of digital technologies and platforms that can boost productivity and competitiveness as well as improve responsiveness to market demands. ICT tools and platforms need to be user friendly, cost effective and respond to consumer needs; especially smallholder farmers and SMEs.

  1. Transportation and Logistics

Famers face difficulties in transporting their products to the markets; lack of infrastructure and limited finance are two factors. A possible solution is the development and deployment of a tool which would allow better coordination and networking of transportation systems. The concept of “Uberization” can be considered which would include information on where products have to be picked up from and delivered to and available transport options.

  1. Capacity building

Smallholder farmers and SMEs need to have the capacity to make greater use of ICTs. Enhancing awareness and training opportunities for expanding ICT usage in the agricultural sector and related industries e.g. in agri-finance, marketing or production is immense.


Pacific AgriHack Lab

The AgriHack lab aims to address the limited support for upscaling the use of novel and existing ICT platforms/applications or developing prototypes that would specifically attract the most farmers (especially smallholders and fisher folk) and small and medium enterprises involved in local food crops and fisheries value chains (from farm to table).

This call for proposals targets in-country ICT experts, Tech savvy young professionals and/or agri-entrepreneurs including farmers to identify and evaluate ICT applications that are in use, select one and propose solutions that have the greatest potential for wider adoption to connect the agriculture and food sector (from farm to table) in any or all of the target countries. Alternatively, the applicant can develop a prototype, which has the same potential.

The Agri-hack Lab initiative includes:

  • Competition to identify and further develop existing or new ICT applications for agriculture and agri-business/value chain development in the Pacific.
  • Capacity building, mentorship and incubation opportunities.
  • Enabling and encouraging networking opportunities.
  • Facilitation of access to grants and investments opportunities.

Important Dates:
31 October 2018Closure of the application process
15 November  2018Announcement Top 20 applicants
December 2018 (4 days)Agri-Hack Lab workshop in Tonga
Starting from December 2018Follow-up with 3 selected winners for mentoring, roll-out of services, etc.

How to apply:

 

Click here to download the application form.

The completed application form and necessary supporting documents must be sent to hackathoncta@usp.ac.fj with a copy to innov4agpacific@gmail.com.

Deadline for submitting applications is 31 October 2018.


Questions & Answers:

Q: Does the Pacific AgriHack claim any IP of the platform that wins the funding?

A: No – The IP rests with inventor/ company.

 

Q: What level of functionality is the platform required to have, in order to be eligible? For example: Concept, Work In Progress, Demo or Production?

A: The level of functionality does not matter, as the technical capability and potential, etc. will be judged by the experts and users.

 

Q: The Top 3 winners, apart from the 5,000 Euro funding, the document mentions further support, is it possible to let us know what the further support will entail?

A: Additional information will be communicated as the competition evolves. It also depends on the needs of the winners.

 

Q: What environment is the App/Platform catered to operate in? Is it to be administered by a central organisation with existing relationships with growers/farmers or will be private business owner establishing its own network with farmers and buyers?

A: The competition rules are clear; the business case must be convincing.

 

Q: I wanted to know what is the minimum and maximum number of members allowed per team for the Pacific Agrihack Lab?

A: There is no limit on the size of the team. However, if selected for the semi-final only one representative from the group will be sponsored to attend the Agrihack Lab in Tonga.

 


Do you have more questions? 

Send queries to innov4agpacific@gmail.com with a copy to Bibhya Sharma sharma_b@usp.ac.fj or Sheikh Azid azid_s@usp.ac.fj.

 

Download the flyer below:

One thought on “Pacific Agrihack Lab

  • 14th September 2018 at 8:15 pm
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    Very interested in this.

    Reply

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