Singapore - Food security, productivity and efficiency of agriculture, and the resilience of farmers to the impact of climate change – these are some of the challenges that the world will face on a larger scale in the years to come.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly highlighted the importance of resilience of food systems. It has become even more important now that we develop and adopt innovative methodologies and technologies, that can help bolster countries against food supply shocks and challenges.
On 12 November 2019, the UNDP announced a call for applications for startups and R&D teams to apply to the Cultiv@te initiative to solve these agriculture issues as identified by Country Offices across Asia, Africa and Latin America. 200 startup teams from over 50 countries signed up for Cultiv@te to share their ideas, innovations and solutions.
Following the review of applications, evaluations and interviews, the Singapore Global Centre has now selected 31 final teams to tackle 11 challenges (As outlined by ten UNDP Country Offices and the Singapore Food Agency).
The teams were evaluated based on the following criteria:
1. Impact: What is the scale of their potential impact? How does the solution contribute to sustainability?
2. Innovation: How innovative is the solution in the use of new or existing technology to solve the specific challenge? How different is it from others?
3. Relevancy: How does the proposed solution address the specific challenge statement applied for?
4. Feasibility: How feasible is the solution to put into practice? Does its business and financial model make sense, and will it be sustainable in the long run?
5. Clarity: How well has the solution and pitch been articulated?
What’s next ?
Over the next few months, the teams will be provided with mentorship, trainings and workshops by the Global Centre’s partners, such as leading tech companies, agri-food MNCs and agri-tech experts. The trainings and knowledge sharing sessions will cover topics such as the application of machine learning and AI Technologies in agriculture, effective storytelling techniques, investment and pricing policies, and more.
Teams will work closely with the 10 country offices: Uruguay, Kenya, Gabon, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Philippines, Ecuador, Uzbekistan and Armenia, as well as the Singapore Food Agency, to prepare to bring their solutions to tackle the challenges in these countries.