Monday, October 2, 2017

Innovation Olympics 2017: Agri Meets Tech

East West Seed company conducted a competition where in students should come up with technology that can help smallholder farmers. The theme is New Technologies to Improve the Productivity of Vegetable Farmers. The invitation was given to different student organizations of different universities near NCR. The presentation of entries and awarding were held in REDREC Auditorium of University of the Philippines Los Banos last September 29, 2017.

A bootcamp was held days before the main competition day and mentors helped the students to improve their presentation skills. Thirteen proposals were submitted. Ten teams should have presented in the awarding day however due to conflict of schedules two teams were not able to attend. The criteria for evaluation teams were Entrepreneurial Approach, Business Innovation, Improving Farmers' Quality of Life and Improving Farmers' Standard of Living.

Winners will receive P150,000 each and should implement the projects within 2 weeks. The grand prize winner will receive P250,000 next year.

The top three winning teams are the following :

  • Agriviz (Asian Institute of Management) - E-magsasaka. It is an app where buyers can find the produce or crops they are looking for and order them. This aims the farmers to also be aware of marketing and productivity than focusing only in production.
    • Concerns I see in this project is the openness and knowledge of farmers in using an app and doing banking/payment transactions. Also if it is an app then it can be used worldwide.  According to the team assistance will be given to farmers and the app will be available just near the vicinity of the selected farms.
  • i-Agriventures (University of the Philippines Los Banos) - Crops Dryer. There are already target tomato growers that will benefit the technology but this dryer can also be used for other vegetables. The dryer costs P50,000. 
    • I hope it will be stationed in a coop as the amount is large for a smallholder farmer.
  • Team Oppa (University of the Philippines Los Banos) - sensor operated technology. It is a simple contraption will determine the soil moisture content, humidity and temperature. There will also be a text subscription about the weather forecast to help farmers decide if they will water crops.
    • Concerns I see in this project are the durability of the tool and inaccuracy in weather forecast.
Team Oppa answering questions from the judges during the final round

This competition helped the students be more aware and concerned of the agriculture sector of the country. It also enhanced their thinking abilities and encouraged them to come up with ideas to help farmers. I hope the students who attended the bootcamp will also spread the knowledge, skills and advocacy.

To see pictures click here. Find videos in my facebook or youtube.


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