Uganda hosting 2019 Disruptive Agricultural Technology and Innovation Challenge

agriculture innovation challenge
Image Credit: Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)

In collaboration with the World Bank Group, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), is hosting the DAT Innovation Challenge from November 18th to 19th 2019 in Kampala, Uganda.

The two days event will start with a Match making expo between farmers and service providers on 18th November  followed by an innovation challenge day on 19th November which will bring together innovators to pitch solutions that address some of the challenges faced by farmers in Uganda.

The Innovation Challenge is designed to discover and link Disruptive Agricultural Technology (DAT) solutions to project needs in Component 1 (Support for Intensification of On-farm production). Winners of the Innovation Challenge will be invited to provide services to the The Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) as Preferred Vendors.

Component 1 of ACOP aims to support the intensification of on-farm production of maize, beans, rice, cassava, and coffee, in 42 districts grouped into 12 clusters across Uganda. The sub-components are (i) e-voucher program; (ii) training of the recipients of e-voucher; and (iii) development of agricultural inputs markets.

Eligible farm households receive an e-voucher that covers part of the costs involved in the purchase of a menu of inputs [fertilizer, seed, ,on-farm storage, and access to technical and market information through ICT tools, small scale irrigation equipment, including mobile phones).

Themes of the Innovation Challenge

Advisory and Information for Agricultural Productivity: This theme covers extension services and Climate Smart Agriculture advisory, as well as the delivery of credible and actionable information in real-time directly to Ugandan farmers to increase productivity. This will help them transition from time, labor, input and resource-intensive practices to more efficient and sustainable planning, production, and management systems.

Market Linkages: Looks at tools to help Ugandan farmers produce high quality, high yield crops as well as help link them to markets, including digital platforms to sell farm produce.

Farmer Financial Inclusion: It focuses on innovators, organizations and businesses that link Ugandan farmers to credit and savings products, insurance, and other innovative financial services, enabling them to invest in their farms.

Data Analytics and Agricultural Intelligence: This challenge is open to solutions that have leveraged data infrastructure, remote sensing and mapping technologies, precision agriculture tools, and computing power to enable data-driven decision-making by policymakers, public agencies, and private service providers in the agriculture sector.

Agricultural technology solutions/firms interested in applying to participate in the Innovation Challenge will be vetted based on their demonstrated technology and capacity. On November 19th, only vetted start-ups will be invited to showcase their solutions in a Shark Tank format structured around delivering the identified solutions above.

If deemed to have the capacity for participation by an independent jury of highly qualified professionals, winners will be announced thereafter Winners will receive a certificate as well as incubation and mentorship support, with the opportunity/chance to scale up their solutions through ACDP.

The first Disruptive Innovation competition which was organised in April 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya attracted a total of 41 top-notch applications. The fifteen (15) most competitive youth enterprises were awarded and invited to join the ‘Million Farmers Digital Disruption Platform’ and provided incubation, mentoring and financial support to scale up their innovations in Kenya.

The event laid the foundations for the innovation platforms which over the next several years is hoped to connect a million Kenyan farmers to disruptive agricultural technologies.

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