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World Bank will live stream Agriculture Innovation Challenge on YouTube

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The World Bank Group will be live streaming the Agriculture Innovation Challenge for Southern Africa on YouTube beginning April 21, which also includes a live pitch competition.

Since the closure of the application period for the 2020 Agriculture Innovation Challenges designed to support agriculture and food security risk financing in Southern Africa, the Grand Jury has been working on the pre-selection of the top innovators to proceed with the virtual pitching event to anticipate the winners in each of the three categories:

  • Alternative Methods for Measuring Weather Variables
  • Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases
  • Agriculture Data.

The innovation pitching sessions will be streamed live on YouTube, so anyone who is willing to join can follow the event. The winners will be selected and announced after the event on the official website of the Agriculture Innovation Challenges.

The Challenge received 116 proposals from innovators covering a wide geography of over 30 countries, including India, South Africa, Russia, various African countries, and other regions.

The selected applicants are invited to participate in the virtual set of events, starting on April 21, that will span three days (each day for a different challenge) and feature a panel of global experts from the World Bank Group and partner institutions, discussing current challenges with the management of food security and agriculture risks in Southern Africa.

The core of the event will involve a panel of global experts and investors that will be questioning the innovators and their solution in a “shark-tank” style format in 30-minute sessions.

The Grand Jury, composed of experts and officials from Governments from the Southern Africa Region, private companies, investors, and international organizations, has selected the top solutions to proceed with a ‘shark-tank’ session. The representatives of the jury board will come from such organizations as The World Bank, Draper University, Weather Impact, WFP, Global Parametrics, Accenture, SHIFT, InnMind, AGNIi, IFAD, Pula, CIAT, SADC and others.

Last month, the World Bank and Draper University teamed-up to launch three Agriculture Risk Innovation Challenges to address agriculture and food security risks in Southern Africa.

According to the World Bank Agricultural Observatory, Southern Africa is facing three distinct agricultural problems:

  • Crop failures due to extreme weather events (drought, floods)
  • Animal and/or plant pests or diseases
  • Food price, agriculture, and trade flow disruptions

With three problems come three proposed innovation challenges:

  1. To develop alternative ways to measure weather variables — Weather data is essential for the development of risk finance mechanisms and other key tools to strengthen the financial resilience of farmers to climatic shocks. This includes measurements of excess rainfall and rainfall deficit, among other variables.
  2. To provide alternative solutions to predict or monitor high-risk conditions of vector-borne diseases for livestock — Pathogens are expanding in new areas never affected before, exacting significant economic cost on the livestock and crop sector. Prevention and early warning for rapid response are essential.
  3. To present time series of agriculture data (yield, price, production) data for crops relevant to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in an electronic format — With the expansion of novel data collection techniques, non-traditional methods of data collection can leap-frog traditional methods such as yield collection and expand the scope and availability of risk financing instruments for farmers.

The Agriculture Risk Innovation Challenge is supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, and The State and Peacebuilding Fund. Partners in this effort include: Gro Intelligence, Accenture, African Development Bank, InnMind, Georgetown University, the Platform for Agriculture Risk Management.

The Sociable is an official media partner for the Agriculture Risk Innovation Challenge.

World Bank launches Agriculture Risk Innovation Challenge to address food security in Southern Africa

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Tim Hinchliffe
Tim Hinchliffe is the editor of The Sociable. His passions include writing about how technology impacts society and the parallels between Artificial Intelligence and Mythology. Previously, he was a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa and an editor at Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co