Rabobank launches SustainableAg Asia Challenge for Agtech companies

Rabobank, a global leader in food and agri banking, is excited to announce the launch of its “SustainableAg Asia Challenge”. Agtech companies with innovative solutions, that promote integrity in the agri-food supply chain in Asia, are invited to apply. The selected companies will benefit from networking opportunities with leading agri-businesses and eco-system partners to help them scale their businesses.

As agri-food supply chains are becoming increasingly interconnected—from input companies to farmers, traders, food companies and retailers—data and innovation are key to meet the increased demand for food. Better data collection, analysis and sharing will improve integrity in the agri-food supply chain. Moreover, innovative technology will enable farmers and food & agri companies to make more informed decisions, triggering new smart farming and processing techniques and new ways of food distribution. With the vast majority of smallholder farmers living in Asia, agtech solutions will enable farmers to improve their crop production and access to markets, and in turn improve their incomes.

Against this backdrop, Rabobank, a global leader in food and agri banking, is organising the “SustainableAg Asia Challenge”. Agtech companies with a market-ready innovative solution, that promote integrity in the agri-food supply chain in Asia, are invited to apply before Sunday 1 September 2019, 23:59 pm Singapore time. Solutions could be in the areas of farming practices, inclusivity of smallholder farmers, traceability, food safety, data integrity & sharing and/or improving access to markets.

The Top-15 companies will be invited to attend the Pitch Day in Singapore on 10th of October 2019 and stand a chance to win a cash prize from a pool of US$20,000 and an exclusive invitation to pitch/present at Rabobank Asia’s annual Food & Agribusiness Advisory Board Meeting held in Shanghai on 31 October 2019.

Travel grants will be provided to the Top-15 shortlisted companies to travel to Singapore and the Top-5 to travel to Shanghai. Successful applicants will be evaluated based on their technology innovation, market readiness, scalability and extent of addressing integrity in the agri-food value chain in Asia.

Last year, Rabobank launched its first Asia Innovation Challenge, the “Food Loss Challenge Asia” with India-based company Ecozen Solutions and its solar-powered cold rooms emerging as the Winner.

“Winning Rabobank’s 2018 innovation challenge has given us increased visibility and recognition globally”, shares Prateek Singhal, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ecozen. “We were introduced to opportunities as far as in Kenya and Uganda, which we are evaluating. We look forward to Rabobank’s support to collaborate with supply chain companies and potential partners across the world. 

Sustainable growth through innovation

“We are excited to launch our second Innovation Challenge for agtech companies in Asia,” says Diane Boogaard, Chief Executive Officer Asia of Rabobank. “Asia’s population is expected to increase from 4.6 billion to 5.3 billion in 2050. With limited arable land and natural resources available, food production needs to increase. Data and innovation are key to feeding the growing population sustainably.”

“As a global leader in food and agri banking, Rabobank is committed to finding innovative solutions for a more efficient agri-food supply chain. The SustainableAg Asia Challenge is an excellent platform to bring together emerging tech solutions and connect them with our clients, large agri-business players, to foster collaboration and catalyse change,” she continues.

Rabo Foundation Head of Innovations Albert Boogaard adds: ”With the vast majority of the farmers in Asia being smallholders, we are excited to be involved in the Challenge again. Smallholder farmers lack mostly access to finance and knowledge. Data-driven technology enables smallholder farmers to get more insight how to increase their productivity and in turn increase their incomes.”

The Challenge is supported by Rabo Foundation, and in partnership with food and agriculture companies Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), Bayer, COFCO International and Olam International, and eco-system partners ADB Ventures, Bits & Bites, DSM and Temasek, who will act as Judges.

Find out more about the SustainableAg Asia Challenge by Rabobank at www.sustainableag.asia

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