GET TO KNOW THE WINNERS & THEIR WINNING INNOVATIONS
Two out of the three Grand Champions, being awarded the Grand Winner Awards in the Asia Agri-Tech Challenge 2020 namely Beehive Data Technology Taiwan as well as AELOI Nepal, are founded, led and managed by women. As the IT world as well as the agricultural sector are known for being male dominated, this is an extra-ordinary performance! Best part of the story; it is also especially the female farmers and entrepreneurs benefitting from their innovations!!
Beehive Data Technology, Taiwan
Beehive Data Technology presents its product AgriWeather. The information system is based upon 500+ devices collecting data for 15 different crop systems. The very comprehensive set of data collected form the basis for data analysis that again feed production prediction models and alert systems. The data collection and digital analytical part is backed up by solid linkages to agricultural research. The app provides evidence based advise on what and where to plant, guidance during the production process as well as support to marketing of the products, allowing for pre-ordering arrangements. The complete production monitoring reports enhance transparency and allows buyers to make informed decision regarding the choice of product. In this way, Agriweather is a strong tool for reputation building at farmers side and mutual trust building between producers and buyers.
The jurors praised the completeness of the product, providing advice and fostering transparency from farm-to-fork. It also was enthusiastic about the scalability of the product to new value chains / market systems as well as geographically.
Village Link, Myanmar
Village Link firstly developed its tool named Hoet Toe, an app that links farmers to a broad range of services and products on a need-based manner. The app includes a Q&A function where farmers have easy access to qualified agronomist for advice, moreover the app provides farmers with localized crop prices and is complemented with an educational function providing farmers with educational information and materials ranging from input supply and use to marketing tools. Hoet Toe has proven to address a real need with over 700,000 farmers having registered already. The business model is sound and assures that services to farmers are free of charge.
The next product developed by Village Link is Village Link Satellite Services (VLSS) using satellite images to provide farmers with weather analytics, crop monitoring features as well as land monitoring data. The data provided can be fine-tuned to farm/ plot and farmer specific information allowing farmers also to compare with and learn from peers. Benefits are not restricted to farmers only as also for example enterprises engaging in contract farming, traders, input suppliers and or financial service providers benefit from the data made available for example in market predictions / prognoses or for credit scoring models.
The jurors lauded the comprehensiveness and completeness and multi-usability of information made available with still a farmers-orientation and inclusiveness of the tools.
AELOI Nepal submitted a digital tool that facilitates the bridging of the “last mile” in access to credit. Only in Asia 95% of farmers lack sufficient and adequate access to financial services. The tool complies of loan-insight software that de-risks loans. And automate loan monitoring using digital tools. De-risking the loans (partly) takes away the need for providing collateral and makes loans accessible, The automate audit that is part of the monitoring function assures that loans taken are indeed used for the intended purpose, protecting particularly women from mis-use of loans taken out on their names. The tool not only benefits farmers investors, especially female investors but also vendors / input suppliers now dealing with credit-worthy customers and/or MFIs lowering operational costs significantly.
The service is SMS based again enhancing inclusiveness as there is no need for owning a smart phone and in addition making the product easily scalable The revenue model is solid and distinguished different income sources.
The jury applauded AELOI with the great advancement in terms of making financial services accessible for women, allowing women that have no access to collateral to access loans based upon proven good practice and reputation, protecting women from mis-use of loans by others and at the same time making the loan system more resilient and sustainable. The potential for scaling is the cherry on the AELOI cake.