Agritech Challenge 2021

To support the small holder farmers across different countries to help them recover from the issues of climate change, agricultural productivity, etc

On July 22, 2021, The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission-NITI Aayog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rabo Foundation, International Fund for Agricultural Development and Bayer, launched a unique initiative named ‘Agritech Challenge’. This Agritech Challenge (Programme) is an initiative to support smallholder farmers to help them recover from the impact of the pandemic as well as productivity issues, climate changes, etc. It aims to provide a platform to the agritech and agri-fintech start-ups to put forth innovative solutions for the challenges faced by the small holder farmers. This challenge will cover total 7 countries from Asia and Africa continents. Countries from Asia are India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Countries from Africa are Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya. Through this programme the participants will get mentor-ship, industry access, market linkages as well as investors to help them grow in the international market of their choice. It will thus enable a boost to the overall growth of agriculture sector in the developing countries.

Scheme Overview:

Scheme nameAgritech Challenge 2021
Scheme Under:United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
Participating Countries:India, Indonesia and Malaysia (from Asia continent);

Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya (from Africa continent)

Launched On:July 22, 2021
Applicable to:Agritech and agri fintech start-ups in participating countries
Scheme Benefit:Innovative solutions for challenges faced by the small farmers
Benefits to the participants:Mentor-ship, industry access, market linkages, sector insight, investor showcase
Major Objective:To support the small holder farmers across different countries to help them recover from the issues of climate change, agricultural productivity, etc

Scheme Objectives and Benefits:

  • The main objective of the initiative is to support the financial health of small holder farmers wherein the agritech and agri fintech start-ups across 7 countries in Asia and Africa will provide their solutions
  • It tends to provide a platform for innovative solutions from the start-ups across the countries
  • Through this programme the participants will get mentor-ship of industry thereby providing guidance in further expansion
  • It will also provide market linkages as well as investors to assist in growing in the international market of choice
  • It will also ensure post program support to scale up the solution along with an opportunity of further financial grant
  • This mechanism will help the participants in building and testing their solution and thereby scaling it up as well
  • This unique initiative aims to help the small holder farmers to recover from the impact of the pandemic as well as productivity issues, climate changes, etc

Key Challenges:

  • Low Productivity
  • Climate Risk
  • Inefficient Supply Chains

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The start-up participating should be a registered entity in the participating country
  • The start-up should be in operation for at least 2 years
  • The annual average revenue of the start-up should be USD 1,50,000 for last 2 years or USD 1,00,000 for last 3 years
  • Live Solution should be provided with an active consumer/ user base (having transacted at least once active in last 90 days) and not in development/ testing phase

Important Dates:

  • Application Dates – July 22, 2021 to August 31, 2021
  • Evaluation & Cohort Unveiling (20 participants) – September, 2021
  • Structured expansion support – October, 2021 to January, 2022
  • Solution Showcase – February, 2022

Key Points:

  • Agritech Challenge 2021 is a unique initiative launched by The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission-NITI Aayog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rabo Foundation, International Fund for Agricultural Development and Bayer, on July 22, 2021
  • This challenge will cover total 7 countries from Asia and Africa continents. Countries from Asia are India, Indonesia and Malaysia. Countries from Africa are Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya.
  • The 3 main challenges identified for small holder farmers are low productivity, climate risk and inefficient supply chain
  • The participants i.e. The start-ups will showcase their basic solutions for any of these 3 critical areas
  • And accordingly, after evaluation 20 participants will be selected to form the cohort of the programme
  • Interested participants are required to apply online at the official portal @uncdf.org/finlab/agritechchallenge

  • Go through the details thereby and click on the application link – Apply Now
  • Accordingly fill the required details to apply on or before August 31, 2021
  • This is a collective effort for finding innovative solutions for the challenges faced by the small holder farmers across various countries
  • It aims at improving the financial health of the small holder farmers thereby providing them with financial security trough access to new technology or protection against the climate changes or through reduced wastage’s and enhanced market and pricing transparency
  • It aims at overall agriculture development across countries in the world
  • This scheme will contribute in boosting rural economies of the countries in the long run

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K Chandrashekar Rao

Dalit Bima, Telangana

New Scholarship Scheme for the children of farmers, Karnataka