TechInPacific – The Pacific Agrihack Lab 2018 was held in Tonga a few days ago. It currently has named its top winners, including My Kana from Fiji, MalaAgri app from the Solomon Islands, and TraSeable Farms from Fiji. They got selected after pitching their ideas and concepts to a panel of judges. The winning teams have received €5000 as the prize.
Pacific Agrihack Lab 2018 is a program to promote nutritious food systems across Pacific areas. It consistently supports local startups in agriculture through its program, especially in communication and market development, transport logistics, and capacity building of farmers/SMEs.
Pacific Agrihack Lab 2018 opened for applications in October where the deadline is on October 31. The applicants were ICT experts, tech professionals, farmers /agri-entrepreneurs from Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
First selection would choose 20 semi-finalists to pitch their ideas and concepts in front of stakeholders. Among those semi-finalists, the top 3 winners have been selected by the panel of experts to receive a €5000 prize.
The selection criteria for all categories of prizes included:
- Relevance to Pacific agricultural agribusiness and value chain development
- Responsiveness to needs of farmers/ SMEs challenges
- Feasibility of proposed ICT solution (technical soundness)
- Scalability (the business model, level of deployment, ease of use/uptake, performance)
Pacific AgriHack Lab was founded in 2016 by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). It is a four-year project with the theme “Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in the Pacific”. In Pacific, it is implemented through a partnership with the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization (PIPSO).
The main goal of the project is to “strengthen the capacity of the Pacific Island governments, farmer and private sector organizations, and sub-regional institutions to develop strategies and programmes, as well as mobilize financing, that can increase poor rural people’s access to nutritious and healthy food”. The targeted area for the project is the Pacific areas, including Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.