Agri-Wallet, Apollo Agriculture and VanderSat are the 3 winners of the NpM Innovator’s Challenge! Each winner received EUR 125.000 to pilot their solutions in an implementation project.

Geospatial information technologies are available for smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, however the link to finance is hardly ever made. In order to increase their yields, smallholder farmers need finance to buy inputs and fertilizers, to invest in storage facilities, among other things. The NpM Innovator’s Challenge incentivized technology companies to transform their geodata-based solutions for smallholder farmers and make them available for the financial sector. The three winning concepts put forward innovative ideas:

Through blockchain technology, Agri-wallet and Geodatics will combine different sources of geodata, farmers’ profiles and crop growth models to provide effective, time and location specific advice to farmers, while simultaneously lowering financial risk for FSPs, farmers and other value chain actors.
Apollo Agriculture’s solution uses agronomic machine learning, remote sensing technology, and mobile phones to deliver the tools farmers need to increase their yields, and the credit to afford them.

VanderSat’s solution aims to develop a risk assessment platform for FSPs, TARA (Tool for Agricultural Risk Advice) would translate satellite data into information of local crops conditions, farmers practices and the capacity of smallholder to cope with climate change.
The other 3 finalists of the NpM Innovator’s Challenge, Alethiom, Financial Access and Satelligence, and Impact Terra also pitched their inspiring proposals at the Accenture Innovation Awards Summit, on November 2nd.

Supporting organisations

A total of 17 companies participated in an accelerator programme delivered by Accenture as part of the NpM Innovator’s Challenge. Out of the 6 finalists, only 3 winners were chosen and each received a prize of EUR 125.000 to pilot test their solution! The Grand Jury was impressed by the uniqueness and impactful ideas when selecting the winners. The organisations represented in the Grand Jury are leading in working with smallholder farmers, and they are able to encourage and scale these innovative solutions to improve the global food security.

The Grand Jury members are: Berry Marttin (Rabobank), Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Oranje-Nassau, Linda Broekhuizen (FMO), Hans Docter (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Pierre van Hedel (Rabobank Foundation), Wim Hart (ICCO), Rodger Voorhies (Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation) and Marcela Villarreal (FAO).

Geodata to support access to finance for smallholder farmers

A total of 70% of our food production depends on smallholder farmers, in light of a growing world population, these farmers are crucial in supplying the world with sufficient food. To achieve this needed growth, access to affordable and appropriate finance is key. However, financial institutions see agriculture lending as risky and costly and do not easily lend to smallholder farmers. Numerous examples, around the world, show geodata applications can improve agricultural production and lead to increased outreach of financial services. Currently, using geospatial information to improve the outreach and suitability of financial services to smallholder farmers, is only tested in a few cases and on a small scale.

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