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BCI and IDH announce winners of Better Cotton Innovation

30
Nov '20
Pic: Better Cotton Initiative
Pic: Better Cotton Initiative
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and IDH, the sustainable trade initiative have announced that Agritask Ltd, an Israel-based agricultural-tech start-up, has won Better Cotton Innovation Challenge. CropIn Technology Solutions, an Indian agricultural-tech company, was second. The winning teams will receive cash prizes of €100,000 and €35,000 respectively.
 
The Better Cotton Innovation Challenge, initiated by BCI and IDH and organised by Dalberg Advisors, launched in November 2019 to find new and innovative ideas to scale more sustainable cotton production. The challenge focused on two areas: customised training - innovations to bring customised training on more sustainable farming practices to hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers; and data collection - innovations to reduce the time and cost of data collection to enable more efficient BCI licensing processes.
 
The challenge received close to 100 applications, 20 of which were shortlisted after a rigorous review process. Of the shortlisted applicants, five finalists – Agritask, CropIn, Ricult, WaterSprint and eKutir – were selected to trial their sustainable solutions in the field with BCI Farmers. Following the eight-week pilot period, a jury composed of BCI, IDH and Dalberg representatives, assessed the finalists and selected the winners based on a six-point criteria: impact, technical performance, likelihood of adoption, scalability, financial sustainability and team capability.
 
The winner Agritask offers a holistic agronomic platform that enables agricultural stakeholders, including farmers, to capture and make use of a range of data in a highly flexible manner. The Agritask mobile app is customisable, allowing farmers to adopt digital solutions intuitively in a way that works for them.
 
“We are proud to work with global leaders in sustainability such as BCI. We are coming out of the field trials with a deeper appreciation of the complexity involved in implementing and monitoring sustainability programmes in the field, and this is exactly the type of challenge we were looking for,” Arsira Thumaprudti, head of business development at Agritask, said in a press release.
 
While CropIn’s solution is a digital farm management solution that enables complete digitisation of farming processes. The platform empowers data-driven decision-making and provides complete visibility of people, processes and performance on a near real-time basis. It enables farmers to efficiently manage farming practices, while also ensuring they are adhering to compliance and certification requirements.
 
“The need for technological interventions to support sustainable farming is more pressing than ever. CropIn’s digital platforms are built to maximise value per acre for farmers, in an efficient, predictable and sustainable manner. Our solutions enable cotton farmers to manage and monitor crop farming in an accurate, affordable and scalable manner,” Pallavi Kanak, CropIn director India SEA, said.
 
Both winning solutions were selected from the data collection challenge category.
 
“The Innovation Challenge was set up to help identify solutions and partnerships that would accelerate the benefits for cotton farmers in their adoption of BCI principles and practices towards more sustainable cotton farming. The winning innovations have demonstrated in the field trials how adoption of new engagement models a d technology can support and strengthen impact at field level,” Pramit Chanda, global director textiles and manufacturing at IDH, said in the release.
 
“Congratulations to Agritask and CropIn, who persevered, along with the other three challenge finalists, and piloted their solutions despite the challenges and set-backs caused by Covid-19 this year. Now the challenge is over, we are excited to be exploring next steps and a potential roll out plan. We look forward to sharing further updates soon,” Cristina Martin Cuadrado, programme manager at BCI, said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (JL)


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