Agritask wins BCI's Better Cotton Innovation challenge

November 27, 2020 - Switzerland

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative have announced that Agritask, an Israel-based agricultural-tech start-up, has won the Better Cotton Innovation Challenge. CropIn Technology Solutions, an India-based agricultural-tech company, won the second place. The teams won cash prizes of €100,000 and €35,000 respectively.

The Better Cotton Innovation Challenge, initiated by BCI and IDH and organised by Dalberg Advisors, was launched in November 2019 to find new and innovative ideas to scale more sustainable cotton production. The challenge focused on two areas; customised training with included innovations to bring customised training on more sustainable farming practices to hundreds of thousands of cotton farmers; and data collection which included innovations to reduce the time and cost of data collection to enable more efficient BCI licensing processes, BCI said in a press release.

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.

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. In addition, the platform enables remote monitoring via satellite and virtual weather stations and supports interaction with third-party systems. Data that is captured through the app is then aggregated and processed to provide actionable insights, tailored to each user.

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 solution will assist farmers to address issues such as pest and crop-health and manage budgets and inputs, helping farmers to maximise their returns.

“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.

“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.