The UNDP has called on innovative startups from around the world tackling challenges in agriculture to enter Cultiv@te, its new global innovation initiative for sustainable agriculture.
The initiative will see challenge winners get invited to participate in a programme that includes global conferences, workshops and collaboration with UNDP country offices.
Applications for the initiative close on 14 February and a total of 78 teams will be selected to proceed to the second round of shortlisting. Successful applicants will be announced on 24 February.
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Applications for the UNDP’s Cultiv@te initiative will close on 14 February, African startups are eligible to apply
The initiative is organised across three main themes. These are:
- Urban agriculture: How do you leverage innovative technologies to rethink and create a sustainable food production system for the urban population?
- Rainfed agriculture: How can you maximise agricultural productivity to meet the challenges posed by climate change?
- Livestock farming and aquaculture: How do you ensure safe, sustainable livestock farming and lessen the environmental impact of current practices?
As part of the initiative, Cultiv@te participants have to solve for 13 challenge statements targeted at 13 different countries or solution clients which include Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan.
The second round of the initiative will see the 78 teams initially selected from the first round get whittled down to a shortlist of 52 teams which will be announced on 13 March.
Participants’ solutions will be judged on impact, innovation, relevancy, feasibility and clarity.
Each solution client will then be matched with a set of four teams. These teams will join their thematic cohort along with corporates and country leaders.
The teams will also be invited to the Global Launch in Singapore — likely to take place in July — which kicks off the programme activities.
International exposure, investment opportunities
The UNDP says Cultiv@te programme participants will get international exposure and the opportunity to gather crucial market and cultural intelligence in an emerging market.
In addition, participants will also receive mentoring from seasoned corporate and technology leaders and engage with influential policy, decision-makers and solution clients.
Event-related travel and accommodation will be covered for one representative of each selected team.
Cultiv@te participants also stand to benefit from access to a specially-curated group of more than 25 potential investors and solution clients.
These include venture capitalists, multinational corporations, governments, the UNDP and other development agencies who have partnered with the initiative to source innovative solutions and discover talented problem solvers.
Participants will also be in the running to win prize money and thematic awards from the initiative’s partners, however details on the prizes are yet to be announced.
Bukola Owo-Bello is a spirited storyteller, content creator and YouTuber who loves sharing amazing opportunities, inspiration, and ideas with forward-thinking African youths.
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