Indian company CropIn won the first ever Rainforest Alliance Ag-Tech Developer Challenge, and is to receive an investment of € 100,000 to further develop its future-ready farming solution CocoaSense.
The Rainforest Alliance recently announced the 2 winners of the first-ever international Ag-Tech Developer Challenge. 50 organisations took part in the challenge submitting innovative remote-sensing data products to bolster digital work and generate data insights that will benefit the cocoa farmers the Rainforest Alliance works with on a global scale.
The Indian company CropIn earned first place and will receive an investment of € 100,000 to further develop its future-ready farming solution CocoaSense. This AI and satellite imaging powered solution will make the current digital Farm Development Plans (FDPs) for cocoa farmers more precise.
The Dutch team of 20tree.ai won the second prize and an investment of € 75,000. This AI company impressed the jury with their thorough understanding of Farm Development Plans (FDPs) and their innovative solutions. The innovations of both winners will be further developed and piloted with cocoa farmers in Ghana in the coming months.
Leveraging digital technology
Daan de Vries, chief innovation and technology officer at the Rainforest Alliance said: “We are excited to start working together with CropIn and 20tree.ai. Their solutions will be very valuable to strengthen our value proposition for small farmers. At the Rainforest Alliance, we drive sustainability transformation across millions of hectares globally, with a special focus on commodity sectors with large environmental, economic, and social challenges. We increasingly do this by leveraging digital technology. Strong partnerships are fundamental to digital innovation. By working together with the right partners, we can support stakeholders along the entire supply chain on a journey of continuous data-driven improvement.”
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The Ag-Tech Developer Challenge is part of SAT4Farming. This program supports cocoa farmers, aiming to increase their profitability and sustainability. - Photo: Rainforest Alliance
Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO of CropIn, said: “We are excited to partner with the Rainforest Alliance under the SAT4Farming program. We will provide the technological know-how to co-develop a digital platform that aims to enhance the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana. This allows them to manage and monitor in a more accurate, affordable, and scalable manner. This is a strategic partnership and allows us to enhance CropIn’s visibility in the African region.”
Anniek Schouten and Indra den Bakker, the founders of the Dutch 20tree.ai, reacted to the announcement: “We are very excited and honored to be awarded as one of the winners of the Ag-Tech Developer Challenge by the Rainforest Alliance. Our drive for taking up the challenge was the opportunity to contribute to improving the sustainability of cocoa production and having a positive impact on the livelihoods of local communities together with partners such as the Rainforest Alliance.”
The Ag-Tech Developer Challenge is part of SAT4Farming, a consortium of the Rainforest Alliance, Grameen Foundation, Touton, Satelligence, Waterwatch Projects, and the University of Ghana. With this program they support cocoa farmers, aiming to increase their profitability and sustainability. Through remote sensing and AI technologies, data insights can be gathered much more quickly, cheaply, and precisely – for a larger number of farmers. The overarching objective is to triple the average yields of Ghanaian cocoa farmers to 1500kg per year through innovations in farming.