Nepal AgriTECH challenge is part of UNCDF’s Financial Innovation Lab Initiative. Nepal AgriTECH challenge is a platform to ideate, develop and implement technology solutions for Nepal’s agriculture sector.
Nepal AgriTECH challenge aims to bridge the gap between agriculture and technology sector and supports innovators and existing start-ups to develop solutions that address challenges for smallholder farmers and the private sector companies serving them. The challenge will provide opportunity to the participating start-ups to interact with enablers such as KISAN II project, SUNFARMER Nepal, IME Digital, Prabhu Pay and test their solutions in live environment with expert support from these institutions.
*Dates are subject to change.
What kind of solutions are you looking at?
We are looking for solutions that address either demand or supply side constraints in the agriculture sector and thus, positively impact the lives of the low income segment of the population. In case of back end solutions that are supply focused, a clear impact on lives of customers should be highlighted.
Does the solution need to be a financial solution?
No, the solution could be non-financial e.g. an app triggering a behavior change, but with a clear business idea. We would help facilitate the engagement with industry for deployment of the solution, but the solution needs to demonstrate the value for end-user and contribute to improving their financial well-being.
How important is leveraging digital solutions for the business proposal?
The core objectives of the call for application is to explore innovation that leverage digital solutions (both financial and non-financial) to drive efficiency of operations or expand outreach to underserved segments with a focus on driving behavior change and retention.
Can we form teams with other start-ups or come with partners?
Yes, we would consider applications submitted in partnership. We expect clear goals in this partnership and division of roles.
Can I apply for both the challenge statements?
No, you can apply for either of the challenge statements.
What if the proposed solution address both the challenges?
Proposed solution can aim to address more than one problem statement as both the problems are interrelated and have direct impact on financial and emotional lives of the segment. We are looking at the uniqueness of the proposition and clarity on business model as well as clear articulation on how solution address one or both the problems alongside to achieve the desired goal. It should be noted that even if your proposition serves both supply and demand side challenges, you have to highlight the primary challenge that your solution would serve and your application will be places in that category.
Who are the enablers and what is their role?
Enablers are established players in the market such as DFS providers, agri companies, agri focused projects and other non-bank actors. They play the role of a connector to facilitate early testing of ideas and could provide access to their infrastructure like customers, data, etc. This would vary based on each enabler.
What stage are enablers expected to come in at?
Enablers are expected to be drawn immediately after the application process and they would remain part of the journey throughout.
We are currently studying, are we eligible to apply?
Yes, you are eligible to apply if your age is 18 years or more. You have to however, demonstrate in your application how you plan to sustain the innovation beyond pilot, of course, without hampering your studies.
Abhay Pareek, DFS Expert
Aliska Bajrachayra, KM Consultant
Kavi Raj Joshi, Next Venture Corp
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