SWFF Program & Innovator News
 Dec. 10, 2018
Ag Innovations: A Good Investment for Government


Government agencies are eager to join and partner with organizations like Practical Action Bangladesh, whose agricultural innovation helps address many vital societal issues. Using "transitional land" like sandbars to grow crops will help balance the food supply with the country's growing population, and helps address malnutrition in farming communities.

The Practical Action communities export their crop to five countries in Southeast Asia, mostly to Malaysia. It is no wonder, then, that several neighboring countries are taking notice. "Government representatives from Bhutan, India, [and] Nepal have come to our sites in Bangladesh to assess the potential...to use this innovation and intervention in their countries," Nazmul says. Bangladesh has also recognized what a valuable tool this approach is to sustainably address a myriad of societal issues. In July of 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina incorporated sandbar cropping into the country's agricultural policies. As a government policy, Bangladesh must now include the technique in their agricultural planning.

"This is a low-cost solution with wide-reaching benefits," says Nazmul Islam Chowdhury, Head of Inclusive Agriculture at Practical Action.
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Opportunities
  • €2,000,000 for Water Innovators. The FAMAE Foundation is conducting an international innovation challenge called "Precious Water!" aimed at entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses, students, researchers, NGOs, and community groups. The competition supports brilliant initiatives with a major impact on access to drinking water, water treatment, water preservation, improving water quality, and reducing the waste of water. Candidates can submit their projects in French or in English and the application process will end on February 15, 2019. Apply now.
  • Are You the Next Agripreneur of the Year? The 4th Future Agro Challenge (FAC) Global Championships will take place during the Global Agripreneurs Summit in May 2019 in Greece, selecting 50 innovators from more than 150 different countries with fundable idea in food, agtech or agriculture. Selected agripreneurs will gain access to world class mentors, investors, potential clients, and new market opportunities. Application deadline varies by country, please find yours here. Apply here.
  • Call for Nominations. Nominations for the International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture are now open. FAO and the Government of Switzerland are calling on individuals, private companies and institutions to submit applications by February 28, 2019 for the following two categories: 1) The Award for Digitalization and Innovation for Sustainable Food Systems (receiving USD 40,000) and 2) The Award for Innovations that empower youth in agriculture and food systems (receiving USD 20,000). Download the nomination form, terms and conditions here and for further information, please write to Innovation-Award@fao.org.
  • Webinar: Lessons from Five Years of Securing Water for Food. The SWFF program presented five years of results and lessons learned at the 2018 World Water Week in Stockholm in a presentation entitled Hype or Groundbreaking: Has Securing Water for Food Delivered? Watch that webinar online here.
  • Call for Submissions on the Science of Scaling. The Journal Agricultural Systems is looking for submissions about scaling and using agricultural research to make informed decisions on how to optimize having impact in developing nations at a practical scale. Manuscripts must be submitted online by the deadline of December 31, 2018. Learn more here.
  • Lean Data Approaches to Social Impact. Dr. Ku McMahan, USAID lead for SWFF, program coordinator Cassy Rodriguez and M&E specialist Saad Usmani gave a presentation on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Watch the recorded webinar to learn what M&E is, why it is important, and approaches and ideas you can apply to your own work.
1001 Words

SWFF innovator Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies hopes to increase access to BioEnsure® by helping women become entrepreneurs in their own right.