SWFF Program & Innovator News
 July 17, 2019
Si Tech is Methodically Working to Improve Agriculture in India and South Africa .

Conventional wisdom suggests that if you build a better mousetrap, customers will beat a path to your door. Si Technologies, a Dutch agricultural company, has found that it is somewhat more complicated.
They have a product that will produce better and healthier crop yields with a minimum of pesticides and fungicides , but the hurdles are similar to those of many new ideas institutional wariness.
Si Technologies produces a product called NewSil, a spray that allows plants to absorb silicon, which results in a reduction of water usage of 30-50% while producing the same yield without using harmful chemicals.
"It's a slow building process," said CEO Bart AJ de Jonge, the CEO who recently discussed his company at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague. "It becomes part of the food chain, 
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  • Water Governance Institute is the Winner of Global Resilience Partnership's Mini Innovation Challenge. The Global Resilience Partnership selected Water Governance Institute's Aquaponics system as one of its Innovation Challenge winners for 2019. The award will provide essential funding to upgrade early adopter's (farmers) Aquaponics systems from manual to automated systems leveraging solar energy. The addition of solar energy is monumental stride forward since farmers were having challenges moving water in and out of the system and a national electricity grid is not widely available.
  • Meat Naturally to Launch in Botswana. The Green Climate Fund recently approved the implementation of a Meat Naturally program in Botswana. The Meat Naturally model consisting of trained EcoRangers, communal grazing systems and local meat auctions was developed and honed in South Africa. From its inception, the intent has been to create a farming model that was sustainable and scalable to new regions. Meat Naturally is now on the move and growing.
  • 2019 SWFF Annual Report Released. Securing Water for Food released its 2019 Annual Report. The program has exceeded the expected outcomes envisioned when it was created and recently had those outcomes validated by the Final SWFF External Program Evaluation. SWFF innovations have impacted more than 6 million farmers, their families, and other customers, helping make them more resilient to economic and climatic shocks and moving them forward on their journey to self-reliance. For every $1,000 that has been spent by the SWFF program, SWFF innovators have impacted more than 240 customers/end users, produced more than 400 tons of produce, helped farmers reduce their water consumption by more than 1.2 million liters (compared to traditional practices), improved water management on 515 hectares of grazing lands and more than 170 hectares of farmland, and generated more than $350 of sales. Read 2019 Annual Report.
  • Practical Action Wins UN Award for Innovation. Practical Action won a United Nations Award for innovation after transforming food production in the face of flooding and land loss in Bangladesh. Practical Action was one of 8 winners of the UNIDO International Award, "Innovative Ideas and Technologies in Agribusiness," organized in collaboration with the Future Food Institute, and under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Sandar Cropping, an idea developed in 2005, is now being scaled up by Bangladesh authorities so millions more can fight hunger. Read more in Practical Action's press release.
  • 2019 Global Youth Video Competition. Young people from around the world are encouraged to submit videos for the 2019 Global Youth Video Competition showcasing positive solutions on three themes: Nature-based Solutions for Food and Human Health; Cities and Local Action to Combat Climate Change; and Nature-Based Solutions to balance the use of land for people and ecosystems. One winner will be selected for each category and the three winners will attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Santiago, Chile, in December 2019. Winning videos will be screened in front of a global audience at the conference.To learn more, see the UN Climate Change press release or apply online by visiting biomovies.tve.org.
  • Funding Opportunities from Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation. Partnering for Innovation is seeking expressions of interest from business service providers who provide capacity-building services to women-owned, operated, or managed agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa. The program develops innovative partnerships and provides technical assistance to private sector businesses so they may expand their commercial impact in smallholder markets and increase farmer's access to products and services improving long-term agricultural productivity, livelihoods, and food security. The deadline is August 12th, 2019. To learn more and apply see the official notice here.
1001 Words

This Was Once Parched Land. Now Fruitful Land With One-Fifth the Water. 

An Indian woman tends to new life, springing forth from previously parched land. How is this possible? Thanks to SWAR, The Centre for Environment Concerns's sub-surface drip irrigation system that releases moisture only when 'asked' for it by the crop. The drip system assures moisture is spread at the plant's root zone, cultivating crops and vegetation using only one-fifth of the water required by traditional drip irrigation systems in India.