SWFF Program & Innovator News
 May 31, 2019
The Other Shark Tank: Securing Water for Food

Three decades ago, the World Wide Web was introduced, Taylor Swift was born, and the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Only three decades from now, in the flutter of an eyelid, nine billion people around the world will need clean water and food on a planet that will only be able to adequately supply an amount sufficient for a third of us.

We have no silver bullet to address what could be a worldwide crisis, one impacted by climate conditions, natural disasters, and our own collective lack of foresight.

This predicament has led to one of the most important international competitions of our day, bringing together global innovators to tackle food and water shortages.
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  • Naireeta Services Selected as Famae Top 30 Water Innovator.  FAMAE, an independent family foundation supporting innovation in the environmental field, holds an annual international challenge to help inventors create simple and innovative solutions to improve our daily lives, while alleviating environmental footprints. This year's challenge was to find products or services focused on preserving water, making it cleaner and more accessible to everyone around the globe. We are proud to announce that one of our very own innovators, Naireeta Services, joined the challenge and was selected as one of the top 30 projects! FAMAE will be featuring Naireeta Services' Bhungroo pipe technology in their upcoming white paper " Water World."
  • Practical Action Bangladesh Wins UNIDO's International Award "Innovative Ideas and Technologies in Agribusiness." UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) ITPO Italy recognized eight organizations during their International Award Ceremony at EXCO 2019. Practical Action Bangladesh won the award in the Agro-food & Climate Change category for their sandbar cropping technique as a exemplary practice for climate change resilience. Particularly impressive is the fact that Practical Action Bangladesh was selected from a pool of 440 applicants from over 100 countries and five continents. A true testament to the positive impact of this innovation, creating income potential for landless farmers, enhancing food security, and reducing water usage up to 54% for farming.
  • Green Heat International Wins $1M Contract. Green Heat International, launched by entrepreneur Vianney Tumwesige, announced that the organization won a $1 million contract from World Bank. This invaluable support from World Bank will enable the Uganda Ministry of Health to upgrade numerous health centers with Green Heat International's biodigesters. These digesters are equipped with the ground-breaking Slurry Separation Technology (SST), facilitating the use of recycled water in the system, and reducing freshwater needs by 80%.
  • The Results are in - SWAR is a Huge Success for Combating Drought in India. The Centre for Environment Concerns developed the world's first underground, gravity-based irrigation system that provides moisture to plants at the root level. Since April of 2018, forty thousand SWAR (System of Water for Agriculture Rejuvenation) units were deployed to irrigate multiple plant species and soil types. After numerous case studies, SWAR has validated its impact on water conservation and enhancing soil nutrients. Compared to a traditional drip system, SWAR reduces water consumption by 40% to 50%, provides early flowering, equal or better yield, wider root spread, and doubling of biomass production. The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) discovered this innovative solution and is funding a hundred thousand Euros to implement SWAR plus precision irrigation to farmers using solar energy for pumping water.
  • A River-Powered Pump Success Story from aQysta. An entrepreneur in Sulawesi, Indonesia, set out with the mission of giving back to society. Ichsan Nuryadin dreamed of solving the problem of insufficient water resources for irrigation in rural Sulawesi. Ichsan and his team tried to develop a cost-efficient water pump, eventually discovering aQysta's Barsha Pump on YouTube. The Barsha pump was rolled out 5 months ago as a test for the provincial government and will soon enter its second phase, creating demonstration sites for the farming community. Nuryadin recently talked with Ms. Annisa Anindita, a aQysta representative, about how the Barsha Pump can solve this water scarcity issue. The two also spent time discussing the progress of aQysta's first demonstration site in Makassar, Indonesia. Read story
  • SWFF Storytelling Team to be Conducting Innovator Interviews at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. The SWFF TA Facility storytelling team, Willard Strategies, will be onsite to speak one-on-one with SWFF innovators at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit from June 3-5, 2019. The vision is to capture innovator lessons learned, pivots, and stakeholder stories.The team will be exploring innovator stories on gender, poverty, income growth, environmental issues, acceleration support, scaling, branding, and more.
  • Become a Champion Trainer in Africa. Want to build a critical understanding of the Food & Agribusiness sector? Looking to develop a business by training professionals or students? Agribusiness Academy has launched the Champions Project in Africa, an ambitious program to 'train-the-trainer' and everyone in the region to access world leading training in Food & Agribusiness, including food security, developing sustainable business models and the uptake of new technology. Review the program and apply here.
  • A Competition for Food and Agriculture Innovation. Grow-NY is an unprecedented food and agriculture business competition that identifies, supports, and funds the top food, beverage, and agriculture innovations across the globe. The competition includes three awards for the sum of $3 million; a $1 million top prize, two $500,000 prizes, and four $250,000 prizes. All finalists receive mentorship, pitch training, and business development support. Those interested should apply by July of 2019 here.
1001 Words

April Showers Bring May Flowers - If Farmers Know When to Plant. 

Did you know that around 80% of the world's cropland is rainfed, accounting for 60% of the global agricultural output? SWFF innovator Ignitia empowers farmers with reliable and accurate weather forecasts to help them sow, fertilize, and harvest at the perfect time to yield optimal results. Bring on the rain!