Nepali ICT firms receive US Data-Driven Farming Award for innovative agricultural solutions

September 10, 2017

The Kathmandu Post, 10 Sep 2017 

The United States Government’s Feed the Future Initiative awarded its global Data-Driven Farming Prize to four firms from around the world, including Nepal's ICT firm Db2Map and ICT for Agriculture, for their innovative solutions in utilising information and communications technology to improve agricultural productivity.

The Kathmandu-based firm received a $100,000 award for its GEOKrishi program that integrates satellite data with government and crowdsourced information to assess land and soil conditions to help farmers maximise crop yields.

Likewise, ICT for Agriculture received a $50,000 award for their mobile and web-based platform that provides comprehensive agricultural information to rural farmers.

Other prize winners include German-based PEAT and Canadian-based Spero Analytics technology firms, receiving $100,000 and $50,000 awards respectively.

The Data-Driven Farming Prize attracted a total of 143 applicants from 21 countries, including 83 from Nepal. Of the 13 finalists, six were from Nepal.

Speaking at the event, Amy Tohill-Stull, Acting Mission Director at USAID, remarked, “Data should no longer reside on computer servers at research institutes. We must make it open and accessible to Nepal’s farmers, agribusiness owners, and all stakeholders across the agriculture value chain. This is what we mean by “data-driven farming.”

Launched in February 2017 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the $300,000 Data-Driven Farming Prize recognizes innovative tools and approaches that source, analyze, and provide actionable information to help smallholder farmers in Nepal, and around the world, improve their productivity.