Jakarta, 24 September 2021 – Celebrating the National Farmers Day, TaniHub Group, World Bank Group, and Microsoft are working together to initiate Cultivhacktion—a digital agriculture hackathon whose name combines the words cultivate, hackathon, and action—that seeks to crowdsource technological solutions in order to accelerate the digitization of the agricultural ecosystem in Indonesia. Innovators are invited to develop solutions covering three main areas: 1) improving agricultural productivity and resilience to shocks, including climate shocks; 2) expanding farmers’ access to inputs, markets, and finance; and 3) supporting data-driven public sector decision-making.
Through this collaboration, which is also supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia and the West Java Provincial Government, the three organizations hope to increase the productivity and inclusiveness of more than thirty-three million farmers in Indonesia, develop agricultural systems that can shape supply chain transparency and efficiency, and create a new generation of farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs.
“Agriculture is not only about food production, but also about providing jobs for the 273 million of Indonesians. This industry has enormous growth potential, as indicated by the growth of the Indonesian Farmer Business Exchange Rate of up to 104% in the last two years. The Ministry of Agriculture hopes that Cultivhacktion can accelerate and bring positive impacts on the livelihood of the Indonesian society, including farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem; enabling our agriculture to be more advanced, independent, and modern, so that it can penetrate the national and global markets,” said Syahrul Yasin Limpo, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia.
On a related note, Ridwan Kamil, the Governor of West Java Province, praised TaniHub Group, World Bank Group and Microsoft for being able to hold an event which invites young generation with an aim of creating digital solutions to answer agriculture challenges and opportunities. “As you know, West Java is home to 50 million people with fertile lands everywhere, while we’ve also seen that there are three kinds of economy which continue to grow stronger during the Covid-19 pandemic: food security, healthcare and digital. This is what we’ve found in Cultivhacktion: the combination of food, economy and digital innovation. I would like all of the participants to be successful, so we can show the world that West Java is a leading example of innovation in terms of agriculture and food economy,” he said.
The solutions sought are those that are practical and can be applied by smallholder farmers to accelerate the adoption of new technologies. These can include, for example, coming up with solutions to create sustainable and resilient agricultural supply chains in the face of climate change, providing access to agro-climatic-based information that suits the cultivation needs of farmers in each region through the application of big data, as well as increasing smallholder knowledge on marketing, post-harvest processing, farm business management, and personal financing through digital extension.
“As a group that was born from the innovative ideas of young Indonesians in 2016 when there was not a single agritech player; we have now developed and continued our commitment to empower farmers in Indonesia through our ecosystem from upstream to downstream that allows farmers, buyers, financiers and all relevant stakeholders to enjoy good results from agriculture. Of course, we don’t want to stop here because there is still a lot of homework to be done. Through Cultivhacktion, which is kicked off during the National Farmers Day, we want to see the best minds in the country create inspirational innovations, which will complete our journey in harnessing the potential of Indonesian agriculture,” said TaniHub Group CEO Pamitra Wineka.
Agriculture accounts for 13% of Indonesian economy and is the source of income for 33 million farmers. Most importantly, it is crucial for Indonesia’s capacity to nourish its growing and increasingly urbanized population with varied food preferences. To meet those needs, it is essential to maintain and enhance agriculture’s productivity, sustainability and competitiveness.
“Digital agriculture has the potential to be a game changer for agriculture in Indonesia. It can help farmers and agribusiness access information, make better decisions, and use resources more productively and sustainably. This hackathon is an example of how government, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society can come together to support young innovators to develop solutions to improve livelihoods of Indonesian farmers,” said Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia and Timor Leste.
The foundation of digitalizing the agricultural ecosystem, which can empower more farmers and accelerate the development of Indonesia’s digital economy, lies in the application of technology such as cloud; enabling the creation of data ecosystem, which can be used by relevant stakeholders to collaborate and share information.
“Once the data ecosystem has been set, technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics will lead us to new innovations for the agricultural industry. For example, farmers will be able to predict weather patterns to determine a better planting time or increase precision through agricultural irrigation applications powered by data-driven insights. This innovation will also enable farmers to increase efficiency, land productivity, and income, hence supporting inclusive economic growth. Together, let’s empower the digital economy of Indonesia,” said Panji Wasmana, National Technology Officer for Microsoft Indonesia.
Apart from TaniHub Group, World Bank Group and Microsoft, Cultivhacktion is also initiated by GIZ. Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the new GIZ Fund for the Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture (i4Ag) supports innovative projects which have positive impacts on food security, income and employment in the climate or environment. The i4Ag fund sees the Cultivhacktion as a great opportunity to support entrepreneurs in finding data-driven digital solutions, which can enrich the agricultural sector in Indonesia and beyond. Aligned with the goals to promote innovations and share lessons learned, i4Ag is looking forward to seeing all the great ideas that will be developed in the hackathon.
Cultivhacktion Registration is Still Open
This activity is also receiving support from several other organizations such as Plug and Play, FAO, IPB University, Data Science Indonesia, GrowAsia, Planet, and MDI Ventures. The registration period is from September 9 to October 5, 2021. To participate, participants need to submit a proposal for the solution they would like to build and take part in the agriculture and technology bootcamp. After that, ten selected participants will receive an opportunity to develop their innovative solution prototype on Microsoft Azure, with mentorship from selected experts. This innovative solution would then be pitched to agriculture industry stakeholders. Top three solutions will receive support for further finetuning, piloting, and scaling up.
For registration and other inquiries, please visit this link.