Start-ups to tackle food loss in Asia
Rabobank is launching the Food Loss Challenge Asia, which encourages start-ups to present their tech-based solutions to reduce food loss.
The world population is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, but there is a growing concern that global food production will not be able to meet this demand. More than a third of all food that is produced for human consumption is lost before it reaches the consumer, resulting in 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year.
The Food Loss Challenge Asia initiative aims to address these issues and facilitate discussions between solutions providers, food and agriculture corporates, and smallholder farmers.
Rabobank Asia CEO Diane Boogaard said, “One of our priorities is to leverage on our food and agri knowledge and expertise, and advise our clients to adopt more sustainable food production. This will enable a more efficient use of raw materials and will improve the stability of food supply and efficiency of the food value chain.”
The challenge focuses particularly on reducing food loss from farm to market in Asia, so they are looking for ag-tech solutions for the pre-consumption phase. This includes improving agricultural production and farm management, quality control, market access, logistics, packaging and preservation, and processing. Rabobank Foundation Head of Innovations Albert Boogaard pinpointed potential opportunities at the farmer’s level.
“While productivity is increasing, the supporting post-harvest infrastructure has not kept pace and a substantial part of produce is lost even before the harvest takes place. Since the vast majority of farmers in Asia are smallholders, we are excited to be involved in this challenge as the impact for our target group can be huge.”
Diane Boogaard said the challenge provides an exciting platform for product-ready start-ups to access mentorship and connections to grow their businesses.
The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, 19 September 2018, 23:59 hours Singapore time. The top 20 shortlisted teams will be invited to attend the Pitch Day in Singapore on 26 October 2018, and the final five will go to the Finale at Rabobank Asia’s Food & Agribusiness Advisory Board meeting.
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