Innovation Challenges

Challenge Owner(s)
Cargill, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Bayer
Grow Asia, Padang & Co
Industry Type(s)
Agri-tech, Digital/ICT, Financial Services, Food Manufacturing
Opportunities and Support Selected companies will get a chance to pitch to and work with leading agribusinesses in the region!
Application Start Date 22 June 2021
Application End Date 21 July 2021
Website Click here to learn more

About Challenge

The Grow Asia Directory Showcase invites startups that can transform data collection and insight delivery for smallholder farmers in Southeast Asia, so that the people responsible for feeding us can reap that untapped potential.

Selected companies will join the Grow Asia Digital Directory, a curated list of digital solutions for smallholder farmers in Asia. They will also get to work with prominent agribusinesses in the region, and an opportunity to pitch to a high-level audience of investors, corporates, NGOs, and ecosystem enablers.

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Challenge Owner(s)Bayer
Industry Types(s)
Agri-tech, Digital/ICT, Electronics, Food Manufacturing


Collecting farm data is a prerequisite for Bayer to create any kind of Digital Farming solution, such as advising on farming practice, linking to service providers or markets. But true value emerges when multiple sources of data are linked. Each new dataset builds on the previous, adding depth and dimension. But like with any flywheel effect, you need to start with initial, accurate profile data. From that initial data, services can be built which in turn generate additional datasets, providing the momentum and ability to develop more insights and services.
Direct methods of data collection from growers are prone to errors and inconsistency. However, for example with social media, creators have found engaging ways to motivate or incentivize accurate collection of user data. In addition to mobile devices farmers may be using, data collection could happen through IoT sensors, ag machinery, drones or satellites.

What We Are Looking For

How might we encourage farmers to make their first meaningful digital connection with an inputs company like Bayer and incentivize them to provide additional data points as their engagement with Bayer increases? How can the ecosystem be incentivized to capture smallholder data in a viable and scalable way?


Challenge Owner(s)Cargill
Industry Types(s)
Agri-tech, Digital/ICT, Food Manufacturing


Cargill is working to nourish the world. We're bringing together people, ideas, and resources to deliver products, technology and ways of operating that build successful businesses and communities.

In agriculture, advances in technology have changed the data that can be collected and how quickly it can be gathered. Remote sensing providers are now monitoring farm assets and acquiring important visual and multispectral data for insights into farm operations, like for example, measure water levels, crop types, acreage under cultivation, and crop health among many other things, sometimes in real time. Similarly, drones, hovering above fields, provide even more detail on what’s happening in individual farms. Smart farm robotic equipment and internet of things for farming operations with integrated software capabilities can help perform complex farming tasks more effectively, efficiently or autonomously than through traditional farming methods, along with generating data points that can help smallholder farmers. But the key challenge we see in collecting data is the cost of these advanced technologies.

What We Are Looking For

How might we develop multiuser solutions that capture value enabling smallholder farmers to access data affordably through technologies such as advanced imagery and smart farming systems in order to improve their sustainability, productivity and livelihoods?

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Challenge Owner(s)Jollibee Foods Corporation
Industry Types(s)
Agri-tech, Digital/ICT, Financial Services

Jollibee Group Foundation

The farmers who supply Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) are assisted by the company’s supply chain unit, as well as Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), and its partners, which include NGOs and microfinance institutions (MFIs). The farmers are also part of a JGF program to improve their farm management and entrepreneurial skills. However, many of these farmers lack connectivity, smartphones, and the skills to collect and manage data.
As part of the program, farmers are required to manually compile and maintain a journal that records their financial transactions and cash flow. Compliance places a time burden on the farmers and the program’s Agro-enterprise Facilitators (extension workers). Can the responsibility for the data recording be reframed and repositioned for greater overall benefit?

What We Are Looking For

Given that JGF would like to see smallholder farmers improve their profitability, how might we develop digital solutions to build more comprehensive and accurate profiles of these farmers and their operations? Such a solution could also be used by partner MFIs to improve the efficiency of the loan approval and/or the disbursement process.

If the solution could be used by input providers or other value chain actors in a way that benefits smallholders, it would be a plus. 

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Grow Asia Directory Showcase: Info Session

Wednesday, 7 July 
4pm - 5.30pm (GMT+8)

Register Here