- The Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning, in partnership with the World Economic Forum’s UpLink platform, announced the winners of the “Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge.”
- The challenge aims to optimize the global food ecosystem through climate-smart agriculture approaches.
- It received submissions from startups across six continents, focusing on various climate-related challenges.
- Twelve winners were selected based on innovation, impact, and business performance.
- The winners will receive monetary funding from the Saudi government and access to global platforms for further exposure and development.
The Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning revealed the winners of the “Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge” at the InFlavour Expo. The initiative, developed in partnership with the World Economic Forum’s innovation platform, UpLink, aims to optimize the global food ecosystem and encourage better living standards through climate-smart agriculture.
About the Challenge
The challenge calls for immediate action to address food security issues and promote sustainable food production worldwide. Abdulrahman Al-Zamil, general manager of external engagement for sustainable development at the ministry, emphasized the role of innovation as a strategic enabler for sustainable development.
The challenge received submissions from startups in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Oceania. It also considered solutions tailored to different climates, such as the challenges of food cultivation and drought mitigation in desert environments like Saudi Arabia.
Selection Criteria and Winners
Out of 246 submissions, 12 solutions were announced as winners assessed based on innovation, impact indicators, and business performance. The winners include agricultural technology startup Alkama (UK), social enterprise AMAATI (Ghana), and climate tech business Amini (Kenya), among others.
Sadaf Hosseini, head of growth partnerships and innovation ecosystem at UpLink, stressed the need for increased collaboration to accelerate innovation. The winners will receive monetary funding from the Saudi government, as well as access to WEF and partner-led events, projects, and communities.
The challenge is part of two initiatives launched in 2023, namely the “Food Ecosystems in Arid Climates” challenge and the “Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge.” These initiatives are supported by various local and international entities, including NEOM, Nestle, Roots Ventures, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, and the World Food Forum.
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