As part of the opening day of the 3-day EXCO 2019 – the first international Development Cooperation fair – UNIDO ITPO Italy awarded the 8 winners of the 3 rd edition of its International Award “Innovative Ideas and Technologies in Agribusiness”, organized in collaboration with the Future Food Institute, and under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The ceremony started with the opening remarks by UNIDO’s Director General, Li Yong, who, on the sidelines of the event, held a bilateral meeting with the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re.
The winners have been awarded on the basis of different categories, including: women, young under 35, nexus between food and climate change, biodiversity and disruptive innovation.
This year, the award registered an outstanding success, gathering 440 applications from over 100 countries and 5 continents, strengthening its role as a link between innovation, sustainability and agribusiness in favor of challenges faced by developing countries in this sector.
The proposals received, evaluated by an ad hoc jury which, among the others, included the CNR – National Research Council, Azimut, PRIMA Foundation, and the University of Wageningen, came from startups, universities, incubators, research and technology transfer centers, associations and NGOs, innovators and agro entrepreneurs, covering a wide variety of sectors, from hydroponics to the valorization of traditional crops, from post-harvest treatments to blockchain.
At the end of the selection process, the jury selected the following projects:
Overall Category: Aflazero – ITALY. Post-harvest ozone-based treatment technology which eliminates 98% of aflatoxin contamination in grains and other crops.
Overall Category: Imec Film Farming – JAPAN. A film made of a particular hydrogel that allows the cultivation of plants with less water and soil use.
Overall Category: AgriProtein – UK / SOUTH AFRICA. Innovative technology that uses insects to produce proteins through a bio-conversion process of organic waste.
Women Category: Atmonia – ICELAND. It produces an on-farm, zero carbon nitrogen fertilizers obtained exclusively from air, water and renewable energy.
Young – Under 35 Category: phos-FATE – ITALY. Project developed by a CNR researcher who conceived a sustainable phosphorus-based fertilizer made from recycled phosphate-rich fishery by-products.
Agro-food & Climate Change Category: Transforming lands, transforming lives – BANGLADESH. The project presents a best practice of climate change resilience, supporting farmers and displaced people in flood areas offering training and improved technologies in the management of livelihoods through the “sandbar cropping”.
Agro-food & Biodiversity Category: CAMGEW – CAMEROON. This project figured out that apiculture can act as a smart solution to protect forests from bushfires, through the direct involvement of local communities in beekeeping.
Mention of honor “Disruptive Innovation”: Farmcrowdy – NIGERIA. It is the Nigerian largest digital agriculture platform, focused on the connection between farm sponsors and farmers. The award ceremony took place within the “Agribusiness Innovation & Developing Countries” event and was also characterized by the statement, among others, of UNIDO ITPO Italy director, Diana Battaggia, as well as important representatives of FAO, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, ICE – Italian Trade Agency, Azimut and PRIMA Foundation, sponsors of the International Award.