Nepal has 30 lakh hectares of fertile land. 3.8 million Families are engaged in agriculture. Still we rely on food imports. Nepal imported agricultural goods worth more than Rs 220 billion last fiscal year. With the breakdown in the supply chain, and increasing reliance on imports, prices of daily essentials have already begun to rise in the market. Nepal imported vegetables worth Rs 4 billion during the period of this lockdown. Meanwhile food produced by farmers in other parts of Nepal is becoming waste. Disruptions in the supply of farming inputs like fertilizers are certain to impact food production.  The travel restrictions keeping farmers at home could result in a year of hyperinflation. A food crisis is looming.

Do you have innovative solutions to challenges around sustainable food system, production and supply? Tell us now, and you have the chance to make it happen.

BITS Ladder and its partners invite you to register your team to the Foodathon latest on 05 June 2020. Ten selected teams will develop and present their ideas in 13-14 June 2020. The top winning team will be awarded surprising prizes.  Ready to join us? Here are the basic requirements for registration:

  • A brilliant idea on how to tackle challenges on food sustainability
  • A team of 2 to 3 members
  • All the team members should be citizen of Nepal (or NRNA)
  • Teams with agricultural background are strongly encouraged

See the guidelines below and register your team now! If you have any questions, please contact info@bitsladder.com.np

Background

Food is an equalizer. However, access to food is impacted by the pandemic for middle and low-income families. Food supply chain is disrupted leading to shortages and adding problem of waste. Food prices are rising due to import difficulties and opportunism by traders. Nor buying food is a great option now. People are locked inside their houses with enough spaces and rooftops. People need to empower to maintain livelihood and remain self-sufficient. New technologies, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) represent a huge potential to tackle hunger and offer innovative approaches to this complex challenge. Farming must adjust to new realities and find a mix between tradition and innovation.

What is Foodathon?

Foodathon is an innovative event where teams consisted of skilled experts engages in creating solutions for food sustainability issues and challenges in a collaborative environment. The outcome may be an ICT tool, software, app, sustainable product, business model or other solution, which may lead to the inception of a start-up business or projects. This Foodathon is an opportunity to show how production, storage and transportation of food related challenges can be turned into opportunities and could be solved in sustainable way. An exemplary solution is efficient, innovative, scalable and as a crosscutting theme environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. All projects should be in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially with SDG 2 Zero Hunger.

Who can apply?

Foodathon is open to interested individuals who want to solve food crisis during this pandemic. The participants must be between 18 to 35 years old. They shall demonstrate interest, knowledge or experience in the field of the Foodathon and be passionate about agriculture and innovation, or have an idea that impacts food sustainability, hunger and/or poverty related to food systems development. Each team must have 2-5 members. Ideally, the team members may have following skills:

  • Agriculture/food systems development
  • Consumer behavior/ food marketing
  • Business administration
  • Service design
  • Environmental science
  •  Project management
  • Marketing/ communications
  • Social media
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Software programming

Schedule

  • 24 May 2020 – registration of the team starts
  • 06 June 2020- registration for team ends
  • 09 June 2020- announcement of the 10 selected Foodathon teams
  • 13-14 June 2020- Date of the Foodathon

Prize and benefits for the Participants

During the Foodathon, participants will be able to connect with our partners, receive support to develop their ideas, and benefit from skill set of experts from the domain.

The winner team will have a chance to win a seed money of Rs 50,000 for the implementation of the solution or idea along with mentorship. The solution or idea should be able to tackle the ongoing food crisis in Nepal. The winner will get the following benefits:

  1. 50,000 cash prize to one winner
  2. Winner token for the winning team
  3. 6 month mentorship from our mentoring partner for the theme winner (depends upon mentees/team initiative)
  4. Certificate and tokens to to the winner of each theme
  5. Networking Opportunities for all the participants
  6. All the participants receive 6 sessions on entrepreneurship and innovation with E-certificate

Ready for the challenge?

Registration and proposals will be completed in English while presentation can be done in Nepali as well as English. Projects should contribute to sustainable food production, storage and supply. The following topics might be taken into consideration when developing the idea.

  • Urban agriculture
  • Organic farming
  • Food Production
  • Growing Food
  • Food Processing
  • Food supply
  • Farmers’ access to market
  • Service design models

The projects will be judged by the criteria of:

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Impact
  • Scalability
  • Sustainability
  • Business Model
  • Design and user experience
  • Quality of the pitch