Game-changing! Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023 for Agro Innovators

Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023

This challenge is a call for solutions using climate-smart agriculture approaches to improve food production, promote better living standards, respond to climate change and lead to the efficient care of the planet’s resources within food ecosystems.

This Challenge is funded by the Ministry of Economy and Planning of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and supported by Barka Fund, Cacao Capital, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution KSA, Efeca, Federation of Saudi Chambers KSA, Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, KSA, NEOM, Nestlé, Roots Ventures, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), World Food Forum (facilitated by FAO)

Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023

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Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023

Driving innovations using climate-smart agriculture approaches to improve lives

Communities and farmers are at the forefront of the severe effects of climate change, which is increasingly impacting food production and consumption. Drought, extended desertification, land degradation, unreliable rainfall, heavy flooding, stronger storms and extreme temperatures are all increasing in frequency. This combination of issues is disrupting people’s ability to grow food and eat a safe and healthy diet, while forcing them into economic distress, as their primary income stream, mostly crops and harvests, is threatened by climate fluctuations.

At the same time, it is essential to acknowledge the role agriculture has played in the escalation of these extreme weather events. The industry is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions and has led to extensive deforestation. Agriculture also requires large amounts of land, water, energy and often, chemicals. 

The Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge is calling for innovations that champion the ability of farmers and people working within land and food systems to use climate-smart agriculture approaches. These solutions will provide a more secure and sustainable food present and future, while helping people adapt to the effects of climate change and incentivizing resilient solutions.

The challenge also focuses on innovations from the agricultural sector which produce food that protects and replenishes the planet and helps to capture carbon or keep it in the ground. We welcome both low and high-tech innovations that engage local communities and use Indigenous or ancestral approaches.

The focus areas of this challenge include:

1. Knowledge, skills and education

2. Resource efficiency and sustainability

3. Inclusive technology

4. Innovative financing

 Selection criteria for the Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023

  • Business model: for-profit start-ups, social enterprises and small and mid-sized enterprises that have already received capital/funding and are ready to / or are already generating revenue with a sustainable funding model and hybrid organizations. Not-for-profit organizations with a clearly defined, income-generating project may be considered.  
  • Stage: beyond the ideation and prototype phase and demonstrating the potential to scale and achieve long-term financial viability, impact, and sustainability. UpLink Top Innovators have typically reached the pilot to growth/scale phase of their operations.  
  • Management team: committed, diverse and values driven management team with demonstrated execution capabilities. 
  • Female-leadership: we encourage female-founded solutions to apply, where women are founders, co-founders or leading in chief executive roles.
  • Geographic scope: submissions from across the globe that are scalable in their local contexts and potentially replicable in different parts of the world.
  • Socio-economic impact: submissions should deliver economic impact through improved incomes and inclusion of agricultural farmers and communities.
  • Environmental impact: the nexus of food, water and energy is considered, and submissions should foster biodiversity, soil health and nutrients, trees, and promote zero-emissions and carbon capture.
  • A just rural transition: where farmers are considered and engaged throughout supply chains.
  • Partnerships: collaboration and community within local, national, and global stakeholders to grow and expand the solutions, and potentially collaborate with R&D.
  • Innovation and replicability: innovative and unusual solutions are welcome however, they should be replicable in other challenging contexts or serve as a stepping-stone for food systems transformation while protecting the environment.
  • Investable: demonstrate a clear track record of investability (having previously raised investment, participated in accelerators or an entrepreneurship fellowship, are grantees, award recipients, high-level speaking engagements, or announced partnerships with credible entities).
  • Focus areas, impact and quality: applications must include how the solution is working on selected focus areas, and its current and forecasted impact with the organization’s growth.

Benefits for selected Top Innovators

Between 10-15 submissions will be selected as Top Innovators and become part of the UpLink Innovation Network, a curated programme designed for Founders, CEOs, or Executive Directors, which provides: 

  • Access: opportunity to participate in selected World Economic Forum and partner-led events, projects and communities.
  • Visibility: global exposure via the Forum’s and UpLink’s digital media channels.
  • Connections: strategic introductions to selected organizations in the Forum’s and UpLink’s network.
  • Targeted Support: including programming and support on technical, business and operational matters.
  • Award: eligibility for a portion of a monetary award by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Challenge timeline 2023 

  • 28 June: challenge launch
  • 28 June – 10 August: open for submissions
  • 10 August – September: review and selection process; shortlisted applications may be asked for additional supporting documents
  • 17 October: announcement of the winning Top Innovators at the World Food Forum during the week of World Food Day in Rome, Italy

Apply Here for the Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023

Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023
Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023

Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge 2023

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