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Call for Applications: CGIAR’s 2019 Inspire Challenge

APPLY NOW: CGIAR’s 2019 Inspire Challenge awarding up to 750,000 USD for innovative big data solutions that transform lives of smallholder farmers

The 2019 launch of CGIAR’s Inspire Challenge is great news for innovators looking to transform the agriculture sector, with smallholder farmers in the lead.

The CGIAR Inspire Challenge is the innovation process of the Platform for Big Data in Agriculture and seeks to source and foster new solutions for digital agriculture in developing economies.

Data is much more than simply information: in expert hands, it is intelligence.

Global agriculture is increasingly driven by data. Advances in computing power, data storage, and data communications over the last 30 years have given rise to powerful tools for helping make farming and food systems more precise, profitable, and adaptive. Newer digital innovations — including machine learning, the expansion of connected sensor technologies, and robotics — promise more dramatic changes in the farming landscape in the near future.

However, digital agriculture worldwide has not realized its full potential. Despite very active promotion from industry, to date, the real rates of adoption of precision agriculture have been slow in most industrialized economies, where market offerings tend to favor large farms or high-value specialty crops. Farmers, and those who serve them, must navigate an array of competing standards for equipment and services. Farm data ownership and, as a result, the best way forward for the free flow of data, remains unclear.