The AgriTech4Morocco Innovation Challenge is seeking motivated innovators driven by a passion for positively disrupting Morocco’s agriculture and food sectors through the next generation of agtech. Applicants should submit innovations of a product or service (technology, methodology, practice) at a proof-of-concept or minimum-viable-product stage and must address at least one of the pre-selected priority areas including climate risk adaptation, value chains efficiency, capacity building, financial services, and market traceability and transparency. Candidates must submit their applications online through the dedicated portal.
The AgriTech4Morocco Innovation Challenge is an initiative organized by the CGIAR Accelerate Impact Platform and IMPACT Lab with the support of the World Bank and Trust Fund Digital Development Partnership, and in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests (MAPMDREF), and le Pole d’Agriculture Digital (PAD).
During the kick-off event held on Wednesday 30 March, organizers and partners announced open the call for ground-breaking solutions aimed at responding to the pressing challenges impacting the Moroccan agri-food sector. Public sector players, scientists, and business experts convened to shed light on the need to foster effective linkages between pioneering research, technology, and entrepreneurship to create a supportive ecosystem for innovation in the agri-food sector. Panelists also highlighted the strong commitment demonstrated from the Moroccan public and private sector to modernize the agriculture sector with the latest technological developments.
“Nowadays, there is an emerging class of enthusiastic young entrepreneurs that are reframing the sector with futuristic, highly technological, and sophisticated solutions that we aim to scout and support though scientific, financial and access to market,” says Gianpiero Menza, Senior Partnerships and Innovative Finance Officer at CGIAR.
The launch of the Agritech4Morocco Challenge follows the Moroccan government’s introduction of the “Generation Green 2020-2030 Strategy” in February of 2020. The new strategic plan marks a shift in the way Morocco envisions its agricultural development, by integrating the enhancement of human factor expertise and the adoption of new technologies and digitalized agricultural services.
“The opportunities offered by digital technologies enable the modernization of the whole agriculture value chains by: (i) moving production towards precision farming, responding to the imperatives of productivity increase as well to the challenges posed by climate changes; (ii) creating new and quality jobs upstream and downstream the primary production; and (iii) adding value to the production through better marketing, quality control, traceability, etc. The World Bank is excited to support Morocco in this ambitious program,” stated Rémi Trier, Senior Agricultural Specialist, from the Agriculture and Food Global Practice at the World Bank.
In this context, the AgriTech4Morocco Innovation Challenge targets new agtech solutions that seek to enhance efficiency, equity, and environmental sustainability for Morocco while aligning with the Generation Green Strategy.
“The organization of the AgriTech4Morocco Innovation Challenge demonstrates the engagement of the World Bank to support the declination of the axes of the new Generation Green 2020-2030 Strategy mainly that this strategy aims at creating a new generation of young entrepreneurs in the rural area and providing digitals e-services for 2 million connected farmers by 2030,” states Majid Lahlou, Directorate of Information Systems at MAPMDREF.
What To Expect
Following the one-month call for applications, the 20 innovations teams will be invited to participate in a three-day intensive bootcamp. With the support of CGIAR scientists and IMPACT Lab experts, innovators will develop entrepreneurship tools and work towards building a solid pitch deck through keynotes, mentoring sessions, and masterclasses. On Day 3, innovations teams will pitch their solutions in front of a jury of sector experts who will select the 10 finalists and admit them to the next phase.
The top 10 applicants will be granted free access to a ten-week Acceleration Program during which they will be guided with operational support to consolidate the foundations of their innovations, network with industry advisors, and fundraise for their solutions’ next steps. The Acceleration Program will close in July 2022 with the Demo Day where finalists will pitch their solutions in front of investors and relevant stakeholders and receive post- acceleration support.
Spread the Word
CGIAR, the World Bank, IMPACT Lab, and its partners call on innovators with agtech solutions designed to improve Morocco’s agri-food landscape to apply by Sunday May 1, 2022, at 21:59 GMT/23:59 CET.
Learn more about the eligibility criteria, how to apply, and benefits at http://agritechchallenge.org/morocco.