Pinduoduo, China’s largest agriculture platform, has partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Zhejiang University to facilitate youth-led innovations in the agri-food system and promote digital inclusion in agriculture.
The second Global Agrilnno Challenge, co-organized by the FAO and Zhejiang University with support from the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China and Pinduoduo, attracted nearly 160 teams from over 40 countries. The competition aims at harnessing innovation, entrepreneurship and digital technologies to accelerate rural digital transformation and close the rural-urban digital divide in a holistic and sustainable manner. The results were announced on Dec. 9, 2021.
Grow For Me (GFM), a Ghana-based micro-financing provider in rural areas, took first place in the competition. EPTeck Technologies, an Internet of Things-based smart farming solution provider from Germany, placed second. A team from China, Point Grass into Gold, won third place for their innovative and sustainable idea of recycling cotton stalks.
“Youth-led innovative solutions and business models can play a critical role to unlock the potential of digitalization to end hunger and poverty,” said Mr. Khalid Bomba, Chief Innovation Officer of the FAO. “It is crucial that we encourage young people to contribute to the future of agriculture and include them in key decision-making processes as much as possible.”
Pinduoduo has supported the Global Agrilnno Challenge since its inception, as the competition’s aim of promoting young agripreneurs is in line with its goal of extending the benefits of digital agriculture to more people.
Founded in 2015, Pinduoduo is unique among China’s biggest consumer internet companies in having agriculture as the backbone of its business from the start. The company, which has devoted substantial resources to implementing technology solutions along the agriculture supply chain, has pledged to nurture and foster the talent needed in agricultural modernization.
The company initiated the Smart Agriculture Competition, an annual precision farming contest, to bring together young talent from different disciplines to develop technology for smallholder farmers. With 80% of team members in the competition finals in their 20s, the competition is emerging as a leading showcase for young agricultural talent in China. The FAO and Zhejiang university are also partners of this competition.
In August, Pinduoduo announced a “10 Billion Agriculture Initiative” that will address critical needs for the agriculture and rural sectors. The Initiative strives to facilitate the advancement of agritech, promote digital inclusion, and provide agritech talents and workers with greater motivation and a sense of achievement.
“Agriculture is an industry with great potential for young people considering a future in technology and who aspire to make an impact on society,” said Andre Zhu, Senior Vice President at Pinduoduo. “We are happy to leverage our resources to provide more opportunities for young agricultural talent across the world.”