Financial Innovations Lab on AgriTech Impact Platform (with Syngenta Foundation and Start-Up Nation Central)


On November 19, 2020 and January 14, 2021, we held two extensive workshops designing the financial model of this agritech mobilization and transfer process for smallholder farmers with colleagues from India, Europe, Israel, and the U. S. By 2050 the world’s population will grow by 2 billion – over 70% of it in Africa and Asia. It will need much more food, but the industrialized agriculture model cannot be replicated among the Small Holder Farmers (SHF) in Asia and Africa, as land consolidation is not a possibility for political, economic, and social reasons. Unless there is a solution that provides novel technological solutions to SHFs, the low productivity will keep SHFs in poverty, will create food shortages, as well as intensify their significant ecological footprint. We need the next Green Revolution to dramatically increase their productivity, provide these farmers and their countries with food security and increase the standard of living, while at the same time reducing the climate footprint of their food production.

The recent wave of technological developments in agriculture has created a significant supply of high-impact innovative technologies that can be adapted to the needs of small-scale farms. Agritech start-ups that combine small-scale delivery systems, advanced biology, sensors, data, and AI-based optimization can revolutionize SHF operations. However, smaller firms tend to focus their efforts on the developed markets, which are much easier to access, many of them are understandably hesitant to risk their future by attempting to access the harder emerging markets. As a result, the world may miss this important opportunity, and the SHFs will continue to languish in poverty.

The current proposal addresses this unsustainable situation through an establishment of a platform for bringing innovative solutions to small farmers – The Evergreen Impact Platform (EIP). We propose to create a platform that provides easy, transparent, and inexpensive access for technology firms (even small ones) to SHFs, by utilizing the existing structures and building on the accumulated experience.

The founding members of the EIP consortium: Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), Start-up Nation Central (SNC), and the Milken Innovation Center, have extensive experience in establishing access to SHFs in India and Africa, identifying relevant technologies, and working with firms to facilitate adaptation and adoption of these technologies by SHFs to address multiple Sustainable Development Goals at once.

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