Making news

Winners of Mekong Agritech Challenge announced

Three early stage startups from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, and three more mature teams originating from outside the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) have won prizes in the Mekong Agritech Challenge (MATCh).

The first prize went to Cricket One (Vietnam) with sustainable and affordable protein product from crickets and AgUnity (Australia) with a blockchain platform that helps farmers share resources.

The second prize winners are KIU Global (operating in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam), which provides a financial technology solution offering agricultural businesses access to credit, and Verifik8 (Thailand) with software that connects producers and buyers and helps improve performance in the agrifood supply chain.

Meanwhile, the third prize belongs to TunYat (Myanmar) and Enzootic, Ltd. (Israel and Hong Kong, China). While TunYat offers a rental solution that gives smallholder farmers access to larger machinery, Enzootic, Ltd. provides a cell transplantation technology for shrimp farming that yields all female shrimp producing more product with less losses.

The six MATCh winners presented outstanding technology solutions with high potential to advance agriculture in the GMS. Aside from prizes ranging from 2,000 – 5,000 USD equivalent, they will also receive ongoing mentorship and training and will compete in the Singapore-based Future Food Asia Award Competition.

Earlier, 22 teams visited Hanoi to pitch their technologies and solutions to a panel of industry experts and investors. They were from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam as well as Australia, China, India, Israel, the Netherlands, and Thailand. The teams also participated in business matching, one-on-one meeting with mentors, and farm tours.

Connor McGuinness, Regional Programme Manager, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said: “Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam all share deep agrarian legacies, and while these economies are diversifying, agriculture still has so much to offer as an engine of economic growth.”

MATCh was co-organised by the Mekong Business Initiative, the Future Food Asia, and the GMS Core Agriculture Support Programmes, with funding and support from the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

MATCh supports startups in agriculture to develop products, network and learn from industry players, showcase their solutions, and access markets and funding. It is aimed at agritech and traditional agriculture businesses with innovative and scalable solutions for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The Challenge has tracks for businesses from inside and outside the GMS. MATCh will be powered by the MATCh Alliance, consisting of key regional and local players in the agribusiness innovation ecosystem.