Hey Readers!

A lot has been going on with Tech4agri.  As you may remember late last year we did a survey for our upcoming projects which you responded to and give great positive feedback. So we are working hard on getting these projects together!

Fortunately we were able to launch Tech4agri: the Podcast last February but we unfortunately did not get another episode out..until now! Introducing out first episode: Thought4Food!


Firstly, apologies in advance for the poor audio in some parts. We’re new to podcasting and just jumped right in so we are learning by doing.

This episode focuses on the threat of world hunger which many are unaware of. Our population will become significantly larger than it is now in just a few years.

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Nothing but inspiration: #tffsummit

#TFFSummit Top Left: The women that change the world, Top Right: Winners Team Innovision, Bottom Left: Runner up Team FoPo, Bottom Right: winners of the special prize and runner up, Team Aahaar. Photos Courtesy Thought for Food

#TFFSummit Top Left: The women that change the world, Top Right: Winners Team Innovision, Bottom Left: Runner up Team FoPo, Bottom Right: winners of the special prize and runner up, Team Aahaar. Photos Courtesy Thought for Food

And the winners are…

Team Innovision! You can see the shock and amazement on their faces having won the 2014 Thought for Food Challenge. Surprise was in store as there was not one, but two runner ups each winning a prize, Team FoPo and Team Aahar. The latter team took home an extra prize provided by The Kirchner Group Food Fellows making them double winners! Congratulations all around! During the event Tech4agri live tweeted and by the end of the finalists’ pitches, no one know who would be the winner. The judges needed extra time in fact to give an answer. Only then do you see how they came to their decision. Each team winning had a direct and immediate impact in reducing food waste by the billions of dollars in addition to measured social impact

Humble thoughts on winning strategies

Team Innovision developed a solar-powered micro-climate chamber for small scale farmers that increases shelf life of fruits and vegetables using an evaporation cooling system. What clearly stood out was the invention’s low cost as an affordable substitute for refrigeration to reduce food loss in developing countries, the overall contribution to food security and its potential to remove the use of a poisonous fruit and vegetable preservative used in their home country.

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Tech4food: Why was that invented? 

An endless stream of inventions and products are created everyday all hoping to get a piece of both my pocket and yours. Interestingly enough sometimes whether we need it or not we just have to have that one thing; that one item that we trick ourselves into thinking we will die without. A perfect example lies in one trend, earlier this year among many young people: the mobile charger.

I admit it.

When I first learned of it I truly wanted the device. It’s mobile, holds a long charge and most importantly it held the promise to bring life back to our precious phones, tablets and the like. But how is this device, that I so desperately wanted hold power….via USB connected to an outlet or computer. Yes, the mobile charger had to be charged.

Isn’t that what we must do for our phones in any case? Its only novelty is the aspect of mobility. However if power for our mobiles at any time is what we seek, why not use a solar powered charger? As a result what I so desperately needed simply vanished at the prospect of a more impactful device. So why was the mobile charger invented?

You be the judge. Here are some food technologies that poses the question to you. Is it useful? Does the design strike at you? Would you buy these inventions for your household?

Going bad or still good: Edible Sensors

FastCompany.com reports on Hu “Tiger” Tao, a post-doctoral student at Tufts University in Massachusetts, who since 2013, has been working on a chewable sensor made from silk.

Image courtesy: wanderlustmind.com

Image courtesy: wanderlustmind.com

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“Made in Agriculture: Part Two”

Readers, Do you remember these posts?

These are all posts made over a year ago on the tech4agri blog. At the time they were all ideas or in the testing stage of their design and intended implementation. Other items along with the aforementioned were simply conceptual but has the potential for great impact. Let’s have a brief recap of these technologies. Have they been updated?

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Tech4agri would not be the same without a constant update of the latest technological applications which can be found in today’s world. As we all know mobile applications lead the way in development making it’s way into every field imaginable. For developing countries this maybe a setback as although mobile phone penetration is widespread and commonplace, the network infrastructure necessary to physically utilize mobile apps may not be as up to date as it should be.

However, there is certainly no harm in being aware of what exists. In addition there are many other outlets that can be of use almost anywhere. Simple databases and other online resources such as tech4agri itself is readily available. Here is your update on what’s out there:

Apps Resource and more 1

The Leftover swap app

Leftover Swap is an application that seeks to reduce food wastage. In many developed countries large portions of food are served at all types of food outlets. However much of it is thrown away going to wast. “The app. that is expected to launch later this month. will let users barter or give away their unwanted restaurant remainders. Users who don’t want their leftovers will snap a photo of their food and post it to the app, then anyone in the area can arrange a pick up or delivery.” At the same time it brings a social aspect to food exchange in that you are able to meet potential “food takers and food givers” through the development of a community. One major red flag that I have observed is the issue of health and food safety. Only time will tell how the creators of this app will tackle this issue.

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The 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship which is hosted by the South African government (Department of Science and Technology) was  held in East London, South Africa, from 28 – 30 May, 2013.The Global Forum attracts around 500 – 600 business incubator managers, policy-makers, SME entrepreneurs, financiers and development agencies from all continents for a unique networking and knowledge-sharing experience. The Global Forum contributes to the “know-how” and the “know-who” in the global innovation and entrepreneurship community. Participants come to the event to be exposed to new business models, ideas and methodologies, as well as to meet people with similar interests in other countries and other industries and to explore partnerships and capacity-building opportunities.”

Global Forum

Snippets of the 5th Global Forum for Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship, East London South Africa

Fortunately thanks to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation’s ARDYIS project (Agriculture Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society), tech4agri was able to attend this event along with representative of Agricinghana (The agricinghana blog seeks to highlight issues on agricultural development in Ghana and in the sub-region) were able to attend this event learning a lot in the realm of entrepreneurship and on how to ensure a business’s success. Here’s the gist of what we learned!

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