Hack-a-farm Innovation Camp 2016: Living with Farmers while Building Agriculture Technologies

November 26, 2016 - News

Agriculture is an important sector in Indonesia, and the decreased number of the next generation in the industry has caught the attention of many. Based on those concerns and farmers’ increasing vulnerability caused climate change, Hackafarm Innovation Camp 2016 was held in Yogyakarta on 7 – 11 November 2016.

This event consisted of a live in arrangement in farmers’ homes in Planden village, Sleman, and a 36 hour non-stop farm hackathon in Kulonprogo. In collaboration with Agradaya and Indmira, these activities were held by alumni of the Foreign Ministry scholarships in the US. There were also other sponsors, such as AgriProFocus, Kecipir, Mertani, Limakilo, Atnic, Siramin, Sekolah Tani Muda, Wikikopi, Sikumis, Mobileforce, Domainesia, etc.

With a vision to become a place for discussions from every player in the agriculture industry, Hackafarm also invited 40 participants consisting students from Padang, Bandung, Depok, Bogor, and Yogyakarta. The invitees were selected based on evaluations of the technological sides of their proposed ideas in two stages: by the organizing committee and expert partners.

The materials for activities in Planden were practices from local farmers as well as from Young Farmers of Yogyakarta. Understanding local foods was an important issue during this series of events. In one of the activities, they visited rice fields with the head of the local federation of farmers association along with students from a nearby agricultural vocational high school.

After the education series, the farm hackathon took place in Dolandeso village, Boro, Kulonprogo. Participants were challenged to build an appropriate farming technology in 36 hours. With limited resources and internet access, they had to present their innovations to a five member jury consisting of an agribusiness practitioner, a university professor, a farmer, and environmentalists.

Three teams won the competition. The first place was Amazing Agriculture team from Yogyakarta with their innovation on vanilla post harvesting process. Teknotani team from Yogyakarta took the second place with their audio based mouse repellent. Alpha Team from Bandung was awarded the third place with their smart irrigation distribution method along with harvest sharing among farmers. These winners won cash from the US embassy and the chance to have their innovations tested. The winners would have the opportunity to start pilot projects with seed funding from Indmira for six months.

After Indonesia, Hackafarm would take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, in December 2016.

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