Virtual hackathon calls for Filipinos–especially the youth–to address agricultural difficulties through innovation and collaboration

The Rotary Club of Makati, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Bay, Rotaract Club of Makati, and the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP), launched their first online hackathon titled Hack4Food: Agriculture and Food Innovation Challenge 2022.

The organization invites everyone, particularly the Filipino youth, to participate in the week-long event and propose innovative solutions or tools that can help combat the ongoing issues in the agriculture industry.

Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Makati.

“There is a lot of work to be done in agriculture,” said Jose Ramon ‘Bom’ Villatuya, the chairman of the Hack4Food program, during the launch. 

In his speech, he underlined the Department of Agriculture’s four major pillars in reforming Philippine agriculture: consolidation, modernization, industrialization, and professionalization. 

Villatuya said, “Agriculture is not exempted from the need to innovate its processes to generate sustainable economic gains. Among many things, it needs new infrastructure investments, system mechanization, and digital agriculture.

“The logistical flow of agricultural produce from farm to consumer will be critical in ensuring predictability of price and folio. An improved national agriculture logistic system will speed up and reduce transport and distribution costs from production to consumption areas.”

He continued, “The active population of farmers and fisherfolk are entering senior citizenship. There needs to be a transition to a new younger generation of crop and fisheries leaders, scientists, and researchers. The road to agricultural progress is long and hard, but with ‘hack for food,’ we can be part of the solution sooner than later.”

Image by tgorter from Pixabay.

Mechanics of the competition

The contest is open to people of all ages, but it especially encourages the youth to join. Participants must also be Filipino citizens.

Business or value chain models, mobile applications (technology and/or digital farming apps), analytical farming tools, and innovative farming methodology are just a few examples of what participants can create.

Those who are interested in competing can do so in groups of two to five or alone. The winners will get P50,000 for first place, P30,000 for second place, and P20,000 for third place.

The deadline for registration is on February 26, 2022. The submission guidelines will be provided to registered participants on the same day, and the deadline for submitting their ideas or projects will be a week later.

With the human population on the rise, everyone's role in ensuring food security and sustainability is critical. 

Through initiatives like this, everyone gets the chance to contribute to the growth of the Philippine agriculture sector, even remotely. 

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