Malaysia's Rachel Loh and team win the Telenor Youth Forum 2018-2019 cycle
By Digital News Asia June 4, 2019
- Team receives US$15,000 in seed funding
- Aims to pilot their service in Myanmar
TARGETING inequalities in the agri-value chain in Asia, the team of youth delegates behind AgriMatch, a mobile application that uses geolocation to connect farmers to middlemen and vice versa, has won the Telenor Youth Forum 2018-2019 cycle and US$15,000 (RM63,000.00) in seed funding.
Farmers and middlemen will soon be able to find, contact and rate each other through the AgriMatch mobile platform, if the winning Telenor Youth Forum team has their way. Following six months of intense development work and remote collaboration spread across four nations, the team has won the Telenor Youth Forum for their mobile service to equalise the agricultural supply chain and empower farmers currently in a vicious cycle of debt and poverty.
Made up of Sameen Alam from Bangladesh, Emilie Udnæs from Norway, Ingrid Rasmussen from Denmark and led by Rachel Loh from Malaysia, the team’s challenge was to design a digital solution to optimise or increase sustainability of food production, ultimately contributing reduced inequalities in global health.
AgriMatch aims to pilot their service in Myanmar where more than 70% of the population relies on agriculture as their primary source of income, according to a 2019 Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report.
They will continue their ongoing collaboration with Network Activities Group (NAG) Myanmar, helping to advance the agenda of the Good Agricultural Practices certification which promotes sustainable agriculture for the people and the environment.
Loh, team lead behind AgriMatch, said, “Through our research, we found that farmers are stuck in a vicious cycle of debt and productivity which leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. Once farmers have harvested their crop, they are limited to a number of middlemen and millers who hold power over prices in the industry.
“We hope that with our diverse background and experiences in agriculture, social entrepreneurship, engineering and anthropology, we can turn this winning opportunity into a chance to deliver a sustainable solution that will bring meaningful impact to the farmers and reduce inequalities.”
Digi head of Sustainability, Philip Ling said, “We are very proud of Rachel and her team and their dedication in working towards solutions that will further improve the lives of those around them. We hope that Rachel will be able to bring her experience and ideas to impact more people and that the winning grant will further support her journey to create societal change around the world.”
The other three services pitched to the jury include a digital solution to reduce stigma around mental health; a digital portal to optimise access to clean water and sanitation; and a platform for older generations to share skills with younger ones.
Out of more than 5,000 applicants, 16 delegates aged 20-28 were selected to represent their countries in the 2018-2019 programme. Malaysia was represented at this year’s forum by Loh and Felicia Yoon, one of the co-founders of social enterprise Arus Education.
The Telenor Youth Forum’s 2018-2019 programme concluded at the dtac headquarters in Bangkok, where the delegation of 16 young leaders from eight nations pitched their four services to Telenor Group and dtac leadership, including dtac chief executive officer Alexandra Reich, and experts from Plan International, Unicef and the Nobel Peace Centre.
“Using Telenor’s global scale, standards and our people’s expertise, we continuously work to bridge gaps in equality. This is something we also aim to do through the Telenor Youth Forum – by pairing technology with resourceful young minds coming from all of our markets. We believe strongly in AgriMatch’s potential and look forward to seeing them further develop their m-Agri solution,” said Telenor Group executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer Anne Kvam.
For an in-depth look at AgriMatch and all the Telenor Youth Forum solutions, visit tyfexhibition.com