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AgTech startup, Coating+ Nigeria  has won the grand prize of the 2018 Thought For Food Challenge 2018 held recently in Rio de Janeiro between July 23 and 27, 2018. The startup which beat 9 other startups was rewarded with $10k for emerging winner 

The startup provides a safe coating for plants and vegetables that elongates their shelf life, preserves nutrient quality, and enables post-harvest food storage. Other winners are runner-up: Safi Organics (Kenya), Kirchner Fund the Food Prize: Aeropowder (UK), the Norman Borlaug Foundation “Take it to the Farmer” Prize: SunRice (Malaysia & UK).

The annual Thought For Food (TFF) Challenge is a global “collaborative competition” to launch promising new ideas that address how we will feed and nourish our growing global population.

To date, TFF has contributed to the creation of 40 new social-impact startups in key areas like nutrition, synthetic biology, vertical farming, logistics, new proteins, big data and appropriate tech for smallholders.

Below are the 10 finalists that pitched:

  • AEROPOWDER (UK) – A biodegradable replacement for polystyrene used in food packaging made from the poultry industry’s surplus feathers.
  • Coating+ (Nigeria) – A safe coating for plants and vegetables that extends their shelf life, preserves nutrient quality and enables post-harvest food storage.
  • Group Nutricandies (Brazil) – A vegetable-based, highly nutritious, chocolate-flavoured food product that is sourced from smallholder farmers.
  • IoT Water Control Management (Jordan and Brazil) – A water quality monitoring system specifically developed for refugee camps and areas with limited water access.
  • Laticin (Brazil) – An artificial intelligence based software for dairy management, designed to optimize the entire value chain through predictive analytics.
  • Likabs Food (Ghana) – A franchise-based model that empowers smallholder farmers to safely farm snails, providing an alternative income stream and improving nutritional access.
  • RiseHarvest (Australia) – A digital extension service that provides site-specific nitrogen fertilizer recommendations for smallholder farmers in Southeast Asia.
  • Safi Sarvi (Kenya and USA) – A village-level fertilizer production system that delivers local access to high-quality fertilizer.
  • SunRice (Malaysia and UK) – A passive-solar grain drying service with guaranteed market purchases for the subsequently higher-value grain.
  • Sweetpot Yoghurt (Ghana) – Yogurt that is naturally fortified with vitamin A and dietary fibres from nutritious orange sweet potatoes.
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Musa Suleiman
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