Student teams from the Asian Institute of Management and Nueva Vizcaya State University emerged as finalists during the Luzon Demo Day of the Innovation Olympics 2.0 held online on December 19, 2020. Each finalist will receive PHP 100,000 seed money to be used in implementing their projects, and they will advance to the next round of the agri-hackathon for a chance to win PHP 200,000 in cash.

Team Farm Journal Using Analytics and Networks (FarmJUAN) is composed of Earwin Belen, Carlo Tansuk, Kit Sumabat, Arvi Ubaldo, who are all students of the Asian Institute of Management taking up Master of Science in Innovation and Business.

According to Earwin Belen of FarmJUAN, many smallholder farmers face productivity and quality problems that can result in more costs, lower profits, and even losses.

Without proper information, farmers may not be able to increase the efficiency of their farm inputs and increase their farm productivity, added Belen.

FarmJUAN aims to develop a farm management system that can give farmers access to data for better farm production, provide quality monitoring based on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and improve their agricultural marketing.

We will provide end-to-end solutions that empower farmers and consumers by leveraging IoT sensors, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to monitor, detect and trace vegetables at the farm level, shared Belen.

The system will also link farmers to a licensed agriculturist that can provide prescriptions to the farmers based on the data from the system. Team FarmJUAN envisions the system to help increase marketable yields and farmgate prices and lower production costs for farmers.

There are thousands of small-scale vegetable farmers who can benefit from having access to affordable, reliable, and accurate data to increase their yield and profitability, said Belen.

Also qualifying for the final round of Innovation Olympics 2.0 is Team Automated Irrigation and Nutrient Management System (AIRIN) composed of Myka Fragata, Maricel Farro, Jaime Hapicio who are all students from the Nueva Vizcaya State University. Farro and Santos are taking up Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, while Fragata is taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education-General Sciences.

One of the farmers’ biggest frustrations is irrigating crops especially during the dry season. It can take some farmers 3 days and 2 nights to finish irrigating 1 hectare of crops, said Myka Fragata.

Aside from proper irrigation, soil health is also a foundation for higher crop yields yet some farmers can only test once a year because manual testing can be expensive and doing it takes time away from other farm duties, added Fragata.

We want to create a sure system where farmers will not struggle in irrigation, fertilizer and pesticide application, because they can control their farm operations just through SMS, shared Fragata.

Added Fragata, With AIRIN, our farmers can get a synergistic system with soil sensors that can measure the soil’s current moisture, pH, salinity, temperature, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium content, a water level sensor to know the availability of water from the source remotely, a communication system that can log all these data and send real-time updates and recommendations to farmers to ensure healthy soils and increase crop yield, and a solar-powered irrigation system that can water up to 15m deep and deliver up to 1000 liter per hour.

Before the Luzon Demo Day, the two finalists, together with nine other student teams, underwent a 3-day hackathon with Design Thinking Expert Carlo Valencia. In the hackathon, they were able to refine their ideas through the concepts of Design Thinking.

In the coming months, Team FarmJUAN and Team AIRIN will be implementing their projects together with their mentors. They will present their results and compete against finalists from Visayas and Mindanao at the Innovation Olympics 2.0 National Demo Day in June 2021.

Innovation Olympics 2.0 is a collaborative project among East-West Seed,Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) , Sensient Colors LLC, University of the Philippines – Los Banos (UPLB), UPLB Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (UPLB-TTBDO), UPLB Startup Innovation and Business Opportunity Linkaging Labs (SIBOL Labs), and APEX: The UPLB Business Network.

For more information about the Innovation Olympics 2.02, visit fb.com/InnovationOlympics.