Bangladesh’s Sameen Alam and team win TYF Finale with ‘Agrimatch’
DHAKA, May 29 (NsNewsWire) –AgriMatch, a mobile application that uses geolocation to connect farmers to middlemen and vice versa, has won the Telenor Youth Forum 2018-2019 Finale. The app was developed to target inequalities in the rice supply chain in Asia. The winning team of youth delegates also won a USD 15,000 in seed funding to implement their idea. A delegate from the winning team Sameen Alam was from Bangladesh.
The Telenor Youth Forum’s 2018-2019 program concluded at the headquarters of Telenor’s Bangkok operations dtac on 28 May 2019. Delegations comprising of 16 young leaders from eight nations, including Bangladesh, pitched four services to Telenor Group and dtac leadership. Judges included dtac CEO Alexandra Reich, Telenor Group Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Ana Karin Kvam, and experts from Plan International, UNICEF and the Nobel Peace Centre.
Telenor Youth Forum kicked off during the Nobel Peace Prize week in Oslo in December 2018, where the 16 delegates, aged 20-28 from different Telenor markets, were split into four teams, each with a health-related challenge to solve – clean water, sustainable agriculture, elderly population, and mental health. From that point onwards, the delegates worked to develop their ideas, conduct user research and prototype their services, leading them to the Bangkok finale.
The multi-national winning AgriMatch team consisted of Sameen Alam, Bangladesh; Rachel Loh, Malaysia; Emilie Udnæs, Norway; and Ingrid Rasmussen, Denmark. The team was mentored by Telenor Research VP, Ieva Martinkenaite. This is for the second time in a row a Bangladeshi TYF delegate represented the team that clinched the title. Last year Myat Moe Khaing and her team, mentored by Grameenphone CEO, Michael Foley, won the same title around their project “Decent Working Conditions for All.”
The team’s challenge was to design a digital solution to optimize or increase the sustainability of food production, ultimately contributing towards reduced inequalities in global health. Through this mobile application, farmers and middlemen will soon be able find, contact and rate each other through the AgriMatch mobile platform. 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.
The AgriMatch team aims to pilot their service in Myanmar where, according to a 2019 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, more than 70 percent of the population rely on agriculture as their primary source of income.
Telenor Group EVP and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Anne Kvam stated, “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.”
The other three services pitched to the jury include a digital solution to reduce stigma around mental health; a digital portal to optimize access to clean water and sanitation, and a platform for older generations to share skills with younger ones.
Telenor Youth Forum is a global platform built upon the idea of bright minds working together to reduce inequalities. In collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center, the forum brings together young leaders from around the world to develop digital solutions that empower societies. Out of more than 5,000 global applicants around 1600 applications were from the youth of Bangladesh. The challenge to applicants was to propose a digital solution that would help reduce inequalities. Sameen Alam and Saima Rahman, two of the brightest minds from IBA, University of Dhaka, ranked top and represented Bangladesh in the Oslo forum last December.