The difficulties facing the global food and agricultural system are vast: in 2019, there were more than 820 million chronically undernourished people in the world, up from 811 million in the previous year. The Covid-19 pandemic has only compounded this. Addressing these era-defining issues will require new technological solutions.
To tackle this problem, Japfa, one of Asia’s largest agrifood companies, is partnering with GROW, Southeast Asia’s impact-focused agrifoodtech accelerator backed by AgFunder. Together, they are launching a new challenge aimed at adopting technology to drive improvements in animal feed, farming, processing, and food across five protein groups: poultry, aquaculture, swine, beef, and dairy.
[Disclosure: GROW is backed by AgFunder, which is AFN‘s parent company.]
Since 1971, Japfa has been feeding emerging Asia with nutritious, safe, and affordable proteins through an integrated, industrialized approach to farming that leverages technology and innovation.
With this year marking Japfa’s 50th anniversary, the company is today unveiling Japfa Feeds the Future in partnership with GROW. With this initiative, Japfa will help innovative ideas grow into viable solutions that improve the nutrition of billions of people, creating an ecosystem where all stakeholders collaborate to address some of the most pressing challenges in Asia’s livestock industry.
“We strongly believe that to advance in our industry, innovation is key. It’s how we grew from a single poultry feed mill in Indonesia to one of the leading protein producers in Asia, and it’s how we will continue to grow and play our part in improving the nutrition of millions of people in the region,” says Tan Yong Nang, CEO, Japfa.
“We are pleased to partner with GROW in launching this challenge on the occasion of our 50th anniversary. On the back of our value of ‘Growing Towards Mutual Prosperity,’ we believe in creating opportunities for startups to implement solutions that can advance the agrifood industry and ultimately benefit the entire community.”
Japfa Feeds the Future gives agtech and foodtech startups from around the world a rare opportunity to partner with an industry leader that has an established presence in five of Asia’s fastest growing markets: Indonesia, China, India, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Moreover, Japfa’s expansive range of farming operations offers a multitude of pilot project options for the winning teams to adapt and refine their solutions and expand into Asia.
Shortlisted finalists will be invited to a virtual event where they will pitch directly to a panel of key Japfa decision makers. The winner will be awarded pilot projects with Japfa to adapt and test the feasibility of their solutions. Further prizes will be announced on the day – including possible investment by Japfa and its associates, and acceleration opportunities with GROW.
Japfa Feeds the Future is open to later stage scale-up ventures, earlier stage startups with at least a proven MVP, and R&D teams with mature technologies. Applicants must offer a scalable solution relevant to one or more of seven focus areas:
- Animal feed tech
- Animal health and biotech
- Smart and digital farm management
- Smallholder farmers
- Supply chain and logistics
- Automation and data
- Downstream protein product development.
Applicants must be focused on solving Asia-related agrifood problems.
As a leading agrifood company, Japfa can help innovative ideas grow into viable solutions by providing access to its farms, people, business infrastructure, and competences to run pilots. It can also contribute expertise to support the teams, raise their visibility, help them prove their solutions’ commercial value to increase investability, and generate awareness among younger generations on the importance of building a secure yet affordable food system for the benefit of Asia.