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Maura Maxwell

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First global soil-to-shelf agtech company launched

Blooom harnesses the power of technology to lift smallholder farmers out of poverty

First global soil-to-shelf agtech company launched

Krisha Mishra and Patrick Struebi

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Two agricultural social entrepreneurs have launched an ambitious joint venture to tackle the dual challenges of global food security and smallholder farmer poverty through technology.

Unveiled at last September’s World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York, Blooom is described by its cofounders Patrick Struebi and Krishna Mishra as the first global soil-to-shelf Agtech company.

Combining development expertise with the latest technology, Blooom seeks to democratise the future of farming by connecting smallholder farmers to cutting-edge information, finance and markets.

Using a smart farming algorithm, Blooom’s app provides dynamic crop, weather and market inputs tailored to local needs, enabling smallholders to perform precision agriculture on the smallest plot of land—anywhere in the world—lifting livelihoods and increasing food security.

Mishra and Struebi met through Ashoka, the global network of social entrepreneurs founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, whose mission is “to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world’s citizens to think and act as change-makers”.

Both men have an impeccable pedigree when it comes to empowering smallholder farmers: Struebi as founder of Fairtrasa, whose three-tier farmer development model has helped lift thousands of farmers in Latin America out of poverty, and Mishra as the founder of eKutir Agriculture, a for-profit social enterprise group that provides economically sustainable solutions anchored with technology, micro-entrepreneurship, and community engagement.

“eKutir, shares the same mission and does similar farmer development work to Fairtrasa,” says Struebi. “Our belief is that combining both networks – Fairtrasa’s global market access and eKutir’s cutting-edge technology – we can build a truly sustainable, end-to-end solution that will lift millions of smallholder farmers out of poverty and contribute significantly to addressing the global food security challenge.”

Mishra and Struebi met through Ashoka, the global network of social entrepreneurs founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, whose mission is “to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world’s citizens to think and act as change-makers”.

Mishra credits Ashoka for enabling the partnership. “Ashoka is like family to me. When I became an Ashoka Fellow in 2012, my objective was to tap into the Ashoka network – we must co-create and innovate if we’re going to spread solutions and impact the most people,” he said.

Blooom already counts on the support of Ashoka fellow Daniel Ross and Mishra and Struebi say they are seeking further collaborators from within the network.

There is certainly no denying the scale of their ambition. “We have created a compelling solution that will significantly contribute to meeting the ambitious 2030 UN Sustainable Developmentn Goals," Struebi says. “We are combining networks, experiences and know-how to create a global company that addresses a global challenge.”

 

 

 

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