Innovation in the service of food security

Recognized as the largest trade show dedicated to livestock and agricultural equipment in Africa, the 19th edition of Sipsa Filaha will see the launch of an innovative initiative through the organization of the SIPSA Innov’ competition.
Initiated to promote an intelligent and sustainable agriculture, the competition puts in competition talents and competences coming from various horizons (exhibitors and co-exhibitors of SIPSA-FILAHA, young researchers, academics, professionals, and managers of Start-up, farmers…).
Organised by the Filaha Foundation, this competition is the result of an initiative launched by the Filaha Innov” think tank, which brings together experts who reflect on themes related to the development of the agricultural world. The idea is based on the premise that national agriculture cannot remain on the sidelines of the technological developments that have revolutionised the world economy in recent years, sparing no sector of activity.
Agriculture has been swept along by the digital revolution and is undergoing profound changes. All over the world, new technologies have revolutionised the daily lives of farmers and the way they manage their farms.
In order to boost yields and improve product quality, farmers now use applications and intelligent solutions for the efficient management of their farms or livestock units.
In the case of Algeria, innovations, in the broadest sense, are important levers for change, adaptation and rationalisation in the face of the many challenges facing Algerian agriculture. These challenges can be summarised by the theme chosen for the 19th edition of the Sipsa Filaha exhibition, “For an intelligent agriculture facing the challenge of sustainable food and health security”.

Innovation is, in fact, an essential support for achieving the objective of food security, on the one hand, but also for enabling the emergence of an ecological agriculture providing healthy products of good nutritional quality, on the other.
Promoting the genius of Algerian researchers A meritorious initiative aimed at promoting the genius and know-how of young Algerians, the SIPSA Innov’ competition was rigorously organised. To decide between the candidates, an examination panel was set up, calling on a range of multidisciplinary skills.
In addition to independent experts and Filaha Innov’s experts, the jury is assisted by official representatives of various organisations and institutions (INRA ENSA, ENV). The evaluation criteria of the candidates take into account several predefined parameters such as: the valorisation of local resources, the efficiency and relevance at the economic level, the innovative character at the technical level, the impact on the environment and health and finally, the exportability of the project.

An undeniably positive assessment
At this stage, it should be noted that a few days before the opening of the Sipsa Filaha trade fair, which will see the designation of the winners, the results of Sipsa Innov’ are undeniably positive. The competition has indeed aroused undeniable interest among young researchers, farmers and start-up managers. Out of 42 projects submitted to the jury, 14 were selected. Following the jury’s evaluation, three innovations will be awarded a prize and a fourth project will be given a “hope” award.
During the short presentation of their projects to the jury, all the candidates showed a clear desire to be part of the innovation process and to make their contribution to the development of intelligent agriculture.
The projects concerned a wide range of processes, solutions and services… Among these, we can mention: the remote control of a farm, a hydroponic cultivation process, the valorisation of olive-growing waste, the cultivation of micro-algae (spirulina), the production of gelatin (from dromedary skin waste)…

Support and assistance to project leaders
At the end of each presentation, the members of the jury, while congratulating the candidates for their efforts, did not fail to highlight the shortcomings and other gaps in the work.
Among the most recurrent remarks addressed to the candidates, we can mention a weak maturation of the project or the solution, of its innovative character, and especially the non assumption of the economic efficiency of the innovation…
Reminding candidates that innovation is not limited to academic research, the jury recommended that project leaders accompany their work with a market study and a business plan in order to facilitate its realisation and attract the interest of potential investors.

It is important to underline that the candidates with innovative projects and ideas will benefit from media coverage through the 19th edition of the SIPSA Filaha exhibition. This event, which brings together the most important players in the agricultural world, is also a great opportunity to create synergies with industrialists, investors and farmers, with a view to disseminating and developing innovations.
In all cases, participants in the Sipsa Innov’ competition will receive support and assistance in order to make their projects a reality (formalities for creating an innovative company, technical feasibility, search for financing, etc.). The awarding of the trophies to the winners of the competition will take place on Thursday 10 October 2019, the closing day of the Sipsa Filaha exhibition.

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