Saudi Arabia, Technology

Saudi Arabia gears up to host first-ever agriculture-tech hackathon

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Saudi Arabia will launch its first-ever agricultural hackathon in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in September called, “Agricultural Techniques Hackathon.”

The initiative, which is being rolled out by the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), represented by the Badir Program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators, and in collaboration with Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Community “Mojtamae”, will be held from 26th to 28th September 2019 in the Al-Qassim region and is open for participation by programmers, designers, entrepreneurs, web developers, owners of innovative Ideas and specialists from GCC and Middle East markets.

The agricultural sector is one of the main pillars for supporting the Vision 2030, as the sector contributes to the provision of 25 per cent of all food available for consumption, SAR 53 billion to the gross domestic product (equivalent to 4 percent of the non-oil GDP), and employs 450,000 people across the various regions of the Kingdom.

The Hackathon will consist of three tracks comprising marketing and growth, management and follow-up of agricultural projects, and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data in pest and agricultural control. A jury will review the most prominent ideas and solutions provided for solving the challenges facing the agricultural sector.

The outstanding projects within the three tracks of the Hackathon will be included into Badir’s dedicated plan with its accelerators programme, who will be provided with a range of advisory services and intensive programmes such as training, workshops, guidance to develop entrepreneurial innovations and transform them into real projects within 90 working days, and up to the incubation of the projects to ensure their success.

Nawaf Al-Sahaf, the CEO of Badir Program, said, “Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme aims to adopt a more sustainable, productive, and efficient food system. Our joint ‘Agricultural Techniques Hackathon’ with Mujtami will help generate fresh innovative ideas and solutions to transform the existing food system in the Kingdom, which will lead to reduction of natural resources waste, increase in the efficiency and quality of production, and higher economic return.

“We are delighted to organise the ‘Agricultural Techniques Hackathon’ that aims to encourage and support creative ideas coming from young minds as well as unlock the benefit of new digital solutions to positively impact the agriculture sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

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