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Frequently Asked Questions:



What is the Challenge about?

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and The Yield Lab Institute aim to identify AgTech Startups, with a scalable business model, that can tackle some of the most pressing issues of climate change in agri-food systems in the Latin America and Caribbean region (LAC).


We invite you to apply, if your startup or innovation contributes to any of the following areas:


  • Sustainably increases productivity.

  • Mitigates greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Promotes adaptation and resilience to climate change.


We know that Startups, innovations and technologies have the potential to address broader agricultural and food challenges along the entire value chain (from farm to table).


Be part of the AgTech revolution and apply to the Sustainable AgTech Challenge.


Which are the allowed categories?

Specialty crops:  solutions that address challenges of crops that require specific and intensive inputs along value chains, such as cherries, avocado, citrus, berries, etc.

Row crops:  solutions that address challenges of crops that are traditionally planted as densely seeded, machine-laid rows, such as corn, soybean, sugar cane, wheat, etc.

Proteins:  solutions that address challenges of land-based animal and alternative proteins, such as beef, pork, poultry, dairy, plant-based, cell-cultured, etc.


Key dates

June 1: Launch and application is live.

July 21: Last day for applications.

From July 7 to August 20: Evaluation of applications.

September 9: Announcement of finalists.

From Sept 9th through October: Services and programming for the final cohort.

October TBA: Finale event, announcement of winners of prizes, awards.

How to participate?

Applicants can participate in the Sustainable Agtech challenge by completing their application before the deadline. 

The application form has questions that will provide information for the policy assessment and for the selection process.

How is the selection process going to be?

We are looking for innovation and technologies with the potential to scale up solutions for sustainably increasing productivity, greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, and/or adaptation and resilience to climate change.

With that in mind, we will be evaluating the applicants based on rigorous selection criteria, with the help of an international panel of judges, composed of technical experts and leaders in the field.

The applicant pool will be reviewed and down-selected to a group of 30-50 applicants.  We will perform more in-depth due diligence for the purposes of the challenge and gathering data for the policy assessment.  This group of 30-50 applicants will ultimately be down-selected to a final cohort of 3-5 applicants, who will be in the running for prizes, awards announced at the finale event.

The jury will be revealed on June 30.


What is the Policy Assessment?

The Policy Assessment is the capstone of the Sustainable AgTech challenge, highlighting the 3-5 startups that are selected, the food system problems in the region that they are attempting to solve, and related market and policy settings.  The deliverable is a white paper with the purpose of informing policymakers and key stakeholders in the region about gaps, barriers, limitations, and opportunities to develop innovative agtech solutions that help advance relevant Sustainable Development Goals and speed up climate action.

The policy assessment will allow the conclusions and findings of the Sustainable Agtech Challenge to guide and direct the assessment.  Moreover, the applications and the associated data submitted, in addition to more in-depth interviews and research will be the basis for the working theses and conclusions in the white paper deliverable schedule to be published in December 2021.

Be a part of this important assessment simply by applying to the Sustainable Agtech Challenge

Download the Transparency Report

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