Israel-based agricultural-tech start-up AgriTask Ltd has been named the winner of a global project seeking creative ideas and solutions to improve sustainable cotton farming practices worldwide.

The ‘Better Cotton Innovation Challenge’ is a collaboration between the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and Dalberg Advisors.

Launched in November of last year, its two-part goal is to track down innovations for customised training on more sustainable farming practices for farmers and to find ideas that could reduce the time and cost of farmer data collection to enable more efficient BCI licensing processes.

The challenge received close to 100 applications, with five finalists – Agritask, CropIn, Ricult, WaterSprint and eKutir – selected to trial their sustainable solutions in the field with BCI farmers.

Following the eight-week pilot period, a jury composed of BCI, IDH and Dalberg representatives, assessed the finalists and selected the winners based on a six-point criteria: impact, technical performance, likelihood of adoption, scalability, financial sustainability and team capability.

Agritask came in first place and has been awarded a EUR100,000 (US$119,864) cash prize.

Agritask offers a holistic agronomic platform that enables agricultural stakeholders, including farmers, to capture and make use of a range of data in a flexible manner. The Agritask mobile app is customisable, allowing farmers to adopt digital solutions intuitively in a way that works for them. In addition, the platform enables remote monitoring via satellite and virtual weather stations and supports interaction with third-party systems. Data that is captured through the app is then aggregated and processed to provide actionable insights, tailored to each user.

Arsira Thumaprudti, head of business development at Agritask, said: “We are coming out of the field trials with a deeper appreciation of the complexity involved in implementing and monitoring sustainability programmes in the field, and this is exactly the type of challenge we were looking for.”

CropIn Technology Solutions, an India-based agricultural-tech company, was awarded second place and will receive a cash prize of EUR35,000.