AgUnity also uses a dedicated blockchain ledger to ensure that trading, records of shared equipment, or finances performance, is securely and immutably safeguarded.

In its submission to the competition, AgUnity cited two completed pilots as strong examples of the power of its tools. The pilots involved wheat farmers in Nanyuki in Kenya and Cacao farmers in Bougainville in Papua New Guinea – both of whom saw income increased by an average of 3X from one season to the next using the start-ups platforms.

“Once farmers feel assured that they will not be cheated, they begin to trust each other enough to work together, and impressive results follow shortly thereafter.”

AgUnity stated: “This substantial rise in income is achieved simply by getting farmers to cooperate to share equipment, plan farming activities, and buy and sell together as part of a farming co-operative.

“The cooperation between farmers and farming co-operatives has only been possible with the assurance to farmers that, for any transactions occurring between them and the co-operative, there is an immutable record created that no one, not the farmer, the co- operative or AgUnity, can alter, and that everyone’s record is identical.

“Once farmers feel assured that they will not be cheated, they begin to trust each other enough to work together, and impressive results follow shortly thereafter.”

Commenting, BBVA Head of Open Innovation, Ainhoa Campo, said: “We are delighted to be able to name AgUnity as the BBVA Open Talent Sustainability winner for 2019.”

Their use of technology, coupled with a clear focus on making people’s lives better through self-empowerment and sustainable cooperation and techniques is exactly why this award was set-up. 

“In addition, because AgUnity actively encouraged cooperation between farmers and producers, it is helping minimise waste and supporting a greener environment. Huge congratulations to the entire team.”

AgUnity will receive the award next 24th of October at the BBVA Open Summit in Madrid., which will also see the BBVA Open Talent Global Winner announced. The criteria for selecting the winner included assessing everything from management experience and the business model to innovation in the product and its support of sustainable finance initiatives.