Home » Finalists announced for Goumbook’s Regenerative Agriculture Venture Programme

Finalists announced for Goumbook’s Regenerative Agriculture Venture Programme

by Madaline Dunn

Social enterprise Goumbook has announced the top ten finalists for its Regenerative Agriculture Venture Programme. The initiative aims to foster innovation through research, science, and nature-based solutions matched with entrepreneurship in the regenerative agriculture space in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey (MENAT) region.

Regenerative agriculture is a holistic approach to farming that focuses on restoring and enhancing soil health, biodiversity, and ecosystems, which seeks to build resilience against climate change, improve food security, and promote sustainable land use. 

Following an open call for submissions from 18 countries, the program process received numerous process-driven and technological innovation-based applications.

The top ten finalists, comprise researchers and entrepreneurs from the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey, who have submitted solutions related to soil health and regeneration, minimising chemical footprint, diversified crops, technological solutions, and fertilisers. 

In the next phase, these finalists will further develop their solutions into proof of concepts and scale for impact.

These finalists include:

  1. More Drop, More Crop: Sustainable water conservation for arid regions (UAE) –Technological Solutions
  2. Systemic Farming Method: Carbon Sequestration for Future Food Security (UAE) –Technological Solutions
  3. Food Waste Rescue, Compost Production to Soil Building in Waste Lab’s solution for sustainable agriculture (UAE) – Organic Fertilisers
  4. Farm as an Ecosystem: Diversified, resilient farm ecosystem and microbiome bioreactor (KAUST University, Saudi Arabia) – Healthy Soil Regeneration
  5. Smart Encapsulation of Plant Growth Factor for Elevated Germination in Wheat Seeds: Revolutionising agriculture and crop resilience (KAUST University, Saudi Arabia) – Minimising Chemical Footprint
  6. Sesame Breeding: High-Value Production and Improved Varieties in Hot and Dry Climates: Improved sesame varieties, high value, low inputs, returning biomass carbon to the soil. (KAUST University, Saudi Arabia) – Diversified Crops
  7. MicroFert: Customised bio-products for enhanced crop productivity and soil fertility (Heliopolis University, Egypt) – Organic Fertilisers
  8. Cyanoboost: enhanced plant growth and diversity of rhizospheric microbiome in medicinal plants (Heliopolis University, Egypt) – Biofertilisers
  9. Egrobots: AI-powered farming bots for crop protection (Egypt) – Technological Solutions
  10. Conservation & Organic Agriculture of Olive Trees (Turkey) – Diversified Crops

According to Goumbook, each of these projects presents innovative solutions to pressing challenges facing agriculture in the MENAT region and beyond, addressing issues such as soil degradation, water scarcity, food waste, and climate change, through a blend of science, technology, and organic approaches.

Samantha Kayruz, Goumbook’s Strategy & Sustainability Impact Director, commented: “Their work underscores the MENAT region’s capacity for research and innovation in tackling agricultural challenges with science and nature-based solutions. This also emphasises the importance of supporting our region’s innovators and researchers in developing solutions tailored to our unique agriculture, food security, and climate change challenges.”

The finalists will now embark on Bootcamp 2, which will include subject matter-led sessions and additional mentorship one-on-one sessions. 

This will culminate in the judges selecting three winners as recipients of grants to help them scale their research and innovations for impact. 

The final three winners will be announced following a live pitch presentation and assessment by the judge evaluation committee. The winners will collaborate with local farmers to integrate their concepts into real-world agricultural practices, and gain access to a supportive stakeholder community. 

The Regenerative Agriculture Venture Programme is spearheaded by Goumbook in partnership with HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, Saudi Awwal Bank (SAB), and supported by the European Institute of Technology Food (EIT Food).

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