Human-centric AI news and analysis

IBM announces Call for Code 2020 grand prize winner

The program sought solutions that tackle climate change and COVID-19

IBM today awarded the 2020 Call for Code grand prize to the creators of Agrolly, an app that helps small farmers threatened by climate change decide what to plant and when.

The distributed team of developers from Brazil, India, Mongolia, and Taiwan, who met at Pace University, will receive $200,000 and support from IBM experts and partners to incubate, test, and deploy their solution. They will also get help from The Linux Foundation to open-source their app so developers across the world can improve and scale the tech.

Agrolly was created to mitigate the damage done to farmers by climate change. This is particularly harmful to smaller farms in emerging countries, as they have limited access to resources that can help them to adapt.

The app aims to fill this information gap so that small farmers can make better-informed decisions, obtain financing, and boost their economic outcomes.

It works by analyzing weather forecasts alongside crop water requirements to give each farmer tailored information on locations, crop types, and stages of growth. They can use this information to see when the weather conditions are favorable for growing different crops.

These insights can help them to perform climate risk assessments, which are often required to get funding from financial institutions.

The app also provides a forum module for farmers to exchange information and solutions.

[Read: This neural network accurately predicts extreme weather events]

Agrolly is currently available as a free app in the Google store. In the future, the team plans to monetize the product by offering a risk solution to banks that provides information they can use to choose which farms to fund.

The team also plans to create a paid service that connects farmers to experts who can help them with their specific needs. But Agrolly CEO Manoela Morais told TNW that the central app will always be free for farmers.

Call for Code was launched by IBM and David Clark Cause in 2018 to develop tech that tackles some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Previous editions of the program have addressed natural disasters, climate change, and COVID-19. The next one will focus on racial justice. IBM will release further information on this new program when it launches at All Things Open on October 19.

You can find more information on the winners and the Call for Code challenge on the IBM website.

Published October 14, 2020 — 03:00 UTC