30 September 2008
More than $4 million was awarded in seed money to 22 innovative agricultural projects at the end of the 2008 Development Marketplace, a competitive grant program organized by the World Bank to fund innovation in development. infoDev is pleased to announce that a member of its Global Network of Business Incubators was awarded for its Mini Cold Storage Ventures project.
As reported by infoDev in June, the Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College Science & Technology Entrepreneurs Park (TREC-STEP) was selected as a finalist for this year's Development Marketplace awards. We are now pleased to announce that TREC-STEP has been awarded $200,000 to support its innovative project, Mini Cold Storage Ventures. Congratulations to TREC-STEP!
ICTs are a key component of a significant number of Development Marketplace projects. In 2008, for example, 18% of the DM2008 finalists focused their proposals on the use of ICT in agriculture. Please see further information about TREC-STEP's award-winning project below.
“The World Bank is delighted to sponsor the Development Marketplace as a launching pad for new ideas in development. With the global community focused on the food price crisis, it is an opportunity to showcase the kind of creative thinking that can deliver tangible benefits to producers struggling with poverty in rural areas."
Katherine Sierra, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank
To design and distribute through Public-Private-Partnership ventures managed by trained youth, Mini Cold Store units that are adapted to the needs of 2,500 small vegetable farmers in five farmers’ markets in the Tamilnadu province. The project will save these farming communities $0.2 million in vegetable waste per year.
Due in part to the lack of appropriately sized cold storage facilities, post harvest vegetable waste costs small farmers in India nearly $6 billion each year. Large cold storage facilities are both unaffordable and unsuitable for small farmers. In
response to the yawning gap between large cold storage units and the domestic refrigerators, the project will create youth managed enterprises that distribute Mini Cold Storage systems to five farmer markets, creating wealth for small farmers below the poverty line as well as jobs for rural unemployed youth.
The Mini Cold Storage will adapt the latest technology in refrigeration to the needs of small farmers. It will also impact the social architecture by training and engaging local youth in the promotion of the storage units and in stand-alone businesses ventures.
For further information about the incubator, please visit the TREC-STEP profile in the iDISC Global Network of Business Incubators.
For further information about the Development Marketplace, please visit the DM website at: http://www.developmentmarketplace.org and the DM Blog at: http://dmblog.worldbank.org.
Access the DM 2008 Awards press release here.
The Development Marketplace is a competitive grant program that identifies and funds innovative, early-stage development projects with high potential for impact and replication. This year’s competition on sustainable agriculture drew almost 1,800 applications. Through a rigorous assessment conducted by 200 specialists from within and outside the World Bank, the applicants were narrowed to 100 finalists who were invited to Washington, D.C. to present their ideas at World Bank headquarters, September 24-26. Since 1998, the Development Marketplace has awarded more than $46 million to initiatives identified through global and regional competitions.