By Didrik Strøhm
YARA join forces with YSI innovation program 2019
We have big news for the YSI innovation program 2019. As we all know; being young means less experience, resources, and network. This is why we are trying out a new form for two out of the eight teams in the YSI Global program 2019. YARA international, whose mission is to responsibly feed the planet, has joined in the innovation efforts for the sustainable development goals; by focusing their efforts on two innovation teams in our program for 2019.

YARA international will work with two teams on core-aspects of their business: Digital farming and food value chain.
YARA international will work with two teams on core-aspects of their business: Digital farming and food value chain. These two teams will work in one of these areas and have to explicitly say that they want to work on this during the application process. The main difference for these teams is that you will benefit from the depth of knowledge and access that YARA has. They will be there throughout the program, with the intention of building a fruitful relationship for both parties.

During a workshop with YARA in the 2018 program in Oslo, Norway. Photo by: Antonio Stark
Still a startup

The goal is not for a corporate to take over a group of smart, young talents but rather create less of a barrier to create the impact we all seek. The teams will run the YSI innovation program like all the other teams, the exception being that they will work on specific areas during the program, as well as having help from YARA who's expertise and knowledge will help speed up on weaknesses that young startups otherwise would have had.

The YSI innovation program takes 8 teams through a 5-month innovation program, where the teams will create new solutions from scratch. This will not change, however, we realize that young driven people working with established experts could create a balance of innovation that is rarely touched upon.

We believe in this approach

One of our core beliefs in YSI has always been that entrepreneurship and innovation could be part of solving our biggest challenges, that youth should be a driving force, and combined with the established and experienced we can actually make this happen.

We have previously written a blog post about the weakness of youth (and their strength). We hope and believe that this approach where a corporate with great intentions together with a team assembled of some of the smartest young people on earth, will be a great fit to solve problems while making a business.

Two teams - two cases
Empowering women through agri-tech
The demand for food is projected to increase by 50-70% between now and 2050. The world cannot increase food production simply by sticking with a business-as-usual model, as current methods use too many resources and are responsible of 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. Digital technology has shown that it can have a transformational impact on smallholder agriculture, but widespread scaling and adoption has been slow, particularly by female farmers.

How can we bring to life a new generation of female agripreneurs?
Disrupting food value chain
Reports and analysis are to an increasing degree pointing at that Status quo food production will have serious consequences such as; environmental (deforestation, GHG emissions, biodiversity loss), economical (yield and productivity gaps, unpredictable and insufficient livelihoods for (smallholder) farmers) and societal (malnutrition, obesity). Furthermore, the burden and risk is un-evenly distributed in the value chain of food production, with farmers carrying most of the load. At the same time, growing health-conscious consumers with increasing demand for ethically and sustainably produced food is trending. Following, to satisfy such growing requirement of transparent food chain and to mitigate externalities, numerous sustainability initiatives including standards and requirements are established by the food companies, that supplying farmers need to adhere to.

How can new food system structures and business models be designed to create an improved distribution of value created along the food value chain?
Read more about YARA
YARA International works to responsibly feed the world. When you apply to the YSI program 2019, you can join that mission!

Text author: Didrik Strøhm