Team Earth, a group of nine teenage students, have emerged winners of the InterswitchSPAK 2.0 Innovation Challenge. The group of nine collaborated to ‘Identify a problem in the agricultural value chain in Nigeria leveraging technology’.
Grouped into nine teams, the InterswitchSPAK finalists were tasked with developing solutions to three salient socio-economic issues. These issues were in the areas of Agriculture, Electoral process and Financial inclusion. The students proffered brilliant solutions to their given tasks by leveraging technology. Each team was led by Interswitch staff who volunteered as mentors.
Winners of the challenge, Team Earth, made up of nine SS2 students, were mentored by Paul Otu and Tolulope Adesokan and Opeyemi Adekugbe who are members of staff at Interswitch. The team’s Agricultural solution, FarmEazy, is a platform expected to help the farmers connect to potential buyers. It brings people who want to buy farm produce in contact with the farmers on a single platform.
FarmEazy was proposed to be made available as a mobile app for IOS and Android devices, USSD and SMS for non-internet enabled phones. The FarmEazy has three sections: Farmers, buyers and investors.
To get on the platform farmers simply need to create a bank account for their eWallet. Registered farmers will be granted access to all features available on the platform, including newsfeeds and updates.
Buyers who sign up on the platform can select and pay using the Quickteller paypoint eWallet or USSD.
In addition, investors who sign up will be required to indicate an investment option that they would be interested in and also indicate the kind of services they would render.
The winners were selected by an eminent jury panel made up of Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Transaction Processing & Enablement, Interswitch Group; Folasade Femi-Lawal, Head, Cards & Messaging Business, FirstBank, and Ifeoma Onibuje, Divisional Head, Electronic banking, Fidelity Bank.
Ideas and presentation were the two major criteria used in deciding the winners. For ideas, the Jury considered Team Earth’s presentation to be simple, disruptive and cost effective. They also thought the solution was out of the box and relevant in today’s world. For presentation, the Jury considered the delivery, creativity and the demonstration of teamwork.
Commenting on the competition, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Interswitch, said: “The quality of the ideas and level of creativity demonstrated during the presentations gives credence to the assertion that Nigeria is filled with truly brilliant students. With access to the right tools and technology they can produce solutions that would address practical everyday problems in Nigeria. While this is a worthwhile experience for the students, it may be the start of a digital revolution in Nigeria.”
Following their announcement as the Innovation Challenge winner, Team Earth will receive the InterswitchSPAK 2.0 Founder’s Award at the Grand Finale in the coming weeks.