Village Link Myanmar scores historic Best AgTech Startup award for ASEAN region

22 January 2020

Agriculture technology company Village Link Myanmar has been awarded Best Foodtech/AgTech Startup award at the ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. The company had previously won the 2019 national award for Best Foodtech/AgTech Startup as well.

Village Link was the only startup among the Myanmar nominees to win an ASEAN award in the fifth iteration of the Awards. This is also the first regional win for Myanmar at the annual awards ceremony since its inauguration.

Myanma Awba Group is the majority shareholder of Village Link Myanmar.

“We are very honoured to be the first-ever Myanmar winner in the ASEAN AgTech category – I see it as a sign that we, as a country, are making its presence known in the region for this sector,” said Mr. Adrian Soe Myint, Chief Executive Officer of Village Link Myanmar. He added, “This award also recognises the hard work my team, and my industry colleagues have been putting in to improve our agricultural sector. I would also like to dedicate this award to the farmers who work tirelessly, rain or shine, to produce food for the people of Myanmar.”

Village Link has been working to improve the knowledge and educational resources for Myanmar’s agricultural industry, which makes up 38% of the country’s GDP. Its popular agri-mobile application, Htwet Toe, is a solution designed to help farmers access knowledge and tools that will help increase crop yield and quality. Leveraging on the high rate of mobile penetration among Myanmar’s farming communities, Htwet Toe offers a live chat function, real time updates on weather changes and crop market values, and access to suppliers and buyers.

As of December 2019, Htwet Toe has seen over 450,000 installations, and resolved over 40,000 queries for farmers. The application is part of the Myanmar Mobile Value Added Services for Agriculture (MyVAS4Agri) project with the Geodata for Agriculture and Water Facility. The facility is a programme by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support food security and water and is executed by the Netherlands Space Office.

Village Link has also recently launched Village Link Satellite Service (VLSS), a B2C and B2B platform, also developed as part of the MyVAS4Agri project.

The platform aggregates agricultural satellite data and translates them into key information which businesses and organisations can use to improve their operations and decision making.

Services on VLSS include localised weather monitoring, crop classification, crop performance tracking, flood monitoring and more; tools which benefit organisations working in the agriculture value chain; from input companies to financial service providers.

The B2C aspect of VLSS currently delivers personalised precision farming advice to smallholders via Htwet Toe. B2B capabilities of the platform will be available to businesses by end February.

Held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the ASEAN Rice Bowl Start-up Awards is the highlight of a two-day summit. The summit aims to increase the region’s visibility as a vibrant global hub for innovation and to celebrate the start-up ecosystem instrumental in driving progress. About 400 start-up founders, media, investors, start-up ecosystem communities and government officials from Southeast Asia were expected to attend.

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