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Team Engine From Bangladesh. Project Annapurna. Microsoft Imagine Cup People's Choice Award 2012

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Published on Jul 9, 2012

Team Engine From Bangladesh
Project Title: Annapurna
Project Description
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At this moment, 850 million people are fighting a life or death battle against hunger. Every year, 6 million children lose that battle. Humanity has eradicated smallpox, gone to the moon, and connected the world into a single communication network via the Internet. But it has yet to solve hunger.

The problem is immensely challenging, yet the solution is simpler than we think. Research institutes have developed seeds that can grow in the harsh conditions present in famine afflicted areas. But the seed has to be chosen according to the soil. And the amount and type of fertilizer needed for optimal production depends on the type of seed and the soil composition of the particular area. Most farmers are unaware of this, and are hesitant to try unfamiliar techniques as their entire livelihood depends on it.

Annapurna puts this life saving information into their hands. It maps out agro-ecological zones using soil, seed and fertilizer data, and provides farmers information specific to their location. Farmers who are wary of using new seeds will be told about the exact steps they need to take starting from seed plantation up to the harvest. The results are nothing short of astounding. Not only will this information prevent crop failure, but it will increase production by up to 70%; saving millions of lives. When we take into account that this increase will take place for agricultural land everywhere, the potential impact becomes truly revolutionary.

Annapurna also tackles the other great problem facing humanity -- environmental degradation. Worldwide, use of excess fertilizer has and is doing irreparable damage. If farmers know the exact amount of fertilizer needed, the problem can be overcome.

In the next 40 years, the world will need the food produced over the last 12,000. Annapurna is a voice of defiance and unflinching ambition in the face of these monolithic challenges that threaten the very survival of the human race. It is the promise of a better world.

Inspiration
Almost 8% of those stricken by the plague of world hunger are from Bangladesh. Ever since its birth our country has often been associated with images of destitution and stark poverty. Famine and frequent natural disasters have made us a poster child for starvation. Our drive to make this project a success came from a deep desire to change that perception. It would be poetic if the solution came from here. We want to show the world that we are not just victims, but that we too are pioneers.

Future Plans
We are expecting to work jointly with NGOs who are involved in the production and dissemination of quality seeds. They already have in place the infrastructure needed to get our project up and running. All an employee will need is a bicycle and a Windows Phone, and they can easily go around villages providing farmers with the services of Annapurna.

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