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4 Luzon, Mindanao teams make Innovation Olympics 2.0 finals

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Innovatgion on farming are on their way. Four more teams of young innovators were selected to showcase their farming technology solutions in the upcoming grand finals of the “agri-hackathon” Innovation Olympics 2.0.

Project Angat team from the University of Mindanao

Completing the list of the Innovation Olympics 2.0 Grand Finalists are Team Low-Cost Chlorophyll Meter and Team BalZip – Agrotech Zipdrone, both from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines,  Project Angat from the University of Mindanao, and Team Agri-Robot for Crop Health (ARCHIE) with members from Saint Louis University, University of Baguio, and University of the Cordilleras.

Teams Low-Cost Chlorophyll Meter and BalZip-Agrotech Zipdrone won the VisMin Regional Demo day held on February 27, 2021, while Teams ARCHIE and Project Angat won the Wild Card Pitch Day on March 20, 2021.

The four teams received PHP 100,000 seed money each for the implementation of their projects, and they will present the results of their implementation in the Innovation Olympics 2.0 Grand Finals in July, together with two other finalists from Luzon, for a chance to win PHP 200,000 cash prize. (Read: Innovation Olympics 2.0 Luzon Finalists announced)

“The initiative to develop innovative solutions in the hopes of aiding and augmenting the capability of our farmers is already a win for our youth and our agricultural sector. But taking it to the next level, being able to present your ideas, and turning them into the realities that our farmers can actually experience in their livelihood, is what makes each team participant a true winner while championing the future of our agricultural sector,” shared Martin Hinlo, East-West Seed’s Project Manager for Innovation Olympics.

Chlomet: A Low Cost Chlorophyll Meter

Developed by Hannah Jasmin Cinco, Cyndie Cabusas, Jerry Mae Zarate, and Robert Mondejar of Team Low Cost Chlorophyll from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, Chlomet is an automated chlorophyll meter device that can provide the exact data of chlorophyll and nitrogen content of the leaves of a plant. This digital solution aims to help farmers create and apply data-driven decisions with minimal costs. Through Chlomet, necessary data such as the chlorophyll and nitrogen content of the plants can be retrieved and analyzed, helping farmers make a more informed decision.

“…Chlomet is much better because it is cost-effective, it [has its] own mobile application, and has a menu for different types of plant,” as explained by Cinco on Chlomet’s edge in comparison with other meter devices. Through Chlomet’s mobile application, farmers can identify the right type and amount of fertilizer needed by their crops, making more accurate decisions that in turn, will help in increasing their yield, added Cinco.

BalZip Agrotech Zipdrone

Developed by students John Leo Noval, Mary Rose Lopez, and Firly Maribao who are also from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, BalZip is an automated fertilizer application device utilizing a cable suspended drone. The digital solution aims to help farmers accurately distribute fertilizers and herbicides in their crops.

It features camera sensors that can detect pest movements and presence of diseases in plants. This, in turn, augments the capability of the farmers to perform better crop monitoring and produce healthier crops for an increased yield.

“By using [BalZip] Zipdrone , we are lessening the burden of our farmers… We are making the work at the farm less laborious since one person can cover an equivalent work of ten people. No need to hire a lot of labor so farmers can save on labor cost,” Lopez shared.

Agri-Robot for Crop Health (ARCHIE)

The Agri-Robot for Crop Health (ARCHIE) is an autonomous rover that can detect insect pests and diseases for better control of pesticide distribution on crops. This digital solution is developed by Carol Domalsin (Saint Louis University), Maria Corazon Ocampo (Saint Louis University), Judy Mae Mariano (University of Baguio),  and John Ericson Dulay (University of the Cordilleras).  

By creating ARCHIE, the team aims to automate the detection of pests and diseases to make the application of pesticides more precise, thus reducing input and labor cost of the farmers.

As explained by Domalsin, ARCHIE can not only provide more savings for the farmers but it can also help in ensuring safer food for consumers because there will be reduction in the pesticides sprayed in vegetables.

Project Angat:  Artificial Systemized Farming Utilizing Vertical Farming Method Integrating Block Chain Marketing

Artificial Systemized Farming Utilizing Vertical Farming Method Integrating Block Chain Marketing is designed by Project Angat team members Elpeido M. Corbeta Jr., John Kaizer B. Taylaran, Daniel Navarro, Steph Kier S. Ponteras, Dale S. Viñalon, and Kim Aliya M. Tomaro from the University of Mindanao.

Project Angat’s innovation introduces three complementary products named “Malakas” , “Maganda” , and “Dumangan”. Malakas is a 200-meter automated vertical farming system made of bamboo that utilizes solar energy as its main power resource. Meanwhile, Maganda is an encapsulated water soluble formula made from waste material that promotes plant growth and disease prevention. Availing these products will then be more convenient for the farmers and potential buyers through Dumangan, an e-commerce platform where they can easily access their farming needs.

"Farmers aren't receptive to the adaptation of new technologies. They see it as a risky venture regardless of how promising the results could be. Finance is a big problem for farmers, that's why we intend to create a solution that alleviates this fear,” said Navarro.

New normal, new technologies

The Innovation Olympics 2.0 was opened last October 2020 to teams of students from any university in the country in search of new technologies that promote precision agriculture for small-scale vegetable farming. The competition  aims to provide a platform for students to develop and spearhead agricultural innovations that will impart solutions and elevate the farming sector of the Philippines.

Since this second installment of Innovation Olympics was opened during the new normal setting where physical contact is highly prohibited, every stage of the competition – including the three-day Design Thinking Workshops and Regional Demo Days – were facilitated through online meetings via Zoom.

Innovation Olympics 2.0 is organized by East-West Seed, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) , Sensient Colors LLC, University of the Philippines – Los Banos (UPLB), UPLB Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (UPLB-TTBDO), UPLB Startup Innovation and Business Opportunity Linkages Labs (SIBOL Labs), and APEX: The UPLB Business Network.

For more information about the Innovation Olympics 2.02, visit


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