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Hackathon held to tackle food loss, waste with new technologies in China

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-11-25 20:09

BEIJING -- A Hackathon event co-organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Tsinghua University gathered youths from across China to develop and present their ideas on how to tackle challenges on food loss and waste over the weekend in Beijing.

Three projects from 10 selective teams of two to five members aged between 18 and 35 were awarded prizes for their innovative solutions to food loss and waste in different scenarios using new technologies.

The winning team came up with an idea for an app that integrates blockchain, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to solve the sales problems of merchants' perishable foods and unsellable agricultural products with a final goal of reducing food waste in the supply chain.

The other two winners focused respectively on meal splitting and sharing in travel, especially for tourists who travel alone, and on solving food waste in university canteens.

During the two-day Hackathon for Reducing Food Loss and Waste, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the participants had the opportunity to access UN resources, benefit from specific knowledge and skillsets of experts from FAO, Tsinghua University and other partners.

The winning teams will potentially receive operational and start-up support to further develop their ideas, according to the organizers.

FAO statistics show that globally, up to one-third of all food, about 1.3 billion tonnes, is spoiled or squandered before it is consumed by people.

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