Hack4Farming Hyderabad 2016

Updated on May 13, 2016

ICRISAT Microsoft T-Hub aWhere

About this Hackathon

This hackathon is being sponsored by Microsoft India in partnership with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) - India, T-Hub and aWhere, Inc.

In order to make the best decisions possible in a changing climate, farmers and agricultural value chain actors need access to comprehensive information about forecasted weather, ideal dates for planting and interventions, seed varieties, and potential return on investment. But this information is often difficult to compile and communicate in insightful ways.

To address these challenges, Hack4Farming Hyderabad will focus on weather, systems modeling, and their potential impacts on the Indian agriculture sector. Hackathon teams will explore how to leverage new modeling techniques (from ICRISAT researchers), weather data (from aWhere) and Intelligent Cloud (from Microsoft) to address these information gaps, and in so doing benefit agriculture stakeholders such as seed producers, service providers, and farmers across India.


As the climate becomes more volatile, it is more difficult for Indian agriculture practitioners to make the right decisions about farm and value chain management, operations and risk assessment. Decisions made without the benefit of timely and targeted information in turn increase the vulnerability of farmers and Indian food security to today’s less predictable weather events.

Using the expert knowledge available in your team and available tools/datasets, design a solution that can address at least one informational gap in Indian agriculture. This solution should identify the information gap, provide a prototype or proof of concept for the solution, and address the sustainability of the solution through a business plan, proposal outline, or other mechanism.


Time Session
Day 1 - May 12th
9:00 am - 10:00 am Event Registration
10:00 am - 11:15 am Opening Remarks and Partner Presentations
11:15 am - 12:30 pm Hackathon Stage 1: Team Brainstorming
12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm - 8:00 pm Hackathon Stage 2: Initial Coding and Prototyping
Day 2 - May 13th
8:30 am - 12:30 pm Stage 3: Hacking/Presentation Drafting
12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm Stage 4: Presentation preparations
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Presentation of projects, Judging, Outcome announcements


This hackathon will be held at the ICRISAT campus in Hyderabad, India.

Prizes & Incentives

Hackathons provide a great environment to connect and create. As a result, teams often emerge with new contacts, new skills and/or ideas they’d like to develop further.

The hackathon team with the best idea leveraging modeling and weather data to serve smallholder farmers (as determined by a panel of impartial judges) will receive a shared cash prize of $2,000. The winning team will also be offered business and sector-specific mentorship services with startup incubator T-Hub, to help develop their idea into a viable business or product.


Rama Iyer

A startup evangelist and advisor, Rama Iyer is the Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances at T-Hub. He is a business and technology leader with over 20 years of experience, who has been at the helm of incubators, creating global and strategic relationships while also advising venture funds.

Rama has worked with telecom giants like Nortel, Ericsson, Cisco and Polycom among others. Over his vast work experience, he has helped global organisations level APAC talent and marketplace to enhance their presence and build a bigger market-place for their global products, solutions and services.

At T-Hub, Rama is structuring and nurturing strategic alliances while also creating CoE programs that can help the startup community. With a keen interest in creating a better ecosystem for startups, Rama is always spotted interacting with startups and sharing his bright ideas with them.

Anil Bhansali

Anil Bhansali is the Managing Director of Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd. and the General Manager of the Cloud and Enterprise engineering teams at Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC). A veteran of over 22 years at Microsoft, Anil began his career here in Redmond in 1991 as part of the Office division, where he worked on MS Excel for multiple releases. He was the Partner Development Manager in the Office Shared Services Team that worked on SharePoint Team Services V1.0 and Windows SharePoint Service version 2.0.

Anil relocated to India in 2003 as Director of the Windows Live Platforms Services Group. He established and drove several engineering efforts at MSIDC before taking over leadership of the Windows feature engineering group in 2006. Anil has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in computer science from Stony Brook University. In his spare time, Anil loves to travel, run marathons, and spend time with his family.

Dr. David Bergvinson

David Bergvinson has a PhD in plant biochemistry from Ottawa University and is the Director General of ICRISAT.

David has 20 years of experience in maize biochemistry, pathology and entomology. Prior to joining ICRISAT, he was with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) as Senior Scientist (Entomologist) where he coordinated the entomology research for both maize and wheat at CIMMYT’s headquarters and provided technical support to regional offices. Later at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as Senior Program Officer, Science and Technology, Agricultural Development he was involved in the development and management of crop improvement grants that involved public (national and international) research organizations, private sector and civil society organizations to develop stress-tolerant, farmer-preferred varieties. He also made significant contributions to the Agricultural Development strategy at the Foundation.

How to Participate

We are seeking systems modelers, agriculture stakeholders (including representatives from seed companies, insurance companies, production companies, and many more), and programmers, developers, and data scientists from Hyderabad’s growing base of hackers and technology experts to join our hackathon teams. Teams will compete to develop the best solution to bridge the information gap in Indian agriculture.

If you'd like to participate, please sign-up using the following form and we'll reach out to you!

Resources Kit

The Resources Kit for participants is available here.

Social Media


• Follow and tweet the hashtag #hack4farming on Twitter

• Follow @MicrosoftIndia, @ICRISAT, @THubHyd, @aWhere


• Follow and like posts about the hackathon at the Microsoft India Facebook page

• Follow and like posts about the hackathon at the ICRISAT page


You can view the outputs of past hackathons, and the team presentations here.


Contact us if you have a question the FAQs page hasn't covered.