Agritech pitching competition opens
A pitch competition, targeting young technology innovators in Africa’s agriculture and food sectors, has opened for applications until 3 July 2023.
Pitch AgriHack identifies innovative youth-led businesses with technological solutions to food security challenges, awarding the most impactful businesses with cash grants, media visibility and investor exposure.
African founders, aged 18 to 40, of technology-based and digital services businesses in the agriculture sector are eligible to enter the competition.
The brainchild of African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), Heifer International and Generation Africa, the competition marks its third year. The three supporting organisations will again provide cash grants to accelerate entrepreneurial growth and job creation in Africa’s agriculture sector.
With total prize money of $45,000, Pitch AgriHack 2023 will reward the most promising ventures that address key challenges and promote sustainable agricultural development across the continent.
The competition consists of three categories: early-stage, mature/growth-stage, and women-led ventures.
Three winners and three runners-up will be selected in each category, with each winner receiving a cash prize of $10,000 and each runner-up receiving $5,000.
“Africa's agricultural sector is on the cusp of a transformation and at Heifer International, we recognise the pivotal role youth and innovation play in driving this development and proffering solutions that meet the daily needs of smallholder farmers,” says Adesuwa Ifedi, senior VP, Africa Programmes, Heifer International.
Ifedi adds: “By harnessing the power of technology and innovation, we can strengthen local economies, enhance food production, and uplift communities. Our theme for this year's Pitch AgriHack is ‘Unleash your Innovation’, and it is an incredible opportunity for young agritech entrepreneurs to showcase their innovations that will contribute to the transformation of Africa's agricultural sector, providing new jobs and improved food security.”
Dr Agnes Kalibata, president, AGRA, and former special envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit, says: “The agriculture sector is undergoing a digital revolution, and Pitch AgriHack 2023 is at the forefront of this transformation. Young businesses with technological solutions are helping smallholder farmers to break through barriers that have relegated them to subsistence farming practices, and Pitch AgriHack is amplifying their visibility and providing them with valuable networking opportunities.”
Dickson Naftali, head, Generation Africa, says: “We firmly believe that the innovative solutions, developed by young entrepreneurs, have the potential to revolutionise the way we address food security challenges and empower smallholder farmers across the continent. Through Pitch AgriHack, we are creating an ecosystem that nurtures and supports entrepreneurs’ growth, providing them with the resources and recognition they need to succeed."
“With Pitch AgriHack, we want to inspire and attract young talent to drive African solutions to resilient food systems transformation,” says Amath Pathe Sene, managing director, AGRF.
Sene adds: “When agroecology, climate science and bleeding-edge digital technology meet, the agrifood sector becomes so much more than just attractive and impactful career opportunities. This is a space where young entrepreneurs can reimagine the agriculture landscape in Africa and create a sustainable future.”