Africa’s Food Systems Forum (AGRF), Heifer International, and Generation Africa announced the launch of Pitch AgriHack 2023, marking the third year in a row that the three partners will award cash grants to promising young agritech innovators across the continent, a statement by APO on behalf of the group announced.
The goal of Pitch AgriHack is to encourage and equip young agritech entrepreneurs from Africa to unleash their inventiveness and contribute to the change of the continent’s agricultural landscape.
Pitch AgriHack 2023 will award the most outstanding projects that tackle major problems and advance sustainable agricultural development across the continent with a total prize pool of USD 45,000.
Three categories make up the competition: Women-led, Mature/Growth-stage, and Early-stage businesses. Each category will have three winners and three runners-ups, with the winners each receiving a cash reward of $10,000 and the runners-up each earning $5,000.
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Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President for Africa Programs at Heifer International, said the “Africa’s agricultural sector is on the cusp of a transformation and at Heifer International, we recognize the pivotal role youth and innovation play in driving this development and providing solutions that meet the daily needs of smallholder farmers.”
Ifedi further said “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, the current president of AGRA and a former Special Representative to the UN Food Systems Summit, expressed confidence that the contest would be at the forefront of agricultural transformation.
“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 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,” she said.
The Head of Generation Africa, Dickson Naftali, expressed confidence that “the innovative solutions developed by young entrepreneurs have the potential to revolutionize 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.”
Similarly, the Managing Director of AGRF, Amath Pathe Sene emphasized that with Pitch AgriHack, “we want to inspire and attract young talents to drive African solutions to resilient food systems transformation.”