By Murimi Gitari, 9th August 2021
Heifer International and the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) have launched the Pitch AgriHack 2021, a competition focusing on accelerating entrepreneurial growth and job creation in the agriculture sector.
Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President for Africa Programs at Heifer International said that the competition is expected to leverage advanced technologies and youth participation in Africa’s food security.
“As a continent with a thriving youth population, Africa’s agricultural sector must look to its youth for the innovation that will fuel the future growth of this strategically important sector,” Ifedi noted during the launch.
Ifedi added that integrating youth and technology in the agricultural sector will transform the continent, creating new jobs and income-generating opportunities for young Africans.
She noted that being the seventh edition of Pitch AgriHack, the competition aimed at African businesses bringing technological innovation to the agriculture sector.
Dr. Kalibata who is also the Special Envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit observed that by working together, sharing knowledge, and supporting mutually beneficial projects, the two organizations can make a bigger impact and drive agricultural transformation in Africa.
“We want young people across Africa to hear our message – the future of food and farming depends on them,” she adds.
The positive sentiments were echoed by Dickson Naftali, Head of Generation Africa who emphasized the need to support young African agrifood entrepreneurs. He added that Pitch AgriHack 2021 was in a position to give access to the tools and expertise they need to make their businesses successful.
The competition will be hosted by Generation Africa, a thematic platform of the AGRF and its portion will support companies that are driving innovation in agriculture across three categories namely; Early stage, Mature/Growth stage and Women led, with prizes totaling US dollars 45,000.
There will also be a fourth invite-only category known as the AYuTe Africa Challenge, sponsored by Heifer International, which will award up to US dollars 1.5 million in grants to scalable ventures that are already generating measurable impact for Africa’s smallholder farmers.
Six winners will be selected from the open-application categories and two winners from the invite-only AYuTe Africa Challenge category, with winners announced at the AGRF Summit which will takes place in September 6-10 in Nairobi.
Top contestants will receive a one-day boot camp in preparation for their final pitches, with winners receiving continued support as they develop and grow their enterprises.
Business profiles of the finalists will also be published in a Deal Book for circulation at the AGRF and online, while individual profiles will be made public on the genafrica.org platform and reviewed for relevance to their investor community.
Heifer International and Generation Africa have a shared vision of eradicating hunger and poverty through sustainable, community-led development that begins with agriculture.
Applications for the pitch are open July 26 to August 16, 2021, at https://genafrica.org/pitchagrihack/.