Heifer supports African agritech investors with $20,000
Heifer International’s AYuTe Africa Challenge said it has launched a new national competition to boost agriculture across Africa.
In a statement on Wednesday, the firms said that the competition would offer young entrepreneurs in Nigeria the opportunity to pitch for investment in their agritech solutions to boost the incomes and productivity of Africa’s smallholder farmers with a $20,000 cash price for winners.
Heifer’s Country Director, Rufus Idris, said the programme was initiated to support innovative, relevant and technology driven agriccentric enterprises.
He said, “The National competition in Nigeria has been initiated as an enterprise development programme to further identify, nurture and support innovative, relevant and technology-driven agriccentric enterprises to grow, scale and thrive.
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“We are excited to announce and kick-start the AYuTe Africa Challenge Nigeria with a starting cash grant of $20,000 to the most promising young agritech innovator in Nigeria. This is in line with Heifer’s strategic goal of unleashing the hidden agricultural treasures among African youths.”
He said that the challenge would inspire Nigerian youths on the need to embrace agriculture.
He added, “Through this challenge, we hope to further inspire the Nigerian youth population to continue to embrace agriculture as a career option of choice while promoting creative professionals that are using technology to re-imagine farming and food production across the country. The winner of this challenge will also be the Nigerian champion (flag-bearer) for the 2022 AYuTe Africa Challenge.”
According to the statement, the Senior Vice President of Africa Programmes at Heifer International, Adesuwa Ifedi, “This competition provides an opportunity for young innovators in Nigeria to secure the funding and visibility they need to scale up their agritech solutions to reach millions of farmers across Africa.
“There is huge potential for economic growth and employment in agriculture across Africa, but new ideas and technologies are urgently needed. It’s time for Africa’s tech-savvy youth to use their innovation skills to transform the sector.”
During the launch, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abiola Olusanya, commended Heifer International for the initiative of assisting to drive growth and development of agriculture across Africa and particularly in Nigeria, by encouraging innovation and supporting programmes geared towards accelerating agritech startups, youth-owned agribusinesses, and other business stakeholders along the agriculture value chain.
She expressed optimism that the initiative would serve as a catalyst for economic development in Nigeria and secure a greater future for the Nation.