Pitch AgriHack, Africa’s Agritech Innovation Challenge is Here! 

Are you an African youth agripreneur? Are you using digital tools to transform the food system value chain? Pitch AgriHack, an agritech competition sponsored by Heifer International and managed by Generation Africa, is here to help you scale your innovation to the next level!

About Pitch AgriHack

Agriculture is the backbone of Africa’s economy and presents a lot of opportunities along the value chain. Yet, for a long time, youth shied away from the sector because of a perception that it is mostly dominated by older people, or that it’s labor intensive and unprofitable. Today, the youth themselves are changing this narrative, despite existing challenges. Their increasing involvement in agribusiness and the development of new technologies helps to solve current challenges in the food value chain.

The Pitch AgriHack Competition aims to bridge this gap by supporting youth-led innovations. This can include scaling their innovation for uptake by farmers, creating additional jobs within the community, and providing end-to-end support through mentorship and linkage opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Since the inception of the competition in 2021, 12 innovative agripreneurs across Africa have won a share of the US $45,000 grand prize. Every year, 6 winners are selected from the different competition categories, which include: early-stage, mature/growth-stage, and women-led startups, selected for having the most impactful innovation.

Out of the over 2,000 applications submitted for the competition, only 12 will make it to the final, which includes a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the annual Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) and face off in a business-pitching contest with other shortlisted agripreneurs. Winners will also be announced during the Forum that will take place from 4 – 8 September in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Other exciting benefits that come from taking part in the competition include: mentorship, continued entrepreneurial support, handpicked scholarship opportunity to pursue a Masters in Business Creation from the University of Utah, and an opportunity to join the Generation Africa Fellowship program– a 6 months tailored mentorship and coaching for SMEs for personal and business development. 

Spotlight on Previous Winners

Pitch AgriHack 2022 winners, from left: Imen Hbiri, Esther Kimani, Hamis El Gabry, Donald Mudenge, Allan C’oredo and Anaporka Adazabra. 

In 2022,Imen Hbiri, Founder of RoboCare in Tunisia andDonald Mudenge, Founder of Mbeu Yedu in Zimbabwe emerged victorious in the early-stage startup category. RoboCare is a digitalmonitoring system that detects diseases in plants at an early stage of growth for quick action by farmers to prevent losses, while Mbeu Yedu enables farmers to access improved seed-varieties with accurate planting information, enabling them to increase their agricultural outputs while using the digitized community seed banks.

Winners of the mature and growth startup stage category were Hamis El Gabry, Founder of Mozare3 in Egypt,andAllan Coredo, Founder of Farm IT in Kenya.Mozare3 isanagri-fintech company connecting smallholder farmers to different services across the agricultural supply chain, and Farm IT innovatively combines crop mapping,  and market linkages to help Kenya’s vegetable farmers.

Leah Njuki (left) is the Farm Manager of Crescent Farms, Kenya and a user of the FarmIT solution. On the right is Charles Mwangi, the Farm IT Ambassador.

Esther Kimani, Founder of Farmer LifeLine Technologies, Kenya andAnaporka Adazabra, Founder of Farmio, Ghana emerged winners in the women-led agribusiness category. Kimani has developed a crop pest and disease detection device that helps farmers detect if there are any pests or diseases in the farm via rotating scanners. The device notifies the farmer via text message which crops are infested, the type of pest or disease detected, and a recommendation of what to do.Farmio leverages mobile and web technologies as well as climate-smart agriculture principles to provide affordable greenhouse farms for farmers. 

Esther Kimani posing with her award-winning device on her farm in Nyandarua, Kenya.

Applications for the Pitch AgriHack Competition are currently live.

Please submit your application TODAY viahttps://vc4a.com/heifer-international/pitch-agrihack-2023/ before the deadline approaches!

Wishing you all the best in your application!