The AYuTe Africa Challenge of Heifer International has announced the beginning of a new national contest to support agriculture in Africa.
Rufus Idris, the country director for Heifer, said the initiative was designed to support cutting-edge, modern, and agriculturally focused businesses.
He said, “The National competition in Nigeria has been initiated as an enterprise development programme to identify further, nurture and support innovative, relevant, and technology-driven agriccentric enterprises to grow, scale and thrive.
“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.
The companies said in a statement on Wednesday that the competition will give young Nigerian entrepreneurs the chance to pitch for funding for their agritech solutions to increase the incomes and productivity of the continent’s smallholder farmers, with a $20,000 cash prize for the winners.
Idris 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 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.”
Ms Abiola Olusanya, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, praised Heifer International at the launch for its initiative to support the growth and development of agriculture in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, by fostering innovation and supporting initiatives that aim to speed up agritech startups, youth-owned agribusinesses, and other business stakeholders along the agriculture value chain.
She hoped the project would spur economic growth in Nigeria and guarantee a better future for the country.