Six African agri-tech innovators have been named winners of the eighth edition of Pitch AgriHack, securing a share of US$45,000 to invest in the growth of their ventures.
The 2022 Pitch AgriHack saw a 30 per cent increase in completed applications, with entries rolling in from 37 African countries. The winners hailed from all four corners of the continent, and had the chance to present their businesses to delegates at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), where they participated in the AGRF Agribusiness Dealroom.
Competing in three open competition categories – Early-stage, Mature- or Growth-stage, and Women-led – the Pitch AgriHack winners and runners-up were allocated cash prizes of US$10,000 and US$5,000 respectively. A fourth invite-only category known as the AYuTe Africa Challenge, an initiative of Heifer International, will award grants up to US$1.5 million later this year to scalable ventures that are already generating measurable impact for Africa’s smallholder farmers.
The Early-Stage winner was Imen Hbiri of Tunisia’s RoboCare in Tunisia, a patented multispectral disease detector, while runner-up was Donald Mudenge of Zimbabwe’s Mbeu Yedu, which digitises Community Seed Banks to give smallholder farmers access to greater seed-varieties.
The Mature and Growth-Stage winner was Hamis El Gabry of Egypt’s Mozare3, an agri-fintech company that connects small farmers to the agriculture supply chain. Allan Coredo of Kenya’s FarmIT, which combines crop mapping and market linkages to help vegetable farmers, came second.
Finally, the Women-led Agribusiness winner was Esther Kimani of Kenya’s Farmer LifeLine Technologies, which helps farmers to get ahead of pests and pathogens with a proprietary disease detection device. Runner-up was Anaporka Adazabra of Ghana’s Farmio, which has developed a Smart Greenhouse package.
“Our goal is to catalyse impact,” said Dickson Naftali, Head of Generation Africa at the Pitch AgriHack Winners Showcase and Innovators Panel at the AGRF Summit. “All of the people on stage today are making the business of farming easier, more productive, and more predictable for smallholder farmers. They are the front line in our food systems revolution.”