AGRF and Heifer International launch Pitch AgriHack 2021

AdobeStock 306310566The AGRF and Heifer International have announced the launch of Pitch AgriHack 2021, a competition focused on accelerating entrepreneurial growth, and creating jobs in the agriculture sector, by leveraging advanced technologies, and youth participation in Africa’s food security agenda

This seventh edition of Pitch AgriHack is exclusively aimed at African businesses bringing technological innovation to the agriculture sector. Generation Africa, a thematic platform of the AGRF will host the competition.

The open competition portion of Pitch AgriHack 2021 will support companies that are driving innovation in agriculture across three categories-early-stage, mature/growth-stage, and women-led, with prizes totalling US$45,000. A fourth invite-only category known as the AYuTe Africa Challenge, sponsored by Heifer International, will award up to US$1.5mn in grants, to scalable ventures that are already generating measurable impact for Africa’s smallholder farmers.

“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,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, senior vice president for Africa programmess at Heifer International. “Integrating youth and technology in the agricultural sector will transform the continent, creating new jobs and income-generating opportunities for young Africans,” he added.

In addition to the sponsorship for Pitch AgriHack 2021, Heifer International is partnering with Generation Africa to run this year’s competition. Both organisations have a shared vision of eradicating hunger and poverty through sustainable, community-led development, that begins with agriculture. 

“It’s a privilege to have an established and experienced non-profit organisation like Heifer International on board,” said head of Generation Africa, Dickson Naftali. “At Generation Africa, we believe that food systems can change if we collaboratively support young African agrifood entrepreneurs. Pitch AgriHack 2021 can give access to the tools and expertise they need to make their businesses successful.”

Dr Agnes Kalibata, president of AGRA and special envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit, said, “We are excited to welcome Heifer International as it partners with the AGRF and Generation Africa on Pitch AgriHack 2021. By working together, sharing knowledge, and supporting mutually beneficial projects, we 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.”

Applications are open until 16 August. Those interested can apply here: 

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 takes place on 7-10 September 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 GenAfrica platform, and reviewed for relevance to their investor community.

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