AYuTe Africa Awards $40,000 Grant to Boost Agric-tech Innovations – THISDAYLIVE

James Emejo in Abuja

AYuTe Africa Challenge in Nigeria, has awarded $40,000 grants to three young agric-tech innovators to develop technologies that would improve farming methods and food production in the country.

The Challenge is an enterprise development programme initiated by Heifer International to identify, nurture, and support innovative, relevant and technology-driven agric-centric enterprises to grow, scale and thrive.

Speaking at the grand finale of the 2024 AYuTe Africa Challenge Nigeria in Abuja, Country Director, Heifer International, Dr. Lekan Tobe, said the initiative would encourage innovators to leverage technology to achieve transformation in agricultural sector, and boost the food security agenda of the present administration.

He said, “Leveraging youth and technology presents opportunity for the transformation of agriculture, ensure food security, youth employment, and economic development.

“It is technology that is helping us to close the yield gap, and create sustainable value chains, reduce post-harvest loss, and increase fertilizer, water and soil use efficiency.

“It also helps smallholder farmers to be better organised and build improved strength to engage with the market.”

He said the competition serves as a springboard for identifying and supporting outstanding young agritech innovators for visibility, growth and increased productivity for smallholder farmers.

According to Tobe, through a regional competition, Heifer International awarded $1.5 million annually to leading agritech innovators across Africa. In his remarks, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Abuja,

Prof. Akeem Oyerinde, emphasised the role of youths in leveraging technology to transform agriculture system in the country.

He added, “We all need to rejuvenate agriculture to where it belongs. Each and every one of you can key into any agricultural products and business by using the various technologies like the mobile phones to promote productivity and address some of the challenges affecting small holder farmers in Nigeria.”

Special Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security on Youth and Agric-bussiness, Manir Umar, stressed the need for collaboration with stakeholders to ensure implementation of policies.

He added, “The government can create policies, but cannot be the implementers, so we try to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure efforts like this are being strengthened

“ Youths are the drivers of agriculture revolution. So the ministry is giving a lot of focus of the Renewed Hope agenda.”

Special Adviser to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Femi Oluwagbemi, said “With agriculture, young people can easily get into the process of job creation, self employment and organise themselves into cooperatives.

“By so doing, they will have the chances to access funding from programmes such as this.”

The winners of the prize awards include Ruth Ede with Scratop Nigeria Limited, who was awarded $20,000 grants for her innovation in converting bio-waste into nutrients-rich bio fertilizers.

Akpem Shadrach, Vet Konect, a digital animal health company secured $12,000 for his innovation in providing comprehensive care for livestock farmers across Africa via mobile devices using AI tools to boost productivity.

Other beneficiaries are Scarecrow Green Eden’s 4th industrial revolution who $8,000 for using technology in combating climate change effects and increasing farming efficiency for smallholder farmers.

Ede, who emerged overall winner, said she will use the grant to improve access to nutrients-rich bio fertilizer for farmers to boost for more production.


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