Media room

Hackathon pitches predict good future of agriculture

Kigali, Minagri News, 7 nov 2013

November 7, 2013

Agriculture players who are attending the ICT4ag conference 2013 in Kigali are convinced that ICT-enabled projects being developed by young people can lead to the intended agricultural transformation in due time.
It was on Thursday morning the 7th November, 2013 that agriculture stakeholders from private and public sectors as well as other development partners were all curious at Serena Hotel just to hear from different innovative projects presented by youth from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Rwanda.

altThe Hon.Minister Dr.Agnes Kalibata followed Hackathon pitches on day 4 of ICT4Ag conference

altThey presented their projects in presence of juges

altMinister giving her remarks after the presentation of hackathon projects

In total, nine groups tried to convince a panel of judges and the audience on how their projects have huge potential to help farmers improve their daily activities in a tremendous way. Of the groups, one is of young Rwandans named Fertilizer Logic, a team of four students from University of Rwanda College of Technology (former KIST).

According to the Rwandan young innovators, their device will be used in detecting the soil fertility in order to help farmers determine the nutrients composition in the soil so that they can plan accordingly.
The device is cheap, user friendly and provides reports that can be read easily by local farmers, Rwandan team said, adding that they expect their results to be at least 80% accurate.

The device will be used to map soil fertility of the farming land around the country. Once it is put in the soil, it detects the quantity of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium composing the soil.
Apart from the Rwandan team, other groups also had chance to explain how farmers can benefit from their ICT-enabled innovations; the presentations that attracted appreciation from a wide range of agriculture players.
Its very energizing to see young people coming up with such solutions, noted Agnes Kalibata, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources. There is really a good future of agriculture with these kinds of solutions. Its a good beginning.

Michael Hailu, the Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), remarked that the hackathon session has inspired a lot of lessons to learn.
Its very refreshing, Hailu said. The question is how to replicate these kinds of innovations at national and regional levels.

The best successful winners of the hackathon competition are set to be awarded with cash prizes on this Thursday the 7th November during the gala night.