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Launch of the Fish Farming AgriHack in West Africa

February 18, 2016

New innovations continue to revolutionise the way we carry out fish farming. In an increasingly digital world, mobile solutions are also being called upon to tackle some of the challenges that the sector faces.

In line with this, the Youth-Enabled Fish Farming AgriHack (YEFFA) project was selected last year by CTA following the launch of its Youth call for proposals. The objective of the project is to use information technology to help solve challenges in the fish farming value chains in Nigeria, Benin and Togo. The initiative is led by Wennovation Hub (an ICT innovation centre in Nigeria) in collaboration with e-triLabs and Woelab (ICT innovation centres in Benin and Togo respectively) and the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND).

YEFFA is an adaptation of the AgriHack Talent Initiative that CTA has been championing, which aims to support ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by youth up to 35 years old.
Also dubbed AgriHack West Africa, YEFFA will kick off with an in-depth look at the challenges in the fish farming value chain via stakeholders' engagement events to be held in each of the four participating cities in West Africa, namely Cotonou, Ibadan, Lome and Warri. These events will identify specific issues affecting the sector, so as to guide prospective participants to develop truly viable fish farming ICT solutions. Participating national and regional stakeholders will include fish farmers, fish wholesalers and retailers, harvested-fish and fish-feeds processors, support organisations, academics and policy makers.

Subsequently, the online portal of AgriHack West Africa will be launched and opened to prospective teams for submission of ideas. Ideas submitted will go through evaluation by an appointed jury with expertise in fish farming, ICTs and business management. Pre-selected entrants will be invited for a boot camp for interactions and coaching, and a final selection of participating teams will be made.
Five teams in each participating city will go for an immersion exercise at predetermined sites. This will help them understand better the present state of the fish farming ecosystem, exchange with practitioners on the field and gain clearer insight into how best to develop their solutions.

A 48-hours hackathon (intensive ICT application development session) will follow right after this immersion. The hackathon will take place simultaneously across all four participating cities. There will be technical and business mentors to guide hackers through their development. Best participants will benefit from additional training in entrepreneurship in ICTs for agriculture service provision, and will be involved in regional and national mentorship and incubation activities for several months. They will also have the opportunity to pitch their applications to potential users and investors in West Africa and beyond.

Best applications developed are expected to be high-impact solutions to identified challenges affecting the value chain of fish farming. The project aims to facilitate employment opportunities to best participants, through capacity building and provision of ICT services to the aquaculture sector in West Africa.

Are you ready to drive innovations in fish farming and improve your professional perspectives? Mobilise your team or build a multi-skilled team, start highlighting your ideas and get ready for the launch of the application portal on 1st March 2016!

For more information and to take part in the initial activities planned by end February in Benin, Nigeria and Togo, you can reach implementers at the addresses provided below.
- Nigeria: Wennovation Hub (YEFFA Project leader): agrihack@loftyincltd.biz, +234 909 000 2647
- Benin: e-Trilab: amurielle@etrilabs.com
- Togo: WoeLab: labs@lafricainedarchitecture.com

Stay connected

Visit the AgriHack West Africa Website: http://agrihackwestafrica.org/

Follow the collaborating partners on Twitter:

The YEFFA project is one of the projects selected in 2015 as part of the CTA Youth Call for Proposals, launched in the framework of the Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) Project.

Follow CTA's ARDYIS project on Twitter, Facebook or visit its website.