Ground-breaking digital innovation sought for Pitch AgriHack 2019

Wageningen, the Netherlands April 25 2019. Pitch AgriHack, the annual competition that awards young entrepreneurs in ICTs for agriculture (ICT4Ag) is open for applications. Now in its fourth year, Pitch AgriHack is an initiative by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) that supports ICT4Ag entrepreneurs through capacity building and funding to accelerate youth employment and agricultural transformation.

In addition to cash prizes, finalists of the competition benefit from a financial management and investment readiness bootcamp, grants and access to investments, capacity building and promotional opportunities. Selected finalists will pitch their innovations to ICT4Ag and business experts at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Accra, 3-7 September.

Since the launch the AgriHack Talent initiative over 1 million farmers and agricultural stakeholders have been reached by the services provided by competition entrants. In 2018 there were 325 applicants from 36 countries. And, of 26 finalists, 14 were women-owned companies. Winners were awarded in the presence of four Heads of States and Governments.

The competition is organised with support from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), OCP Group, GreenTec Group and with the contribution of the World Bank, FAO and other partners.

“We are proud that Pitch AgriHack has become such an important part of the AGRF. More importantly we are proud to see how so many of our alumni have grown. Since the inception of the AgriHack talent initiative we have worked with more than 1,000 young digital innovators with around 100 entering the final stages of the competition. Many have gone on to win additional funding close to €2 million from various players and created jobs,” said Michael Hailu, Director of CTA.

Welcoming the partnership with CTA for 2019’s competition Karim Lofti Senhadji CEO of OCP Africa: “OCP firmly believes that the agricultural sector will play a vital role in enabling young people's access to employment in Africa. As such, the group has integrated the promotion of youth agribusiness into its strategy. In this spirit, OCP also partners with organistions thriving to accelerate entrepreneurial initiatives in agriculture, especially those promoting women like CTA’s AgriHack."

Up to €15,000 will be awarded to seven start-ups in different categories including three new special prize categories: data analytics services, public choice and the GreenTec Prize. Interested parties are encouraged to apply by the closing date of May 24, 2019. 50% of finalists are planned to be women and this year the competition is open to North Africa for the first time.

Pitch AgriHack is part of the CTA’s AgriHack Talent initiative which is designed to help develop business services offered by young ICT4Ag start-ups and to accelerate e-agriculture entrepreneurship for growth, job creation and improved livelihoods among African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) member states. It targets start-ups founded by entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years.

Other Pitch AgriHack 2019 partners include BongoHive, Silicon Caribe, Yeesal AgriHub, Agribusiness TV, IceAddis, African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development and Africa Projects Development Centre.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Toby Johnson, Team Leader Communications, CTA, +31 (0) 6 10 88 50 80, johnson@cta.int

About CTA

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific through innovations in sustainable agriculture. CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU. 

Optional title

Pitch AgriHack boosts agri start-up development

by

Beninese start-up and CTA Pitch AgriHack winner in 2018, Fenou Packaging, offers 100% biodegradable food packaging through its online sales platform. One year after the awards ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, how beneficial has CTA’s support been?

Jaguza Tech: Livestock management simplified

by

One Ugandan boy’s vision to improve, modernise and simplify livestock management for farmers in his country has blossomed into an international business that has the potential to positively impact countless persons along the agricultural value-chain.

A Nigerian start-up unlocking the potential of large markets for smallholder farmers

by

One of 11 woman-led finalists in CTA’s 2019 Pitch AgriHack competition and, ultimately, a winner in the mature platform category, Nigeria-based Foodlocker is helping smallholder farmers to access large and lucrative markets. Jennifer Okoduwa, the company’s co-founder, explains how.

The business of farming: How digitalisation is bringing Africa’s youth back into agriculture

by

They say that the future belongs to the young. In Africa, the future of the continent’s agriculture almost certainly belongs to its youth. More than 60% of Africans are under 25, and every year, 10-12 million young people enter the job market in search of employment. Vast numbers work in farming in rural areas – agriculture employs almost 70% of the population – but the prospect of higher wages and a more secure livelihood is driving urban migration for many others.

Be sure you don't miss our latest updates.