Twenty-five (25) African Entrepreneurs leading agricultural businesses across 12 countries on the continent have been shortlisted for the finals of the $120,000 African Development Bank (AfDB) AgriPitch competition. Six of these finalists are Nigerian Agripreneurs.
The twenty-five finalists, all aged under 35, run agribusinesses classified under three distinct categories by the AfDB – Startups, Mature Startups and Women Empowered Businesses.
Finalists were selected out of over 2,500 agri-businesses from 30 African countries, with organisers evaluating up to 605 proposals on the 2020 theme of “Driving Sustainable Nutrition and Gender Inclusivity in Africa’s Agri-Food Systems: Youth Agripreneurs Seize the Decade.”
Ten (10) Entrepreneurs were selected in the Startup category – Releaf (Nigeria), One Kiosk (Nigeria), Farm Kiosk (Uganda), Agripoa (Tanzania), Bringo Fresh (Uganda), Farmspeak Technology (Nigeria), Premium Hortus (Benin), Solar Freeze (Kenya), Tropic Coffee Company (Rwanda) and Digifarms Africa (Cameroon).
Mature Startups also featured entrepreneurs from ten (10) agribusinesses – Foodlocker (Nigeria), Bee Happy Enterprises (Kenya), Agwenda Investments (Malawi), Dasfarm (Ghana), Herdy (Kenya), Lentera (Kenya), Lono (Ivory Coast), Stawi Foods (Kenya) Carl Group (Rwanda) and Tilaa (Ghana).
Baby Grubz (Nigeria), Farmz2U (Nigeria), AquaFarms Africa (Guinea), INVXT Agro Investimentos (Mozambique) and Mhogo Foods (Kenya) were the five (5) finalists selected under Women-Empowered Businesses.
About 62% of the applicants are women-led businesses. AfDB Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Wambui Gichuri highlighted the active participation of women-led businesses in the competition.
“It is encouraging to see that almost 62% of all AgriPitch 2020 applicants self-described as being women-led businesses or having women make up at least 50% of their management,” she said.
Countries with the most finalists include Nigeria (6), Kenya (6), Uganda (2), Rwanda (2) and Ghana (2). Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Guinea, Malawi and Tanzania had one (1) representative each at the finals.
About the Finalists
Founded in 2017 by data expert Aisha Raheem, Farmz2u is an agritech startup which offers a digital farming platform that connects rural farmers to urban consumers in Nigeria to reduce food wastage and improve human nutrition.
The startup employs artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide farmers with technology solutions including soil testing and fertilizer/feed analysis.
One Kiosk Africa (Nigeria)
In 2018, Adeshina Adewumi and Oluwatomisin Adewumi co-founded One Kiosk Africa, a Lagos-based startup which increases the accessibility to foodstuff and grocery items for local dwellers through its e-commerce app.
One Kiosk mainly focuses on facilitating quick deliveries from small-scale retail stores, thereby allowing those who reside in remote areas to shop from within their vicinities.
Y-Combinator alumnus, Ikenna Nzewi and Uzoma Bailey Ayogu started Releaf to boost the sale of quality raw agricultural produce and increase the supply chain of local farmers to food factories in Africa.
Releaf is a tech-enabled producer of raw vegetable oil in Nigeria. It works together with local farmers to secure palm kernel nuts for oil production.
Like One Kiosk, Ibadan-based Foodlocker was founded by Femi Aiki as a foodstuff and grocery e-commerce startup to supply people with fresh foods and grocery supplies sourced from local farmers and traders.
Farmspeak Technology and Baby Grubz are the two (2) other finalists from Nigeria. Peter Okonmah’s Farmspeak leverages internet of things (IoT), precision farming and analytics to promote data-driven agriculture, reduce food wastage and increase productivity among African farmers. Seun Sangoleye’s Baby Grubzz produces fresh, nutritious and rich homemade baby food for children between 4 months and 5 years.
Herdy Fresh (Kenya)
Herdy Fresh was started in 2016 by Derrick Muturi. The Nairobi-based agribusiness runs an online marketplace that connects farmers to household consumers by delivering fresh foods and groceries within three hours.
Within Nairobi, customers can place their orders for fresh foods including meat, fruits and vegetables using the Herdy Fresh web or mobile app.
The Kenyan agritech startup saves customers the stress of queuing for long hours at supermarkets and offers affordable prices.
All 25 selected finalists will be taking part in training bootcamps before competing for their share of the $120,000 seed funding prize in the virtual AgriPitch Competition finals and winners’ ceremony to be held on 16th and 17th November.
According to the African Development Bank, winning businesses will be awarded funding between US$10,000 and US$40,000 in the form of grant capital and access mentorship opportunities.
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