From available information, Heifer International’s empowerment for young innovators and smallholder farmers in Nigeria, under the agritech initiative AYuTe Africa Challenge, which started in August 2022 with over 600 entries, will be coming to an end with five finalists competing for the grand prize on November 30th, in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Instructively, the AYuTe (Agriculture Youth and Technology) Africa Challenge serves as a springboard for identifying outstanding young agritech innovators in various Heifer countries, as well as assisting in the formation of strong partnerships.
Imperatively also, the competition will increase visibility for growth and improve smallholder farmers’ productivity. Through a regional competition, Heifer International awards up to US$1.5 million each year to leading agritech innovators across Africa
And with national competitions in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda, the organisers also award up to $20,000 in each country.
Hence, the AYuTe Africa Challenge Nigeria is an opportunity to identify young, creative entrepreneurs who have launched promising new tech solutions to transform African agriculture for smallholder farmers.
Accordingly, the grand finale, themed “Envisioning Agricultural Development in 2030,” will be held in Victoria Island, Lagos, where the top three winners of the 2022 AYuTe Nigeria Challenge will be awarded a total cash prize of Twenty Thousand US Dollars ($20,000).
This highly rewarding national competition represents a new phase of Heifer International’s AYuTe Africa Challenge, established in 2021 to award cash grants annually to the most promising young agritech innovators from across Africa.
That’s why like the Regional Champions competition, the AYuTe National Champions competition offers prize money and mentorship, helping translate the energy and ideas of young Nigerian agritech innovators into meaningful impact for smallholder farmers across the country, and supporting winners to grow their businesses and profile.
It was, thus, pointed out by the country director, Heifer Nigeria, Rufus Idris that, “More than half of our population consists of young people and with inflation skyrocketing, fueled mainly by food inflation, we’ll need the youths with energy, tech-savvy, and entrepreneurial skills that can be channeled to transform the agricultural sector.”
He stated further that, “The national competition in Nigeria has been initiated as an enterprise development program to further identify, nurture and support innovative, relevant and technology-driven Agri-centric enterprises to grow, scale and thrive.”