Young agricultural entrepreneurs have a chance to win €15,000 in a new pitch competition organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

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 and nutritional security, and increase prosperity.

Dubbed ‘Pitch AgriHack 2018’, the competition will support young agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) to build viable businesses and boost innovation for a more sustainable agricultural sector. The winning innovations will also get mentoring and networking opportunities.

 “We do this by targeting young entrepreneurs and the institutions that support them to leverage access to finance and markets; showcase best practices and innovative business models; and create pathways to the creation of job opportunities in established agribusinesses,” said CTA in a statement.

The theme for this year’s competition is “Women entrepreneurs innovate for agricultural transformation in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific”.

Pitch AgriHack 2018 is organised with the support of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and financial assistance from the Korea Trust Fund under the Korea-Africa Cooperation Programme (KOAFEC). Additional collaborators include the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Women in Tech Africa, Wennovation Hub and Suguba Africa. Pitch AgriHack 2018 will shepherd selected start-ups through a boot camp process preparing them to pitch their innovations to potential investors. Selected finalists, 50 percent of whom will be women, will be given an opportunity to pitch to political and business leaders, at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2018).

Agrihack contest participants

Speaking about the pitch, Michael Hailu, Director, CTA said:  “Pitch AgriHack seeks to equip a dynamic workforce to drive innovation. Innovative applications of ICT are critical to the transformation of agriculture. And ICT is also an attractive entry point for youth in agriculture. To ensure that these young people, especially women, reach their full potential it is imperative that we equip them with the skills and opportunities needed to progress a sustainable and productive agri-food sector.”

Welcoming the launch of PitchAgriHack 2018, Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, AGRA Vice President Policy and Partnerships said: “Agriculture is Africa’s best bet for jobs creation for millions of our youth. PitchAgriHack is a great example of initiatives that are buying into these young people’s ideas and businesses. That’s all they need. A bit of capital and support to take off.”

Since the launch of CTA’s AgriHack Talent Initiative, at least 500,000 farmers and agricultural stakeholders have been reached by services provided through the use of applications developed in the process. Start-ups, mostly information and communications technologies (ICT) based innovations, have raised more than two million Euros from other investors and partners.

Pitch AgriHack is part of the AgriHack Talent initiative of CTA and aims at accelerating e-agriculture entrepreneurship for improved livelihoods in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Co-designed with young innovators and partners from ACP countries, it has included:

  • Competitions to develop ICT applications for agriculture (hackathons)
  • Capacity building, mentorship and incubation opportunities
  • Promotional and networking opportunities
  • Facilitation of access to grants and investments to scale-up services offered

Pitch AgriHack 2018 is open to men and women entrepreneurs leading e-agri start-ups and platforms (websites, apps, etc.) offering digital services to the agricultural sector. Register here.

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

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