Three Kenyan agri-tech startups have won funding in a continental challenge seeking solutions to problems faced by small-holder farmers. Dubbed “AYuTe Africa Challenge” the initiative by Heifer International Kenya has given Sh20,000 (Sh2.4 million) as seed money to the top startup.
- Optimerce Consulting Ltd, which digitises the process of produce collection at farm-gate through mobile apps, topped the contest. The company is owned by innovator John Waweru.
- Joshua Gitonga, the founder and CEO RafikiPay, a company that deals with the processing of sunflower, groundnuts, soya and canola oil from the hybrid seeds took the second position.
- Agrodiverse Ltd Kenya headed by managing director Grace Kyarimpa was third. The company converts insects, earthworms into sources of protein in animal feed and high-quality organic fertilisers.
The champions of the inaugural Heifer International AYuTe Africa Challenge (Kenya) were chosen from a field of young agritech innovators from across the country. The three have received grants of Sh1 million, Sh750,000 and Sh250,000, respectively.