Kenya: Ayute Africa Challenge Winners receive Sh2.4 Million

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Winners of the Heifer International agri-tech startups challenge/HANDOUT
  • The winners and finalists of the inaugural AYuTe Africa Challenge Kenya will receive a cash grant of up to $20,000 (Sh2.4 million).

Three Kenyan agri-tech startups have emerged winners and have also received grants in the recently held “AYuTe Africa Challenge” – a continental challenge seeking innovative solutions to problems faced by small-holder farmers.

Ayute Africa Challenge founded by Heifer International Kenya has given $20,000 (Sh2.4 million) as seed money to the top three startups.

Agrodiverse Ltd Kenya headed by managing director Grace Kyarimpa emerged as the third, 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 came in the second position while the first position went to Optimerce Consulting Ltd, a firm which digitises the process of produce collection at farm-gate through mobile apps. The company is owned by innovator John Waweru.

The winners of the inaugural Heifer International AYuTe Africa Challenge (Kenya) were chosen from a field of young agritech innovators from across the country.

The three startups received grants of Sh250,000, Sh750,000 and Sh1 million respectively.

However, all the 15 finalists in the contest will benefit from a three-month accelerator and mentorship program.

Besides the top three winners, other finalists included Azma Foods Ltd, Digital Farmer, Ento (insects) Solutions Ltd, Farm Mall, Farmerline Technologies, Limachain, Nalima Digital, Shambaline Ltd and Soluvax.

Also in the contest were Stofresh Africa, Toothpick Company Ltd and Vermi-Farms Initiative Ltd.

Heifer International Kenya launched the AYuTe Africa Challenge Kenya in June 2022, to promote and reward agriculture technology innovation across different agricultural value chains in Kenya.

The applications for the challenge run from June 14 to July 14, 2022, while the proposal evaluation pitching and judging were concluded by August 31.

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