Nigeria’s agritech company, ThriveAgric, alongside Kenya’s DigiCow and Botwana-based Brastorne Enterprises has been announced the 2022 winners of the AYuTe Africa Challenge.
Heifer International announced the winners of the 2022 AYuTe Africa Challenge today, with the three companies set to receive a sizeable monetary investment: a total of $1.5 million in grants, along with ongoing support from a team of expert advisers—accomplished business veterans—to help them translate their funding into an aggressive expansion strategy.
ThriveAgric is a fast-growing start-up boosting farmer incomes and production with its breakthrough agriculture operating system. DigiCow is an agritech firm using digital tools to modernize production on small-scale dairy farms, while the digital technology for feature phones developed by Brastorne Enterprises is narrowing Africa’s rural digital divide.
Speaking on this, Mrs Adesuwa Ifedi, senior vice president of Africa Programs, Heifer International, said, “At a time when Africa is facing unprecedented food-related challenges, it is incredibly inspiring to see these young African champions firmly focused on an agriculture-led future that provides farmers with the innovations they need to succeed.
“We launched this competition in 2021, challenging African youths to bring us innovations poised to provide the positive disruption our farmers urgently need. ThriveAgric, DigiCow and Brastorne are more than ready to meet the moment.”
This is part of Heifer International’s commitment to supporting young entrepreneurs developing affordable tech innovations as they work to scale their businesses. Doing so makes new services and technologies available to African farmers to overcome long-standing challenges while attracting a new generation to unlock the huge potential of agriculture on the continent.
Expressing his delight, Mr Uka Eje, Thrive Agric’s co-founder and CEO, said, “We’ve developed the technologies, strategies and partnerships we believe can build the largest network of productive, profitable farmers Africa has ever seen.
“ThriveAgric’s 500,000 farmers are already producing and earning much more than the average Nigerian farmer. Investors are responding to our potential, and this prestigious award from Heifer International will accelerate our plans to expand across the continent.”
DigiCow, on its part, helps small-scale African dairy operations increase productivity with technology that provides free access to livestock management experts and links farmers to skilled and qualified veterinarians, artificial insemination providers and feed supply services—all from their mobile phones.
Brastorne’s apps, such as mAgri, give farmers access to farming information, markets and short-term finance using the capabilities of any feature phone, such as SMS and interactive voice technology.
The Brastorne mobile service Mpotsa (“Ask me”) provides rural unconnected mobile users with localized information, and Vuka harnesses USSD technology to allow users on any phone to create profiles, add friends, create chat groups, and more.
These technologies have helped farmers realize a 250 per cent increase in yields and achieve 85 per cent savings in communication and information access. The company also boasts 100 per cent youth employment.