Displaying items by tag: AgriHack The purpose of ARDYIS is to raise youth awareness and capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries through ICTs. http://ardyis.cta.int Tue, 21 Aug 2018 10:30:04 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Some best start-ups involved in the AgriHack Talent program http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/awards/item/307-agrihacks-best-start-ups http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/awards/item/307-agrihacks-best-start-ups

Since the launching of the Pitch AgriHack Initiative, that aims at strengthening ICT innovation and entrepreneurship by youth in agriculture, some 700 young innovators and entrepreneurs took part in its hackathons and start-up contests. These beneficiaries had the opportunity to be involved in other CTA activities and those of its partners (Apps4Ag, Plug and Play events, etc.). The best start-ups involved so far have benefited from about USD 1 million (investment and grants from various national and international parties).Here are brief notes on some of the best start-ups involved so far in the competitions of the AgriHack Talent Program of CTA:


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]]> Awards Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:32:48 +0000 Great opportunities for young entrepreneurs – Winners of Pitch AgriHack WA 2017 http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/awards/item/306-pitch-agrihack-wa-2017-winners http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/awards/item/306-pitch-agrihack-wa-2017-winners

The final stage of CTA’s Pitch AgriHack West Africa competition took place at the 7th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2017), on 7th September 2017, in Abidjan. The winners of the early stage category, efarms – a Nigerian-based online networking platform and Farmart Limited – a Ghanian online food market, were rewarded grants of €7,500 and €5,000 respectively. For the advanced category winners, Bayseddo – a Senegalese agri-financing platform and AgroCenta – an online marketplace for agricultural produce founded in Ghana, received €15,000 and €12,500 in funding respectively. On top of that, CTA’s partner, the Mali-based Suguba, offered two special prizes of each €2,000.


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]]> Awards Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:02:16 +0000 Winners of the 2016 Pitch AgriHack contest announced! http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/awards/item/305-winners2016 http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/awards/item/305-winners2016

Pitch AgriHack, which aims to accelerate youth-led e-agriculture entrepreneurship for improved livelihoods and food security, unveiled the winners of the 2016 pitching event. The announcement was made during an award ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, on 24 November 2016. The competition was hotly contested with 25 finalists, selected out of 152 e-agriculture startups from across Africa and the Caribbean. Before the announcement of winners, finalists benefited from a training boot camp on 22 November at Ihub Nairobi, focused on offering successful business services in e-agriculture. The finalists were also coached on how to pitch effectively. On 23 November, they presented their services publicly before a jury and an audience composed of agriculture and ICT experts and institutions, including venture capitals. 

The panel of judges consisted of McKenzie Slaughter, from Prohaus VC (venture capital firm, United States); Niraj Varia, from Novastar Ventures (venture catalyst firm, East Africa), Hervé Pillaud, from the Vendée Chamber of Agriculture (France) and Agreenstartup (agriculture startup competition); Jermaine Henry, from Devlabs (venture capital firm, Americas), Ralph von Kaufmann, from Hakika Ltd (UK), and Peris Bosire from FarmDrive (startup, Kenya).

Pitch AgriHack 2016 was organised by CTA in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the support of partners including the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI) and mLab East Africa.

Grants to enhance and scale up services offered to farmers

Four startups were selected as official winners: three in the early stage category and one in the advanced stage category

Read more on CTA's corporate website

]]> Awards Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:19:37 +0000 AgriHack West Africa now receiving entries: Apply! http://ardyis.cta.int/en/home/item/287-agrihack-west-africa-now-receiving-entries-apply http://ardyis.cta.int/en/home/item/287-agrihack-west-africa-now-receiving-entries-apply

The Youth-Enabled Fish Farming ‪#‎AgriHack‬ (YEFFA) also known as AgriHack West Africa is now receiving applications from ICT innovators and developers who are based in one of the 3 focus countries: Nigeria, Benin and Togo, and are interested in working towards solving any of the persistent problems of the fish value chain in these countries.

For more details and to apply, go to http://agrihackwestafrica.org/

]]> News Mon, 07 Mar 2016 14:01:44 +0000 Launch of the Fish Farming AgriHack in West Africa http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news/project-news/item/286-fish-farming-agrihack-in-west-africa http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news/project-news/item/286-fish-farming-agrihack-in-west-africa

New innovations continue to revolutionise the way we carry out fish farming. In an increasingly digital world, mobile solutions are also being called upon to tackle some of the challenges that the sector faces.

In line with this, the Youth-Enabled Fish Farming AgriHack (YEFFA) project was selected last year by CTA following the launch of its Youth call for proposals. The objective of the project is to use information technology to help solve challenges in the fish farming value chains in Nigeria, Benin and Togo. The initiative is led by Wennovation Hub (an ICT innovation centre in Nigeria) in collaboration with e-triLabs and Woelab (ICT innovation centres in Benin and Togo respectively) and the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND).

YEFFA is an adaptation of the AgriHack Talent Initiative that CTA has been championing, which aims to support ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by youth up to 35 years old.

For more information please here http://bit.ly/fish-agrihack

]]> Project news Thu, 25 Feb 2016 17:12:53 +0000 Meet the winners of the Durban AgriHack Talent Challenge http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news/project-news/item/280-winners-agrihack-durban http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news/project-news/item/280-winners-agrihack-durban

The winners of the Durban AgriHack Talent Challenge, which took place from 28 November to 02 December 2015 in Durban in South Africa, were announced on 2nd December, at the closing ceremony of the Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture, African Edition (GFIA Africa).

For more information, go to event's website http://durban-agrihack.ict4ag.org/

]]> Project news Tue, 05 Jan 2016 10:49:17 +0000 The Future Google of Agricultural Land Information http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/273-future-google-agrinfo http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/273-future-google-agrinfo

“No, it’s not easy being an entrepreneur”, answers Rose Funja, director of ICT & Research at University of Bagamoyo. While you might not always pay attention to an academic talking about the world of entrepreneurship, Rose is not your typical scholar. Having studied telecommunications engineering in China and worked in the private sector before embarking on a career in teaching and research, she has recently become an entrepreneur as well and co-founded an innovative business in the exciting field of ICTs for agriculture.

So Rose would know the difficulties of starting a business. Even the most successful start-ups will run into challenges and barriers that require perseverance and inventiveness to break through.
Agrinfo, the company she founded with business partner Grace Makanyaga, is one of those lucky start-ups. “Agrinfo is essentially an online database that registers land ownership in villages”, Rose explains. Usually, in many parts of Tanzania, ownership is written in village customary documents that offer unclear or non-absolute descriptions of plots of land, such as “north of John’s land”. These documents are kept in depositories where consulting them is a demanding and bureaucratic process, and is even harder when land changes hands and a sale has to be formalised.

Through her own land-buying experiences as member of a timber-investment group, Rose found out at first hand how difficult this process can be. The usefulness of a database containing verifiable and accessible data seemed obvious and Rose partnered with Grace – who was then her student – to start brainstorming about what would become Agrinfo. But there were many challenges: farmer organisations did not want to share the land data they managed with a new company without first seeing a more developed product, while banks were not ready to invest in the development of that product without seeing the crucial data that the company would depend on.

They had a stroke of luck, but only after putting in some hard work. Through a local technical hub, Buni Hub, Rose found out about the first CTA Agrihack organised event in East Africa; she entered it, and among fierce competition, Agrinfo became second regional runner-up. This resulted in some much-needed investment for the new enterprise, and more importantly: a valuable business incubation period that brought skills and knowledge to develop the company to where it is today. Rose therefore suggests that ICT schools should include a practical entrepreneurial component for students who want to be entrepreneurs in the future.

Agriculture is an area which offers plenty of opportunity and space for new ICT entrepreneurs. “Everybody involved in farming wants to produce more and reach more markets. If companies develop new technologies that can help agricultural stakeholders get this, they will go for these products”. The future for ICTs in agriculture is clearly very positive in Rose’s eyes. A key challenge that remains is how to engage more youths in this pursuit, a task that traditional institutions are not always equipped for. ICTs in agriculture are still a new field; and as Rose’s story exemplifies, established organizations like banks and farmer organizations may struggle to understand all the potential it offers. “If schools and universities vie for their students and guarantee that they are capable of being entrepreneurs, other institutions will take up the challenges that remain”.

It is therefore really needed that governments in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries as well as development agencies better support youth agricultural entrepreneurship including ICT for agriculture entrepreneurship. In the meantime, Rose and Grace are eager to exploit the opportunities of ICTs in agriculture. They have undertaken a soft launch of Agrinfo and are now uploading the first official paid for data. They are also in talks with two large farmers associations to have MoU in place in order to work with their farmers.

They are very eager to address all challenges faced and are hoping to develop Agrinfo into the “Google of agricultural land information” in Tanzania and beyond – an ambition that may not be as far-fetched as it sounds.

Find out more at http://www.agrinfo.co.tz/
Article published in the framework of the International Youth Day 2015
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]]> Others Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:02:29 +0000 Pest Control Mobile Application, and Much More http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/272-pest-control-mobile http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/272-pest-control-mobile

Pests – they are good for almost nothing! Well, maybe this is not true in all cases or for everyone. Troy Weekes and Mortimer Seale from Barbados have been inspired by pests to develop a promising agricultural application called CropGuard. As the name suggests, it is an app that provides information that helps defend produce against pests, identified as a key problem in agricultural activities in Barbados.

It offers farmers the option to diagnose their specific problem and advise them how to deal with it. “It’s a knowledge management system,” Troy describes. Through this app, “we connect government administrators, extension services, and research with the farmers who need the information the most. ”Farmers can not only search a database, but they can also send photographs to extension officers to receive quick and correct technical help. “We’re establishing a real-time channel,” as Troy explains. “The extension officer can see what the farmer is seeing and offer much better help in solving the issue.”

So far, the feedback for CropGuard has been overwhelmingly positive. Aside from praise from researchers, government officials and most importantly farmers, the app has also inspired people in ways that the two developers would have never thought it would. “We were approached by a teacher who was so excited by the app because she saw it as an educational tool for her students,” Troy recounts. Students had noticed CropGuard at a convention and were able to remember names of crops because the user interface had been captivating. “She was beaming with excitement. It was incredible – we had never thought of using the app as an interactive game before, and suddenly, this teacher was sharing this whole other usage that could have tremendous impact on the engagement of young people in the sector.”

In October 2014, judges at the regional Agrihack Talent Caribbean initiative were also impressed. Troy’s team walked away with the second prize that gave them 6 months of incubation and a cash reward to invest in the product. Troy and Mortimer see much more potential in CropGuard. “We’re developing an open data API so other developers and systems can connect to our data,” Mortimer notes. Data holds the key to improving many of the problems farmers face, such as excess produce of a certain crop or keeping track of pest infestations. The challenge is to build applications that produce meaningful suggestions for the relevant stakeholders from all that data.

Their incubation has been managed by the Barbadian company Wi Connect Mobile in collaboration with the National Council for Science and Technology of the government of Barbados. Apart from improving their product and participating in agriculture fairs to present their product and exchange with experts, CropGuard’s team has achieved other key milestones. For example, they have launched a new testing phase of the app that will cover not just Barbados but other Caribbean countries; they have also authored with their mentor a research paper on the potentials and first results of CropGuard, detailing as well the benefits of data sharing for agriculture development.

Troy and Mortimer, who are also involved in agricultural cooperative, have set something in motion that today offers more potential than they could have dreamed of in the first phase of their engagement in this activity. And they are very ambitious about it. “The possibilities are endless, and we want to keep all of our options open” concluded an excited Troy.

Find out more at: http://cropguard.addisalemcoop.com/
This article partly builds on an article written by Ashoka for a forthcoming CTA publication
Article published in the framework of the International Youth Day 2015
Read more at: bit.ly/1DJGfUP

]]> Others Wed, 12 Aug 2015 08:56:30 +0000 MOBIS – Helping Smallholder Farmers Access Credit and Manage their Finances http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/270-mobis-helping-smallholders http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/270-mobis-helping-smallholders

David Opio

As a child growing up in rural Uganda, David Opio experienced at first hand the difficulties faced by smallholder farmers. His mother owned an acre of land but was unable to farm it fully because she lacked the resources she needed to do so. Now David is an ambitious entrepreneur, with a passion for information and communication technologies (ICTs).  He is working to improve the livelihoods of rural farmers in Uganda.

Too many projects are invented in offices, far removed from farmers and their needs. But this initiative was different: working with Gerald Otim, David studied producers’ needs and expectations, and looked at existing solutions. Building on their in-depth knowledge of the target area and their understanding of local problems in rural Uganda, David and Gerald quickly saw a key gap. Their idea was simple – to provide an innovative service for farmers that would help them to get access to financing.


They developed their solution – an information system facilitating access to loans and financing for small farmers – in cooperation with savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs). These cooperatives encourage savings and provide loans. There are thousands of SACCOs in Uganda, with about 18 million members in rural areas. However, their impact is limited and this is notably because they lack appropriate information technology.

Local solutions to local problems

To address this deficiency, David and Gerald developed Ensibuuko app (later known as Mobile Banking and Information Software [MOBIS]) – a mobile banking system that allows small-scale farmers to get access to credit and to manage their own money. With a mobile phone, farmers can manage their savings, request a loan, make repayments, etc. The SACCOs also benefit from MOBIS: using this tool has helped them increase the quality and reliability of their services considerably while reducing their overheads.

Decisive partnerships

The idea of the Ensibuuko app was good and the partnerships  created helped considerably in achieving its success.

The application was developed in the framework of a regional hackathon (AgriHack) organised in 2013 by CTA’s Agriculture Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) project as part of the ICT4Ag international conference in Kigali, Rwanda. “After becoming regional winners of the hackathon, we benefitted from a six-month incubation at Outbox, an ICT centre in Kampala. We also benefitted from mentoring and coaching by several leaders in the field,” said David.

Since then, Ensibuuko has recruited eight employees, including several young women developers, and has attracted international partners.

They were also involved in other CTA activities such as the Plug and Play Day at the Fin4Ag international conference held in 2014; this allowed them to pitch their product to the public and to potential partners. The Government of Uganda, for example, encourages SACCOs to adopt MOBIS. Mercy Corps and Microsoft in Uganda are other partners for the deployment and uptake of the services. Ensibuuko has now diversified its services offering also access to solar energy to farmers.

More than 10,000 Ugandan farmers are now using MOBIS.

Find out more at http://www.ensibuuko.com/
Initially published on the EU website on July 16th in the framework of the European Year of Development 2015 celebrations
Republished in the framework of International Youth Day. Read more at: bit.ly/1DJGfUP

]]> Others Wed, 12 Aug 2015 21:14:00 +0000 Vote for ARDYIS to support youth in agriculture and ICT - WSIS Project Prizes 2015! http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news/project-news/item/260-ardyis-wsis http://ardyis.cta.int/en/news/project-news/item/260-ardyis-wsis

We are very pleased to announce that CTA’s ARDYIS (Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society) programme has been nominated for the WSIS Project Prizes in the category 13 (e-agriculture)!

WSIS Project Prizes recognise the efforts of stakeholders for their added value to society and commitment towards achieving the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) goals. The winners will be selected from the three (3) most voted projects and will be announced at the WSIS Forum 2015, to be held in May 2015 in Switzerland. 

Through initiatives such as agriculture blog competitions (YoBloCo Awards), the support to ICT for agriculture entrepreneurship by youth (AgriHack Talent), Web 2.0 training targeted to youth, Social Reporting at various agricultural events, and the constant interactions with youth via its mailing lists since 2010, the ARDYIS Programme has supported youth in agriculture and strengthened youth capacities and opportunities in ICT for agriculture (e-Agriculture) in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Find out more on the impact of ARDYIS here: http://bit.ly/ardyis-infographic

Vote right now! - Read the instructions till the end first.

The voting process for the WSIS Project Prizes has started and it’s time to support and vote for ARDYIS!

Here are the steps you need to follow to vote:

  1. Go to: http://bit.ly/wsis-link - Log in if you/your organisation are already registered on the WSIS platform, or register by clicking on the link « click here » on that page (link in blue).
    If you are not registered, provide your contact details on the page. A confirmation message will be sent to you automatically by a WSIS account – check your email (if needed your spam box) and click on the confirmation link ; go back to WSIS Prize homepage or to http://bit.ly/wsis-link and log in

  2. Once you have logged in, you will be required to provide your organisation's name and country

  3. Read the voting instructions if needed, or go directly to the « Vote » tab (see image below)

  4. You can now start voting. Under the Voting tab, you will find a list of projects in 18 Categories. ARDYIS is nominated in the category e-agriculture (category 13) ; but you need to vote for one project in each category, from 1 to 18. If not, your vote for ARDYIS will not be counted. Under Category 13, look for the ARDYIS programme, and click on « Vote for this project ...» (see below).

  5. For category 9, please vote for "IMARK: Maximizing information and knowledge for development – project number 1423583324”, which is a project in which CTA is involved; IMARK has notably developed modules on Web 2.0, information management, etc.

  6. You will be asked to confirm your vote for each project in the 18 categories.

  7. After voting for a project in all categories, a thank you message will appear on your screen. Check also your mailbox (if needed wait for some minutes), you should receive a message from WSIS indicating that you have voted. And you are finally done!

Please spread the news to the youth in your organisation and members of your networks, to vote for us to support youth in agriculture and ICT, and put better these issues in the spotlight!



You can also share the messages below on your social networks:


CTA’s ARDYIS programme has been nominated in the category 13 (e-agriculture) of the WSIS Prizes!

Since 2010, ARDYIS has been supporting #youth and #ICT4Ag initiatives via agriculture blog competitions (#YoBloCo Awards), ICT for agriculture entrepreneurship by youth (#AgriHack Talent) etc. in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Support ARDYIS by casting your vote now. More on the voting process here: http://bit.ly/ardyis-wsis

Thank you for sharing this message!


Vote NOW for ARDYIS @ardyis_cta in #WSIS Prizes (Category 13: e-Agriculture) to support #youth in #Agric & #ICT http://bit.ly/ardyis-wsis

Thank you for your support. We are counting on you!

]]> Project news Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:50:24 +0000