Source: Joy Online

Twenty Agric startups will receive $2,000 each from Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), through its AgriTech Challenge Classic to address issues in the agricultural value chain, with a focus on the use of technology and innovation.

Speaking to Joy Business, Executive Director of KIC, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse said the programme is to unearth the entrepreneurial potentials of young people.

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“At the end of the competition, 20 teams will be selected to move onto the AgriTech Challenge Pro, which is a scale-up programme, business coaching and investor readiness programme. Each team will receive $2, 000, and will join 20 other teams that have been newly accepted into the AgriTech Challenge Pro,” he said.

KIC started the AgriTech Challenge Classic in 2016. This year, the Challenge which is in its second year, will support students and young graduates, to develop innovative AgriTech solutions for the sector.

According to Mr. Gyan-Kesse, his outfit is working assiduously to empower the winning startups to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area aside the $2,000 investment to be given.

“The global economy is looking at Africa in mainly two areas; the youth into agriculture and technology. Fortunately at Kosmos Innovation Center, we are putting these two together to really come up with creative innovative solutions for the agricultural value chain. Therefore, we believe that with this, we’re giving the youth the opportunity to come up with product that they can scale to meet standards of all markets. With respect to AfCFTA, KIC is being deliberate with the kind of discussions we are having with other partners to enable the startups have equal opportunities. We’re also looking at other international markets we can partner for these businesses and additional funding for them,” he intimated.

AgriTech Challenge Classic has over the years, represented hope for the agricultural sector in Ghana.

It also aims to use technology and deploy young people to participate in agriculture to address issues related to production, productivity, value chains, distribution, storage, agric-processing and value addition.

KIC’s board chair, Joe Mensah disclosed that the challenge is part of the organisation’s way of reducing overreliance on government to solve all problems.

“Honestly, if we’re to wait for government for certain issues to be addressed, we will not get anywhere as a country. That’s the more reason we started this challenge. The sector is saddled with an ageing population because the youth has been demotivated due the fact that agricultural activities are used as punishment in school. The exciting piece of this challenge is infusing innovation into agriculture. Innovation is the only sexy thing for the youth to be excited about,” he stated.

A total of fifty teams from ten universities participated in the AgriTech Challenge Classic.

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Source: Joy Online