Nigerian, Kenyan agricultural innovators awarded
The winners, known as the 2021 AYuTe Africa Champions and chosen from an impressive field of young agritech innovators from across the continent, were announced today at the 2021 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit.
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, founder and CEO of ColdHubs, a Nigerian business that provides solar-powered, walk-in coolers for smallholder vegetable farmers and Jehiel Oliver, founder and CEO of Hello Tractor, a Kenyan company that has become known across Africa as the “Uber of tractors,” were selected today as the winners of the inaugural US$1.5 million awards.
“Across Africa today, young, creative professionals are deploying tech innovations that are reimagining farming and food production,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, senior vice president of Africa Programs at Heifer International which sponsored the award. “We want to do our part to help companies like Hello Tractor and ColdHubs as they provide Africa’s smallholder farmers with much-needed products and services to develop sustainable, profitable business.”
Hello Tractor provides technology that allows farmers to connect with local tractor owners on the Hello Tractor marketplace and book a machine for as long as they need it. ColdHubs owns and operates dozens of compact, walk-in, solar-powered coolers at rural produce markets in central Nigeria. The transportable, stand-alone units give local farmers a way of keeping their beans, peppers, tomatoes and more fresh for days or weeks, reducing waste.
AYuTe Africa Challenge (AYuTe stands for Agriculture, Youth and Technology) is based on four decades of work as a trusted partner of African farmers—and seeing first-hand the stark difference between local farms that have access to new technologies and those that do not.