BusinessDay

Maaji Noma emerges AFEX’s 2022 ag-hackathon winner

Maaji Noma has emerged as the winner of the AFEX ag-hackathon agri-pitch competition at the third edition of the Code Cash Crop event in Lagos.

Maaji Noma beat the other six finalists who were drawn from over 100 applications to win the award with its platform that integrates financial services for farmers in rural communities. He won a cash price of N2.5 million, plus access to AFEX mentoring and training.

Price Achoja, founder of Maaji Noma is a tech entrepreneur, UX designer and product lead who believes in a customer-centric approach to innovation.

The second-place winner was Folasewa Abdulsalam, a 500-level computer science student of Obafemi Awolowo University. She won N1.5million plus access to AFEX mentorship and training. She is the founder of PalmFarms, a platform connecting farmers growing fresh farm produce with the market.

The third-place winner was Samuel Akame, founder of Credence. He won N1 million. His platform links small and medium enterprise commodity traders focusing on grains and commodities to a marketplace.

All other three contestants are now beneficiaries of AFEX mentorship. These included Abubakar Amaq, founder of Tarkin – a platform that link farmers with storage solutions; Oluwasanmi Giwa, founder of Agricede – a platform that spotlights agric investment opportunities and Chibueze Opata, chief executive, Green Agro – a business driving access to finance for farmers in the rural areas by commoditizing their credit worthiness.

Read also: FSI hackathon to boost financial inclusion in Nigeria

“We believe that it is essential to nurture a culture of collaboration and innovation, especially if we are to effectively tackle some of today’s urgent agriculture challenges,” said Yusuf Oguntola, chief technology officer, AFEX, while commenting on the significance of Code Cash Crop.

“We are happy to see the next generation of innovators from the fields of technology, finance, and agriculture pitch viable solutions for optimizing agriculture trade infrastructure.”

He added that technology will be key in promoting a platform model for agriculture trade that can focus on providing access to logistics, access to advisory services, access to inputs, and access to the market, which are all key to the future of agriculture in Africa.

Since its inception in 2018, Code Cash Crop has been at the forefront of advocating for agritech solutions that boost the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the agribusiness sector.

Additionally, Code Cash Crop builds on AFEX’s long-standing efforts to foster digital innovation and sustainability in Africa’s food system in a way that drives prosperity and immense social value for all.

“Code Cash Crop showcases the importance of fusing technology-led solutions along with agriculture and finance to create a better, connected, and sustainable future for our food systems,” said Akinyinka Akintunde, COO, AFEX.

“Solving the challenges in the supply chain requires collective expertise and I am glad young men and women in Nigeria are leading this conversation with new and innovative ideas. Through this hackathon, in association with our partners, we hope to help make these ideas a reality,” he said.

Bolstered by an existing supply chain infrastructure of over 100 warehouses and digital trading platforms that link investors with producers and processors, AFEX’s commitment to the agricultural sector and deep industry knowledge will add crucial expertise to this much-needed activity.

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