• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Three innovators get $40,000 grant to improve food production

Three innovators get $40,000 grant to improve food production

Heifer International, a global non-governmental organisation, is empowering young agric innovators to develop and implement technological solutions aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, reducing unemployment, and growing the economy.

Lekan Tobe, interim country director of Heifer International Nigeria, said that the initiative is to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector by fostering youth participation and innovation, through its Ayute Africa challenge program, which stands for Agricultural Youth and Technology.

“At Heifer, we believe that the future of agriculture is anchored on leveraging the power of youth and technology. This belief propels Heifer into creating opportunities for young innovators in Africa to lend their efforts for the transformation of agriculture and agricultural landscape, catalysing ground of development of innovation across Africa, making careers in agriculture desirable now and in the future,” he said.

He stated this at the Ayute pitch Grand Finale, held in Abuja where young agri-tech innovators competed by showcasing their cutting-edge solutions to revolutionize the agricultural landscape in Nigeria and across Africa.

The competition had five top contestants pitch their innovations with three of them emerging winners. Ruth Ede of Scraop Nigeria Limited got $20,000, Akpem Terese Shadrach won $12,000 and Chinasa Stephanie Meltus received $8,000.

According to Tobe, with Nigeria’s youth making up 60 percent of the country’s population, Heifer recognises the critical role they play in driving economic growth and achieving food security.

He said that the organisation has been intentional in designing programs and projects that increase youth engagement in agriculture and agribusiness as this approach not only addresses the growing youth unemployment but also contributes to ending hunger and poverty.

Explaining further, the director said technology plays a pivotal role in this transformation by easing farming operations, improving market access, providing financial information, and addressing challenges such as storage, post-harvest losses, and pest control.