The fourth annual ag-hackathon, Code Cash Crop 4.0, which was organized by AFEX over the weekend has seen three winners going home with $18, 000 United States Dollars in total to scale agriTech solutions in East and West Africa.
The winners are Nigerian Entrepreneur, Mr Yakubu, who emerged as the overall winner, receiving the $10,000 grand prize for his solution, Farm Central Intelligence, which seeks to develop an extensive database of agricultural information that can be accessed via a mobile app, WhatsApp chatbot, or a USSD platform.
The solution is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to farmers with low-end mobile phones, the platform seeks to use USSD to provide farmers with access to information about agricultural products and buyers, offering a variety of features, including multilingual support, personalised capacity building, real-time agronomy support, and collaboration with input sellers and students.
In second and third place were Kenyan MCHE and Silo Africa, who received $5,000 and $3,000, respectively.
After a 2-day intensive boot camp, six finalists hailing from Kenya and Nigeria pitched their solutions at the grand finale to judges comprising of Jude Dike, Co-Founder of GetEquity; Hakeem Onasanya, Head of Startups at The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund; Nixon Gecheo, Senior Program Officer of AGRA and Funto Olasemo, VP Financial Markets at AFEX.
Themed ‘Scaling Market-led Solutions,’ this year’s Ag-hackathon, which received over 100 applications over a 3-month period, pulled together the most daring and innovative solutions that addressed gaps across data, logistics, and extension services for Africa’s agriculture value chain. These were narrowed down to the 25 best, for which boot camps were held across three African cities to select the finalists, who later converged in Lagos for the final boot camp and live-pitch sessions with judges. The criteria for selecting winners throughout the challenge were four main parameters: viability, profitability, scalability and feasibility of each solution.
President of AFEX Nigeria, Akinyinka Akintunde, speaking at this year’s finals, stated, “With Code Cash Crop, we remain dogged in our mission to provide a platform for young talents to create custom-fit models for the everyday and emerging Agricultural market realities. AFEX will continue to organise Code Cash Crop to empower more young people to think innovatively about Agriculture and deploy financial and mentorship resources to encourage them to transform Africa’s food systems through technological innovations. This year, we have had the pleasure of reviewing thoughtful applications and engaging with extraordinarily bright minds. We are therefore proud to present our incredible mix of Nigerian and Kenyan winners as judged by our stellar panel.”
Star of the night, Mr Yakubu, commented, “Winning CCC 4.0 is a life-changing opportunity for me as an entrepreneur, and I would like to say ‘thank you’ to AFEX and its partners for the initiative. I am also grateful for the constructive feedback I received during the boot camp to improve my solution. I look forward to using this competition’s prize money and networking opportunities to scale up my business and actualise my dreams.”
Code Cash Crop is an exciting industry event that harnesses innovation across the agriculture, finance and technology sectors to solve problems related to Africa’s food systems. Through the annual challenge, AFEX empowers young tech talents and entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Kenya with the necessary resources to build profitable agric business models, thereby fulfilling its commitment to investing in the future of Africa.