By Strive Masiyiwa
Products from the most important entrepreneurs on earth! Time to shine, and help others shine, too
Last month I gave a #ShoutOut to a few professions I admire most. Many of you added to my list, including one of the most important jobs on earth — so important that not one of us would be alive today without these entrepreneurs…
The women and men who grow our food! And I don’t just mean our millions of smallholder farmers [mostly women] who help feed the African continent through their daily toil. I mean the emerging array of innovators in agritech, agbiotech, “Novel Farm Systems” and many many applications of fintech and AI designed to increase productivity, market links, capital access, and profitability in this critical industry.
With the rich land on our continent, there’s just no reason why our governments should have to import tens of billions of dollars of food each year, [even though the balance of trade in at least a few countries is better than it used to be]. You all know by now that there’s a trillion+ dollar opportunity in Africa’s agrifood industry.
But who’s going to profit?
Our own agrifood Afripreneurs, innovators and industrious workers … or others? Will jobs be created or lost with these new technologies? It’s really up to us to decide.
So! I have a little project for some of you. First, let me introduce you to this year’s GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Top 14.
These seven men and seven women agrifood entrepreneurs (ages 18-35) are going to compete online on Wednesday, 8 September at the AGRF Summit to win two prizes of $50k and four others of $2,500. Big congratulations to these innovators for getting this far, out of about 3,300+ registered applicants who started the process!
Emanuel N. Kungu, Afri-EcoFeeds, Tanzania, https://bit.ly/TOP26-AfriEcoFeedsRecycles waste from the food processing industry such as food peels and trimmings into low cost animal feed for poultry, pigs and dairy cows (M)
Costantine Edward Herman, Agrilife, Tanzania, https://bit.ly/TOP26-AgriLife
Introduced pioneering waste-to-nutrient insect technology using black soldier fly larvae to up-cycle organic waste into eco-friendly protein for animal feed (M)
Michael Ogundare, Crop2Cash, Nigeria, https://bit.ly/TOP26-Crop2Cash
Proprietary technology enables smallholder farmers to receive digital payments and build their financial identity while also making credit accessible (M)
Baraka Jeremiah Chijenga, Kilimofresh Foods Africa Limited, Tanzania, https://bit.ly/TOP26-KilimoFresh
Trades and markets all types of foods, grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, reducing post-harvest losses via cold storage while powering all activities with renewable energy (M)
Researches, farms, processes, and markets carefully selected insects as a sustainable and affordable source of protein to feed poultry (M)
Gabriel Eze, Rural Farmers Hub, Nigeria, https://bit.ly/TOP26-RuralFarm
Provides agricultural services with a core product called Capture™ which uses a proprietary algorithm and big data to assess crop and soil health, then generates near to real-time farming insights and advice (M)
Nshimiyimana Alexandre, Sanit Wing Ltd, Rwanda, https://www.sanitwing.net/With 90% of his suppliers being local women farmers, Sanit Wing processes and manufactures locally sourced, pesticide-free avocados into high-value oils, cosmetics and soaps (M)
Fily Keita, Agrowomen, Mali, https://bit.ly/TOP26-AgroWomen
Adds value to local cereals and oilseeds by processing sesame seeds and producing cold press and natural sesame oil, snacks, and tasteful rice, working with women farmers’ cooperatives as key partners (F)
Tracy Kimathi, Tree_Sea Mals/Baridi, Kenya, http://baridi.co.ke/
Developed and introduced Baridi – innovative solar-powered cold rooms and IoT remote access, with vision to reduce post slaughter loss throughout East Africa’s livestock value chain (F)
Sepenica Darko, FarmerTribe Company Limited, Ghana, https://bit.ly/TOP26-FarmerTribeA one stop shop for smallholder farmers in last mile communities to access quality and improved seed, agrochemicals and fertilizer, agronomic training, extension services and market linkages (F)
Diana Orembe, NovFeed, Tanzania, https://bit.ly/TOP26-NovFeed
Uses a proprietary technology to up-cycle organic waste into high-protein fish feed and organic fertilizer using bacteria and the black soldier fly, while providing data to fish farmers to help them improve their yield (F)
Evangelista Chekera, Passion Poultry, Zimbabwe, https://bit.ly/TOP26-PassionPoultry
Designed and now manufacture and distribute innovative proprietary poultry equipment for small scale urban farmers (F)
Chidinma Eriobu, Phronesis Foods Nigeria Limited, Nigeria, https://bit.ly/TOP26-PhronesisFoods
Organically processes and packages local Ukwa (breadfruit) for sale in both local and global markets (F)
Jolenta Joseph, Sanavita Company Limited, Tanzania, https://sanavita.co.tz/about-us/
Produces and processes orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, Pro Vitamin A maize, and high iron and zinc beans as well as runs awareness campaigns and nutrition education programs (F)
Now #Senior&JuniorClass, this is what I want you to do:
This is the real deal and next year it could be some of you!
I have been talking to you for years about what investors look for, and have shared lots of information about how to pitch. I have told you about the 3Ps and Drucker’s most important equation… [you know which one I mean].
Now it’s your turn. Let’s build each other up, but also be candid. Take a look at the 3-minute pitches with the criteria the Generation Africa GoGettaz Prize judges will use:
- Social and/or environmental impact
- Market potential and traction
Founder and management team I will NOT be a judge myself but will be announcing the male winner, and my friend Svein Tore Holsether of Yara International[one of the co-founders with me will announce the female winner.
The four social impact award winners will be announced by my dear friend, Dr Agnes Kalibata who’s now both President of AGRA and the Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit. Here’s a chance to apply your learning. A lot of people will be studying your comments.
Time to shine, and to help fellow #Afripreneurs shine, too.Let’s talk.Image caption: From seed to table… without our frontline farmers and the whole supply chain to feed our world, where would we be? Here’s the link to see this year’s 14 GoGettaz’ agripreneurs intro videos: https://genafrica.org/meet-the-top-14-finalists/The 3-minute final pitches will be 1 – 2:30 pm CAT on Wednesday 8 September.
Keep an eye out on Sasai and here for more info!
The AGRF Summit this year runs 7-10 September and I’ll be taking part in a few sessions. You can register here to find out more… and also watch online: https://agrf.summit.tc/#GrowEntrepreneurs#TransformFood#GoGettazAfrica