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Doors open for Sh3.2M agriculture funding competition

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Today, the AYuTe Africa Challenge Kenya 2024 opened its doors to young agricultural innovators to get up to Sh3.2 million in funding for solutions that could uplift the incomes of smallholder farmers in the country.

The award which has been running since 2022 has extended Sh4M in cash grants to nine agri-innovators, as well as training and mentoring 2,000 participants.

This year’s version of the award seeks to work with companies that have been operating for less than three years and have a positive impact on the lives of small-scale poultry, dairy, horticulture, and beef farmers.

“Your company needs to respond and offer solutions to farmers at either the production, aggregation, post-harvest losses management, value addition, access to market, or financing level,” explained Wangari Kariuki, the community and partnerships manager at E4Impact Kenya.

The competition is run through the global nonprofit Heifer International and E4Impact– an organisation that supports businesses in Africa to start up and grow.

According to Koya Matsuno, AYuTe’s 2023 Kenyan champion and founder of VunaPay– an online platform that facilitates instant payment to smallholder farmers for delivering produce to cooperatives– the contacts he’s been able to gather through the program have been priceless.

“Through the program’s boot camp, we fostered a vibrant agritech community that keeps in touch daily. This has enabled me to get solutions to problems I could never have come up with on my own,” Koya pointed out.

To enhance increased participation across Kenya, the program will take applications from the Lake region and Northrift block, Mount Kenya block, and Arid and Semi-arid Counties. 

24 of the program’s finalists will also get a one-month customised incubation and acceleration program for their company.

Other benefits include training and bootcamps, links to financial and investment opportunities, coaching, mentorship at the various stages of the competition, and networking opportunities with investors and stakeholders.

To qualify for the challenge your business also needs to be registered or in the process of registering in Kenya.

“We will hold virtual information sessions to help participants with registration issues and explain what is expected of you at every step of the registration process,” Wangari said. 

To register for AYuTe Africa Challenge Kenya 2024, click here:

To keep up with any upcoming Zoom infossesions follow the AYuTe Africa Challenge Facebook page: AYuTeAfrica

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