TANZANIA – Heifer International, a non-profit organization, has called on stakeholders in Africa’s agriculture sector to increase their support for youth-driven innovations to strengthen the transformation of food systems.

The organization, which works to end hunger and poverty in low- and middle-income nations, urged stakeholders to support the establishment of strategic partnerships.

According to them, these initiatives will enhance the capabilities of smallholder farmers and communities, ultimately increasing incomes and driving transformation in the food systems of the continent.

Heifer made this call at this year’s Africa Food Systems Forum, where it hosted side events and networking forums, and participated in several panels that focused on discussions around transformative solutions for Africa’s agriculture.

“More than 3,000 attendees from over 70 countries participated in this year’s summit. Over 350 experts and policymakers engaged stakeholders in discussions on how Africa can improve its food systems and enhance the continent’s food sovereignty, with a focus on youth and women,” stated Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President of Africa Programmes at Heifer International.

She disclosed that Heifer has been working with farmers and communities in Africa for nearly 50 years to assist them in developing sustainable and resilient food systems that can withstand shocks and stresses.

Adesuwa also highlighted that part of the organization’s work in the continent involves innovative investments in young Africans.

Two side events were hosted by Heifer International during the summit with the first event bringing together youth innovators, policymakers, finance and technology experts, and other stakeholders to discuss leveraging innovative capital for youth in agriculture.

The second Heifer-hosted event was the Pitch AgriHack/AYuTe Showcase, which aimed to promote ICT innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture.

The initiative is one of the most ambitious agriculture competitions on the continent, harnessing the potential of African youth and emerging technologies to empower smallholder farmers across Africa.

Cash grants are awarded in the competition to support promising young agritech innovators across Africa who are using technology to revolutionize farming and food production across the continent.

Each year, Heifer International invests more than USD 1.5 million to accelerate digital agriculture entrepreneurship in Africa through the program.

In 2022, the AYuTe Africa Challenge expanded its role as an African agritech introducing new national competitions to other countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.

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