The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Land O’Lakes International Development and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research ran the Fall Armyworm Tech Price at the recently concluded AfricaCom Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The prize was looking for digital innovation that could alleviate the losses African farmers face due to the spread of the fall armyworm; a voracious pest that decimates crops out in the fields.
The startups that participated in this competition underwent co-creation, evaluation, and field testing of their prototypes. The prize had 228 entries from startups across the world; though 80% were based in Africa. The best six startups were awarded a total cash prize of $450,000 and were announced last week at the AfricaCom conference.
The Nairobi-based agri-tech startup Farm.ink was the overall winner among the six startups announced and it secured a $150,000 cash prize for their solution to the fall armyworm menace. This startups solution has an integrated Fall Armyworm Virtual Advisor into its Africa Farmers Club mobile service.
It is an online platform with a chatbot that readily serves over 150,000 farmers from across Africa. …read more