Each year since 2016 as part of the Future Agro Challenge, close to 60 countries all over the world gather their local agrifood entrepreneurs to compete and select their national ‘agripreneur. Nigeria’s agri-foodtech ecosystem is fortunately, not left out of this. In November, Nigeria’s version of Future Agro Challenge held which saw the emergence of Soilless Farm Lab as the winning agri-foodtech business with its founder, Samson Ogbole becoming Nigeria’s Agripreneur of the year 2020.    

The competition which was organised The GreenRise Hub convened 8 finalist startups to pitch at Future Agro Challenge for agri-food tech start-ups in Nigeria. The finalists were selected from a pool of 20 agri-foodtech start-ups applications received across Nigeria. Future Agro Challenge is not only about competing as a good component of it involves training and capacity building for the entrepreneurs in the challenge. That was why before the final pitch was held, the 8 finalist startups were provided the opportunity to undergo a 2-week intensive mentoring program to help them finetune their businesses for the pitch session leading to the selection of, and awarding the ‘agripreneur of the year’ title. 

These are the 8 startups that competed in the event: 

Tech4Ag: an agricultural technology company unlocking opportunities in the agricultural  value chain in Africa through research, technology, and partnerships. Through its mDairy  digital platform, it provides dairy farmers with online and offline information about best dairy  practices, as well as record keeping of milk, and the health of cows via mobile phones (SMS,  APP, IVR). 

MOU Agro: a start-up agricultural company that leverages the idea of  redefining the agro-space by working towards food security, making agriculture attractive to  the people by producing and marketing in a modernised way. Farmdrive is a motor-driven solar powered, post-harvest management facility that provides  real time storage and transportation solutions to farmers and marketers so they can effectively  transport their fresh agricultural produce from the Farm to the Market. With Farmdrive, there  will be Fresher food (addressing food security) and Safe food (addressing food safety) for people to eat. 

Petkowhingan: is a trailblazing Farm-FoodTech solution provider that helps to deliver food Research & developments and services to food products manufacturers to provide Food security. 

Farm 365: is a mobile base b2b and b2c vegetable marketplace for customers to get high quality  farm produce sourced directly from rural farmers delivered to their steps. 

Farm Ignite: is an agritech company that uses a web application to help working professionals’ transition into agriculture with the help of smallholder farmers, rural youths and women by offering a seed to plate solution that allows them to start a personal farm on their mobile  devices and connect the harvest from these farms to final consumers using our web platform,  thereby empowering rural youths and women with jobs, increasing food availability and driving  economic growth.

Soilless Farm Lab: is an agric-tech company using technology as an  enabler for agricultural production by employing the use of machine learning and artificial  intelligence to enhance our precision-based production in soilless farming (hydroponics,  aeroponics and aquaponics). 

Agrodextrous Services: is an agro-mechanical design and fabrication company oriented  towards the production of efficient, cost-effective, and easy-to-use post-harvest processing  equipment and machinery.

Middlebrook Farms: is a sustainable agriculture practicing business that is into the manufacturing of Organic fertilizer (MBF Organic Liquid Fertilizer), nutrient recycling of agro-waste, animal feed production, and fodder/grass farming. 

All competing start-ups were evaluated by judges with both business and industry experiences comprising of Mayowa Salu CEO, FoodHubs and FAC Nigeria Winner 2019; Joey Ghanem – Communications and Outreach Manager, BeryTech – Lebanon; Majid Tokurah – Cofounder, WeMove Technologies; Maame Ekua Manful-Regional Coordinator – Africa, Thought for Food Foundation and Falaq Tidjani; Senior Manager, Sahel Consult

After the final review, Soilless Farm Lab led by Samson Ogbole emerged winner of the 2020 Future Agro Challenge Pitch For Nigerian Agri-food Tech Start-ups. Soilless Farm Lab is set to represent Nigeria at the 2020 Global Future AgroChallenge in Greece!

To learn more about TheGreenriseHub activities for Agri-Foodtech start-ups, kindly visit www.thegreenrisehub.com for more information. 

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