Kenyan and Nigerian Agritech startups named winners of $1.5m AYuTe Africa Challenge

Kenyan and Nigerian Agritech startups named winners of $1.5m AYuTe Africa Challenge

Kenya’s Hello Tractor and Nigeria’s ColdHubs have been named winners of the inaugural AYuTe Africa Challenge. Their success in the challenge means they will receive a combined $1.5m in grant funding to help fund rapid expansion plans.

The AYuTe Africa Challenge was initiated by AGRF and Heifer International. The challenge saw six winners selected from the open-application categories and two winners have now been announced at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit. In Nairobi

The winners are Kenya’s Hello Tractor, which provides technology to enable farmers connect with local tractor owners on its marketplace and book a machine for as long as they need it, and Nigeria’s ColdHubs, which owns and operates dozens of compact, walk-in, solar-powered coolers at rural produce markets in central Nigeria.

Adesuwa Ifedi, senior vice president of Africa Programs at Heifer International speaking on the event said that the organisation wants to help the two winners provide needed products for African farmers.

“Across Africa today, young, creative professionals are deploying tech innovations that are reimagining farming and food production.

“We want to do our part to help companies like Hello Tractor and ColdHubs as they provide Africa’s smallholder farmers with much-needed products and services to develop sustainable, profitable business” said Adesuwa.

Hello Tractor founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Jehiel Oliver said: “The entire continent of Africa sees about 15,000 new tractors every year while India alone sees about one million. Our farmers clearly need a lot more tractors and Hello Tractor offers a proven pathway for increasing access to this important technology”.

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, CEO of ColdHubs also added that “Too many African farmers do not get the income they deserve because they have no way of keeping their produce fresh, forcing them to sell it soon after harvest. ColdHubs offers an affordable, pay-as-you go refrigeration option available right in the middle of local markets”.