Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Rwanda has unveiled $2 million in funding for agriculture technology startups to provide them with financial and technical support.
The allocation of funds is set to tackle food-related challenges in the nation and stimulate innovation in East Africa.

Yves Iradukundau, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, revealed the initiative known as the Hanga Agritech Innovation Challenge Fund.

This fund is a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources and the World Bank.

The announcement was made during the recently concluded Hanga Pitchfest 2023, marking the third iteration of the pitching event.

Norman Schräpel, the Head of Cluster Digital Transformation and Digital Economy at the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ in German) Rwanda, commended the launch of the Hanga Agritech Innovation Challenge Fund.

He remarked, “It is an exciting new opportunity for innovators aiming to revolutionize agriculture in Rwanda.”

Commonly known as Hanga Pitchfest, the annual event is the largest in-person technology competition designed to ignite and inspire innovation in Rwanda’s startup ecosystem.

The global innovation platform convened 1,000 youth from around the world in Kigali for a week-long innovation lab to address global challenges and contribute to sustainable solutions for the UN SDGs.

In this year’s competition, Rwandan climate tech startup, Loopa, emerged as the overall winner taking home a cash prize of Rwf50 million ($39 700) among other prizes.

The company leverages Internet of Things (IoT) technology to optimize the conversion of food waste and other agricultural byproducts into nutrient-rich organic fertilizer, to assist farmers in transitioning from inorganic to organic fertilizer affordably while achieving higher yields.

This approach has received praise for being a distinctive method to decrease Rwanda’s reliance on imported fertilizers.

“We are intensely committed to transforming waste management through innovative circular economy solutions,” said Cynthia Umutoniwabo, the Chief Executive and Founder at Loopa.

This was the first time the innovation was happening in Africa.

By Joy

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