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NGO Seeks Youth-led Agritech Solutions for Africa’s Food Systems

Heifer International, a leading global non-profit organisation working to end hunger and poverty in low- and middle-income countries, is heading to this year’s AGRF Africa Food Systems Forum in Tanzania to engage agriculture sector stakeholders on how increased innovative financing and support for youth-led transformative solutions can improve African food systems.

The AGRF 2023, taking place September between 4 and 8 in Dar es Salaam, is Africa’s leading venue for agriculture stakeholders to come together and agree on practical actions to transform food systems and end hunger. This year’s summit will convene more than 3000 attendees from over 70 countries. More than 350 experts and policymakers will present on ways that Africa can build back better food systems and strengthen the continent’s food sovereignty with youth and women at the centre.

Heifer International has been working with farmers and communities in Africa for nearly 50 years to help them build resilient food systems that can withstand shocks and stresses. Heifer has also ramped up innovative investments in young Africans working on transformative solutions and products within the agriculture ecosystem that have led to improved livelihoods, increased climate-smart and sustainable practices, job creation and improved food productivity and storage infrastructure.

“We believe that the gathering of vital stakeholders for Africa’s agricultural development at the AGRF 2023 is a critical opportunity to share our knowledge and experience in leveraging innovative funding and strategic partnerships to build more-resilient and sustainable food systems,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President, Africa Programs, Heifer International.

Ifedi added: “The summit also presents an exciting opportunity for us to show the critical role that young innovators and technology are playing in helping Africa’s smallholder farmers increase their productivity and incomes, catalysing improvements across the agricultural value chain and improving food systems.”

Heifer International will host a side event at the summit on September 4 that will bring together youth innovators, policymakers, experts in finance and technology, and other stakeholders to discuss leveraging innovative capital for youth in agriculture. A second Heifer-hosted event will be the Pitch AgriHack/AYuTe Showcase on Sept. 6, promoting ICT innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture by identifying and amplifying efforts of young innovators using technology to reimagine farming and food production across the continent.

These events are aligned with the summit’s theme of Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation,” focusing on building back better food systems and food sovereignty with youth and women at the centre.

“Young Africans are not only the future of the continent’s agricultural transformation, but are leading present developmental efforts,” said Ifedi. “By leveraging innovative capital, young innovators are empowered to see agriculture as a viable career path and sector to scale tech products that build systems and markets. This leads to solutions that enable more productive market systems that transform our food systems, such as our AYuTe Africa Challenge program that focuses on creating opportunities for young African innovators to transform the agricultural landscape.”

Heifer’s AYuTe Africa Challenge is one of the most ambitious agriculture competitions on the continent, combining the power of African youth with the many possibilities of emerging technologies to support smallholder farmers across Africa to grow their businesses and incomes – a transformative force called AYuTe.

Source: Vanguard