The 2-Day KIC-MEST Ghana Agritech Exchange
Recently, we have covered some news on the Kosmos Innovation Centre. Along the line, we missed an important happening in the turn of events for the program. So far, as at July 21, 2016, the following have been the turn of events.
This post talks about the Ghana Agritech Exchange which took place within a 2-day period at Holiday Inn about 2 months ago. This way, you wouldn’t miss any information about the Kosmos Innovations Centre’s AgriTech Challenge 2016.
The goal of the exchange was to design technology solutions that address the needs go Ghana’s agricultural sector and simultaneously crate viable business opportunities led by young entrepreneurs, what the program calls AgriTechies.
Day 1 of the AgriTech Exchange begins by introducing participants to the latest technology innovations that have been applied to the needs of agriculturalists in Ghana and other countries, as well as other innovative ICT solutions apples to related sectors. Participation then to on to gain an in-depth view of the gaps and challenges faced by Ghana’s agricultural sector.
On Day 2, participants brought together both problems and solutions, brainstorming various ideas for technologies that can (a) address the problems outlined at the end of Day 1, and (b) form the basis for a viable business. These business concepts would be further developed with the guidance of KIC and MEST in follow-on rounds on Q2 2016.
For each of the days, the participants at the Ghana Agritech Exchange fell into one of these four categories, and were distributed among the teams, which brainstormed and shared ideas.
- Group 1: Ghanaian agribusiness would help ‘define the problem’, creating a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the local agricultural sector, as well as practical considerations (such as technology literacy, digital access, etc.) that might affect the deployment of ICT tools in the sector. I remember having a Manager from Darko Farms on my team.
- Group 2: Technology specialist would help participants understand the range of ICT solutions that have been applied to the needs of agriculturalists in Ghana and other countries, as well as other innovative ICT solutions applies to related sectors. These specialists would provide live demonstrations on various ICT platforms such as mobile phones, social networks, mapping software, etc. Some reps from Vodafone and Airtel fell into this group. Both telcos had deployed agree solutions across Africa.
- Group 3: MEST students, alumni, and ICT university youth would be the primary audience of the Exchange, since it would be their responsibility to take the ideas that would emerge from the two-day session and develop them into viable product ideas and business plans that might be supported by KIC and MEST in the future.
- Group 4: Ideation team would serve an advisory role throughout the process. The group would consists of senior experts from Ghana’s agricultural sector, technologists, private enterprise, government officials and universities. They would evaluate the various product ideas developed by MEST students and alumni, the best proposals at various stages of the competition.
- The two-day exchange ended with participants having learnt enough about the problems that exist in agric in Ghana, and steps which could be taken to solve them, whether technology-driven or not.
This workshop was great and should be a good preparation for the whichever startups will be emerge out of the Ghana Agritech Exchange 2016. More crucially will be to continually work with data from the ground as the AgriTechies build auric-related tech products.