After running a successful program in 2016 which ended up in funding Ghalani and Trotro Tractor with $50,000 each, the Kosmos Innovation Center has resumed with the second batch of the Agritech Challenge this year.
This year, the AgriTech Challenge has taken off by enrolling one hundred new entrepreneurs into the program, who will be groomed, and trained as they compbine entrepreneurship to use innovation and information communication technology (ICT) to develop commercial solutions to challenges within agriculture. These 100 came from an initial applicant pool of more than 400, out of which a screening helped shortlist to 200, and the final 100 chosen for the Challenge.
The program will run for 7 months, and is expected to produce between 20 and 25 teams who will compete for the ultimate prize of $50,000 each and technical assistance for the 2 winning teams. Within these seven months, just like last year’s challenge, a lot of prepping activities will bring the teams into contact with industry players, farmers, extension officers and other stakeholders to help them understand what solutions will work best, and provide the most value for the agri sector.
Joe Mensah, Kosmos Energy’s Vice President and Country Manager, adds: “Ghana’s young people are rising to the challenge issued by the Kosmos Innovation Center. Interest and participation in the AgriTech Challenge has increased significantly year-over-year. The interest and enthusiasm shown by these young entrepreneurs promises to bring fresh thinking to agriculture and agribusiness. The two winning start-ups from last year’s competition – Tro Tro Tractor Limited and Ghalani Limited – are using their time in incubation well and making great strides in providing practical, real-world solutions that will help Ghana’s farmers. We are pleased to be a partner in building Ghana’s future.”
After last year’s successful partnership with MEST, the program seems to have engaged the interest of many young people, with over 400 applicants this year, alone! This could be one of the sustainable programs which provide funding for Ghanaian Agritechies, as they are called, and provide human resource to the agri sector in general, through technology.