Nigeria-based agritech startup ThriveAgric has been selected as the West African winners of the annual AYuTe Africa Challenge, receiving a $1m grant prize.
Organised by Heifer International, the Agriculture Youth Technology (AYuTe) Challenge was set up to support young entrepreneurs working to scale food security on the continent by developing and deploying affordable tech solutions to support smallholder farmers.
Speaking on the achievements, Uka Eje, CEO and co-founder at ThriveAgric said, “These endorsements are an encouraging validation of the hard work we have put in through the years and pointers that we are on the right path. Our desire to create more impact among African smallholder farmers and also expand to new territories is a major driving force for us, as we aim to develop the largest network of profitable farmers in Africa. We remain resolute with our goal of reaching one million farmers this year in Nigeria alone.”
Last December, ThriveAgric emerged the overall winner and Visa Direct winner of the global Visa Everywhere Initiative 2022.
Since its launch, ThriveAgric claims to have built a network of over 500,000 smallholder farmers, giving them access to insight, distribution and over $150 million in credit, thereby improving their livelihoods and enabling them to grow more than 5% of grains consumed in Nigeria.
According to McKinsey, agriculture makes up about 23% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP, with more than 60% of the population being smallholder farmers. With demand increasing and supply in shortfall, smallholder farmers are battling new levels of economic and ecological challenges in farming.