Innovation awards seek agri-food start-ups

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 31 May 2024
Investing in sustainable agri-food processing creates opportunities for entrepreneurship.
Investing in sustainable agri-food processing creates opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Disruptive agri-food start-ups from across Africa are invited to apply for the World Food Forum’s (WFF’s) Start-up Innovation Awards.

The WFF Start-up Innovation Awards, powered by start-up accelerator Extreme Tech Challenge, is a global competition established to support and showcase innovators and entrepreneurs who are harnessing the power of technology to drive the sustainable transformation of agri-food systems, in support of ending global hunger and achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

According to a statement, the award finalists will be provided with a travel allowance to attend the flagship event in Rome. Other benefits include the chance to raise capital, global visibility, access to networking with global entities (governments, United Nations agencies, corporations, investors, partners), the chance to join WFF start-up accelerator programmes to scale up their innovative solutions and technological breakthroughs, and a total of $30 000 in prizes.

“Agri-food systems are a significant contributor to global issues. They are responsible for 30% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, they are the leading cause of terrestrial biodiversity loss,” according to the WFF Start-up Innovation Awards.

“This data emphasises the need for urgent action to address these inter-connected challenges. The awards aim to identify and support global start-ups that have developed innovative, technology-based solutions to sustainably address food insecurity and access to healthy diets.”

Investing in agri-food processing creates opportunities for developing local entrepreneurship and generating employment and value addition in rural and peri-urban areas of Africa and across the Global South, it adds.

The competition is open to start-ups whose work impacts four categories. Prospective participants can apply under the following awards: digital innovation in food processing, empowering women in agri-food systems, food loss, and the good food for all for today and tomorrow.

Applications are open until 8 June, and the programme kicks off in October.