Twenty-three young men and women grouped into six start-ups are gearing up to convince an expert panel of judges in a final showdown on July 28, 2017 to grab the $100,000 grant on offer from oil producer, Kosmos Energy Ghana.
The young university graduates with varied backgrounds are part of more than 200 applicants and 100 shortlisted contestants in a competition to proffer smart solutions, using information and communications technology (ICT), to some of the challenges in the agricultural value chain.
After many weeks of demanding field research, engagements with captains of industry for pitch preparations to convince the judges, the six teams are ready for the decider of who takes home the $100,000 grant at stake in the 2017 edition of AgriTech Competition.
QualiTrace, AgroSeal, Rent A Farm, Agro Innova, Anitrack and CompleteFarmer are the start-ups which survived the rigorous journey of learning and pitching.
The AgriTech Competition is organised by a special purpose vehicle, Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), set up by the oil producer Kosmos Energy Ghana to prosecute its transformational social investment programmes.
It is the second consecutive year that the company is supporting young university graduates to form start-ups to apply ICT innovation to create commercial and transformational solutions to some of the challenges facing the agricultural sector.
Besides the $100,000 seed money for the winner, the last four teams would also be given entrepreneurial training at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) incubator in Accra.
The young graduates with impressive profiles have proposed a plethora of equally enthralling solutions to agriculture in the country.
QualiTrace is a vibrant start-up that uses track and trace technology to authenticate product inputs and outputs. The focus of QualiTrace is to authenticate agro-inputs (crop protection products) using mobile validation system.
The team is made up of:
Jennifer-Jayne Asante, a media practitioner with 21 years working experience in the field. She has worked with prestigious media houses such as Multimedia, Radio Univers and Sunny FM.
Ebenezer Emmanuel Owusu is an information technology (IT) expert with a degree in Geology. He has worked with the Career and Counseling Office of the University of Ghana as IT and Support Officer in charge of the web and IT systems and helping staff use them efficiently. He also advised in procurement.
Kenneth A. Nelson, Agribusiness Manager
Team QUALITRACE is led by Kenneth A. Nelson, whose academic background is in agribusiness management. He has five years working experience in the agribusiness industry as a research analyst and supply chain manager of the Accra Abattoir Company Ltd.
Padiki Bukari, a nutritionist, holds a BSc in Nutrition and Food Science. She has worked with Nestle Ghana Ltd where she was engaged in handling and management of raw materials. This gave her a first-hand of tracing raw materials from suppliers through to production and finally to finished products.