Zimbabwe agri-tech startup bags grant funding from Hult Prize for expansion

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwean agri-tech startup Farmhut has secured US$100,000 in grant funding after being selected as one of the winners of the Hult Prize competition.

Hult Prize, is an annual, year-long competition that crowd-sources ideas from university level students after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics such as food security, water access, energy, and education.

Farmhut received the award courtesy of its AI-powered marketplace connecting farmers to markets that pay fair prices for their produce.

It enables farmers to grow their business fast throughout the year, and ensures consumers get fresh, local, and sustainably-grown food from small producers in their local area.

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“This investment is not just for Farmhut. It goes to all the farmers toiling every day to put a meal on the table. It sets the stage for us to take our revolutionary solution to the rest of the world.”

Farmhut Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-founder – Ryan Katayi

The start-up will use the capital to expand its product offering and user base, reports Disrupt.

It recently launched a WhatsApp-based chatbot to address the connectivity challenges faced by most farmers in Zimbabwe.

“This investment is not just for Farmhut. It goes to all the farmers toiling every day to put a meal on the table. It sets the stage for us to take our revolutionary solution to the rest of the world,” said Farmhut’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Ryan Katayi.

Meanwhile, Ghanaian digital farming platform Complete Farmer, recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ingressive Capital as it plans to expand into other markets.

Founded in 2017, Complete Farmer allows users to own shares in tech-enabled farms. Over the past three years, it has implemented a crowd-farming model with a total of 7,200 acres of production serving commodities to Asia, Europe and the rest of the world.

Complete Farmer’s platform currently supports over 2,000 acres of farmland across six regions in Ghana, and the startup plans to expand its operations to Kenya and Togo.

The platform has also announced the launch of a new digital platform that addresses key challenges faced by commodity buyers and food growers along Africa’s agriculture value chain.

The new platform is an end-to-end digital marketplace that enables global industries to source agriculture commodities, grown to their specifications, by users from all over the world using IoT, big data and blockchain technology.

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Scheduled for an April 2021 release this year the platform has been built as a three-sided marketplace where commodity Buyers, Food Growers and Digifarmers can transparently participate in digital agriculture and interact on a single platform.

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