Ethiopia: Agricultural Business Competition Launched in Ethiopia

GIAS is a nationwide agricultural business competition that aims to find innovative solutions to critical challenges of the agricultural sector.

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through its Green Innovation Centers project, and the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in partnership with iceaddis, officially launched the Green Innovation & Agritech Slam 2019 (GIAS) on August 7 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Addis Abeba. GIAS is a nationwide agricultural business competition that aims to find innovative solutions to critical challenges of the agricultural sector.

According to the organizers, the competition supports Ethiopian agricultural entrepreneurs and is awarding 10 innovative and bright entrepreneurs or businesses, with over 1,000,000 Birr shared prize among winners. "The winners will also receive extensive business development support; expert advice; mentorship; and an opportunity to travel to Germany for an exposure visit (for first prize winners only) in the field of their business idea. The business competition specifically encourages youth and women owned or co-owned companies to apply. "

"Disseminating agricultural innovations is essential to increase productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. By strengthening the private sector, up- and downstream enterprises, and promoting entrepreneurship directed towards challenges of the agricultural sector, the service provision for smallholder farmers can be improved," said Laura de Guevara, GIZ supported Green Innovation Centers - Ethiopia

The nationwide business competition features 5 categories: nutrition & consumer market, agri-inputs & equipment, environmental protection & sustainability, idea stage digital businesses and post-revenue agri-tech startups. Applications from all over the country will go through rigorous selection process to identify and award the final 10 winners at a grand award ceremony on November 14, 2019. The grand event will have a conference on digital agriculture in Ethiopia on November 15th, 2019.

Ken Lohento of CTA said:"Digital technologies have the potential to transform the agricultural sector. CTA is confident that a focus on digital solutions among youth in this regard will help to boost Ethiopia's future food security and create jobs across the agricultural value chain."

The innovations and ideas are expected to bring solutions to critical challenges of the wheat, legumes and honey value chains and digital needs of agricultural stakeholders in Ethiopia. These are believed to eventually contribute to job creation of youth and women entrepreneurs. Markos Lemma, Co-founder & CEO of iceaddis on his part said that "Agriculture is the cornerstone of the Ethiopian economy although lack of technology or fresh ideas has partly affected its full success. More than ever, iceaddis recognizes the need to bring innovation by young Ethiopians to the agriculture scene. It is time we support our smallholder farmers better with innovation and technology."

The Green Innovation & Agritech Slam welcomes individuals, private businesses, higher learning institutes and governmental and non-governmental organizations with innovative ideas and businesses in the selected value chains, as well as young digital innovators offering digital services to the entire agricultural sector.

Funded by the European Union, the competition is organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). AS

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