In accordance with this tech innovation drive, Heifer is working with Kuza Biashara, a digital social enterprise, as a technical partner, to offer a bundled solution that provides personalized digital training and extension services to smallholder farmers in Africa.
The partnership with Kuza is a product of Heifer International’s AYuTe Africa Challenge, a competition that awards cash grants of up to $1.5 million annually to the most promising young Agri-technology innovators across Africa who are using technology to reimagine farming and food production.
The initiative will be geared towards empowering the front-line extension workers across multiple programs of Heifer in Africa with a structured incubation model that promotes their businesses to scale, as a pathway to becoming agripreneurs building sustainable businesses.
Sriram Bharatam, Kuza’s founder says when you bring tools to partners together with a common, shared vision and values, you can create magic.
“The Digital Agriculture Champions will capitalize on the network effect by first running programs that incubate young entrepreneurs, who then each engage approximately 200 households in rural communities, giving them the knowledge, tools, and networks needed to transform how they do business in a sustainable way, especially in agriculture,” he explains.
By creating an ecosystem comprising of mentors who provide emotional, functional, and technical support to micro-entrepreneurs, the Digital Agriculture Champions initiative aspires to drive a continental movement, providing a collective voice to millions of previously excluded youths.