Kenyan Agritech startups have been urged to apply for the Food Systems Accelerator Programme and stand a chance to win up to Sh2 million in grants as the deadline approaches.
The accelerator dubbed Ukama Ustawi has been organized by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) with the aim of supporting agribusiness with a climate-smart innovation that tackles food insecurity and increases resilience in the East and Southern Africa Region.
Applicants must be a for-profit company operating in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, or Zambia.
Applications will be closed on December 22.
Inga Jacobs-Mata, Ukama Ustawi Initiative Lead says this Initiative — the name of which means “well-being” — aims to support climate-resilient agriculture and livelihoods in 12 countries in East and Southern Africa by helping millions of smallholders intensify, diversify, and de-risk maize-mixed farming through improved extension services, enterprise development, and private investment.
“Maize, a staple crop covering up to 75 percent of cropland in parts of the region, is particularly vulnerable, projected to face yield declines of 15 percent, among other climate impacts. Many of the affected areas already have serious levels of hunger and malnutrition, with the highest burden experienced by women and youth from marginalized, vulnerable communities,” he said.
Global Director Resilient Agri-Food Systems CGIAR Martin Kropff said East and Southern Africa is a climate hotspot, with more than US$45 billion in agricultural production at risk from higher temperatures, shorter growing seasons, and more extreme droughts and floods.
“The region’s agribusiness ecosystem has been identified as a critical engine for agricultural and economic development, climate change adaptation, and gender and youth empowerment,” Kropff added.
Urging Kenyans not to be left behind, Farmer on Fire Limited CEO Wangary Kuria says the next decade will be critical for strengthening food, land, and water systems in East and Southern Africa.
“Investment in innovation, capabilities, and supportive environments will be essential for driving sustainable growth that benefits all,” she added.
Source: Capital Business