Soupah Farm-en-market Limited has won the $10,000 2022 Nigerian Agriculture Youth and Technology (AYuTe) prize.
This first edition of AYuTe Nigeria Challenge is an enterprise development program initiated by Heifer International to identify, nurture, and support innovative, relevant, and technology-driven Agric-centric enterprises to grow, scale and thrive. It is also an opportunity to identify young, courageous, and creative entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to transform agriculture while supporting smallholder farmers to become more productive, resilient and profitable.
The AYuTe Nigeria Challenge kicked off with an official launch at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on the 17th of August, 2022 as a hybrid event that created opportunities for in-person and virtual participation. Structured to create a wholesome experience for all participants, the official launch of the AYuTe Nigeria challenge provided the opportunity for Heifer International (through its Nigerian office) to provide information about the concept, purpose and expected outcomes of the challenge.
Also doubling as a press event, the members of the fourth estate had the opportunity to seek clarification concerning the overall goal, implementation plan, and the expected long-term impact of the program not only on the immediate beneficiaries but also on the agricultural sector and society at large.
This Launch opened the application portal for the application of the premier AYuTe Nigeria Challenge for a period of 4 weeks. After this, a total of 682 applications were received and screened by 42 business development professionals, and consultants, with multiple years of experience across different sectors in Nigeria. After investing 84 man-hours over a 3-week period, the panel of 42 Judges screened the 682 applications through 4 stages, to the top 10 applications. This was further slimmed down to the last 5 finalists: Soupah Farm-en-market Limited, Padinoma Agrotech, eVet Technology and Simkay Foods Limited.
Soupah Farm-en-Market Limited, founded by Ifeoluwa Olatayo, leverages the lack of effective distribution plaguing the agribusiness value chain in Nigeria and posing as food security threat. Her ambitious product seeks to eliminate the middleman between the farmers and the market through the deployment of a simple USSD solution. The simplicity of her solution makes it more accessible to rural areas where internet penetration would ordinarily impede access. She used this model to build a network of 1,386 smallholder farmers who has over 3,124 hectares of land in the South of Nigeria alone.
According to Mr. Rufus Idris, Country Director, Heifer International, Nigeria, the organisation aims at supporting more than two million families, predominantly women and youth, to reach a sustainable living income by 2030 through focusing on technology within the agro-space and the youth population.
Rejoice Usim’s Simkay Foods Limited won the $ 6,000-second prize while Stephen One’s eVet Technology won the $4,000 prize.