Opportunities in the agriculture sector are ripe for the picking due to the impact of technology according to Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.
Kagame addressed the 2018 African Green Revolution Forum in Kigali at the weekend and said, "With the knowledge and technology available, there has never been a better time for young Africans to get involved in agriculture and agribusiness, and create wealth and well-being, for society as a whole."
He called for improved coordination between governments and stronger collaboration among stakeholders, including policy-makers, scientific researchers, financial institutions and investors.
Kagame's comments were made just prior to the 'Pitch AgriHack 2018' awards, organised by Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) on the sidelines of the 2018 African Green Revolution Forum.
Winners in the early stage advanced stage categories were awarded grants of between €5000 and €15000.
Several African leaders attended, including Kenya's Deputy President Arap Ruto, Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Prime Minister of Gabon Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet.
Michael Hailu, Director at the CTA said the winners, from Kenya, Jamaica and Benin, are working in e-agribusiness and helping to transform agriculture for future generations.
"They are showing a pathway to enable the modernisation of agriculture. They are shining a light on the hope that will greatly improve rural lives and make agriculture attractive and profitable to youth who are too often migrating to cities in search of better opportunities."
Only 26 start-ups from 9 countries were selected out of 325 young AgriTech start-ups that competed for the Pitch AgriHack 2018 awards.
The CTA said at least one million farmers and agricultural stakeholders have leveraged services provided through applications developed through the AgriHack Talent Initiative.
The start-ups are mostly focused on ICT and have raised more than two million Euros from other investors and partners, according to the CTA.