AGRF, Heifer International and Generation Africa launch PitchAgriHack 2023 to Spur Agritech Innovation

Africa’s Food Systems Forum (AGRF), Heifer International, and Generation Africa today announced the launch of Pitch AgriHack 2023, marking the third year in a row that the three partners will award cash grants to promising young agritech innovators across the continent.

Pitch AgriHack aims to inspire and empower young African agritech entrepreneurs to unleash their innovative spirit and contribute to the transformation of the continent’s agricultural landscape.
With total prize money of USD 45,000, Pitch AgriHack 2023 will reward the most promising ventures that address key challenges and promote sustainable agricultural development across the continent. The competition consists of three categories: Early-stage, Mature/Growth-stage, and Women-led ventures. Three winners and three runners-up will be selected in each category, with each winner receiving a cash prize of USD 10,000 and each runner-up receiving USD 5,000.

“Africa’s agricultural sector is on the cusp of a transformation and at Heifer International, we recognize the pivotal role youth and innovation play in driving this development and proffering solutions that meet the daily needs of smallholder farmers,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President for Africa Programs at Heifer International.

“By harnessing the power of technology and innovation, we can strengthen local economies, enhance food production, and uplift communities. Our theme for this year’s Pitch AgriHack is ‘Unleash your Innovation’, and it is an incredible opportunity for young agritech entrepreneurs to showcase their innovations that will contribute to the transformation of Africa’s agricultural sector, providing new jobs and improved food security.”

Dr Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Former Special Envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit, expressed her optimism for the competition, stating, “The agriculture sector is undergoing a digital revolution, and Pitch AgriHack 2023 is at the forefront of this transformation. Young businesses with technological solutions are helping smallholder farmers to break through barriers that have relegated them to subsistence farming practices, and Pitch AgriHack is amplifying their visibility and providing them with valuable networking opportunities.”

Dickson Naftali, Head of Generation Africa, said: “We firmly believe that the innovative solutions developed by young entrepreneurs have the potential to revolutionize the way we address food security challenges and empower smallholder farmers across the continent. Through Pitch AgriHack, we are creating an ecosystem that nurtures and supports entrepreneurs’ growth, providing them with the resources and recognition they need to succeed.”

“With Pitch AgriHack, we want to inspire and attract young talent to drive African solutions to resilient food systems transformation,” emphasized Amath Pathe Sene, Managing Director of AGRF. “When agroecology, climate science and bleeding-edge digital technology meet, the agrifood sector becomes so much more than just attractive and impactful career opportunities. This is a space where young entrepreneurs can reimagine the agriculture landscape in Africa and create a sustainable future.”

Entrepreneurs and innovators in the agritech sector are invited to submit their applications to Pitch AgriHack 2023 starting 29 May until 3 July 2023. Apply Here. The competition is open to African founders or co-founders, ages 18-40, who have businesses providing agritech solution and digital services in the agriculture sector.

Finalists will be selected from among applicants through a rigorous selection process by expert reviewers who will evaluate the submissions based on their innovativeness, feasibility, and potential for impact. Selected finalists will then pitch their agritech solutions to an esteemed panel of judges, on stage at a live finale event, at the AGRF in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from the 4th – 8th of September, where the winners will also be announced.

Meanwhile, the AGRF Agribusiness Deal Room, attended by over 800 companies, 15 government delegations, and 150 public and private investors, will generate exciting new opportunities for these entrepreneurs to secure investments, partnerships, and mentorship.

Pitch AgriHack 2023 is a testament to the commitment of AGRF, Heifer International, and Generation Africa to foster innovation, create jobs, and enhance food security in Africa. Through this dynamic competition, they aim to inspire a new generation of agritech entrepreneurs who will revolutionize the agricultural landscape and empower smallholder farmers across the continent.

Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with more than 39 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities across Africa for 49 years, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income. For information, visit

Generation Africa is a thematic platform of the AGRF, whose mandate is to strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector across Africa. From its start in 2019, Generation Africa has brought together industry leaders, government institutions, NGOs, NPOs, and community platforms to collaborate on ecosystem development, curation and support of agribusinesses, research and advocacy, and the inspiration of young people to embrace opportunities in the agrifood sector. Find out more at

The African Food Systems Forum (AGRF) is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. Under AGRF’s current strategy, the Forum is particularly focused on driving progress of the Malabo Declaration by 2025 as the priority set of commitments African Heads of State and Government have made to strengthen agricultural development at the centre of the continent’s overall development and progress. The AGRF is organised by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation. For more information visit

Media Contact: Jane Machigere