Immersion exercise has commenced for the Wennovation Hub (WeHub) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) next Agritech Superstar challenge. The initiative is designed around discovering startups that will disrupt Nigeria’s agricultural sector with innovative ideas leveraging on technology.
Tagged #FcmbWehubAgritech19, it is an effort by both organisations to support at least 10 top teams with a demonstrable Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to build sustainable business models, and provide at least two startups with seed investment.
Part of the objectives of the Wennovation Hub incubation program is to guide early stage entrepreneurs to test and validate their ideas as well as gather their first set of customers or pivot if need be. Also, a secondary objective is to prepare the startups for acceleration.
The organisers offer a combination of financial support, guidance and training to the winning startups.
Startups are expected to focus on resolving problems in Nigeria’s agricultural sector that include use of low yielding seed varieties by Nigerian smallholder farmers; lack access to arable and irrigated farmland for all year farming; lack of appropriate and profitable financing models for smallholder farmers by Nigerian banks; and poor distribution network as well as weak supply chain leading to high cost of agro-inputs.
The startups are also expected to come up with solutions that address the challenges at the production end of the agriculture chain which include poor access to affordable and appropriate irrigation systems to produce crops all year round sustainably; overall low use and low quality of fertilizer; poor access to mechanization leading to low quality of produce; high post-harvest losses and low productivity; as well as lack of access to quality, affordable and timely advisory on agriculture whether on pests and diseases, weather, soil condition, agronomy practices, and market info as well extension support.
Other issues the startups are expected to face centre also at the processing with storage end which include high post-harvest losses due to poor preservation, transportation, storage and processing systems; farmers lack capacity to invest in value addition; and absence of capacity to provide traceability and tractability of commodity.
Other problems rest at the marketing and sales which include poor access to market and market information and absence of access to advisory on business development. The boot-camp is expected to kick off 9th September, this week.