Mr Olayemi Akangbe, Programme Manager, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), in Benue says the Agribusiness Innovation Challenge will curb the perennial food wastage in the state.
Akangbe spoke on Saturday in Makurdi at the opening of applications from women and youths of ages of 18 to 35 for participation in the challenge.
The initiative was being conducted with the active collaboration of an NGO, ‘ Aiivon Innovation Hub’.
Akangbe said that the purpose of the challenge was to support the holistic development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
Akangbe said that the challenge would enable GAIN to discover youths and women who were into Agribusinesses using technology so as to provide technical assistance training to them.
He said, ”GAIN would also strengthen successful participants’ capacity and improve their access to financial services to improve supply chain efficiency.”
The programme manager stated that Benue was chosen as one of the participating states because agriculture was the mainstay of the state.
He, however, decried the level of agricultural produce being wasted in Benue every year due to lack of technology to process them.
Akangbe said that the Agribusiness Innovation Challenge would reduce food
wastage in the state.
He also said the challenge would reduce unemployment as successful participants will access the N5million prize money.
Akangbe, therefore, urged interested women and youths within the ages of 18-35, who were into agribusinesses using technology to apply for the challenge on or before Oct 3, 2022.
“The business must be at its early stage and not at an idea stage and it should have two or more founders.
“We will select 15 businesses to participate in the challenge and at the end, four successful businesses would be selected for the prize money while other participants would be introduced to international investors”, Akangbe said.
Also speaking, the founder of Aiivon Innovation Hub, Mr Attah Igoche, said Aiivon had supported over 3000 youths who were interested in ICT by providing them access to funds for their businesses.
Igoche said Aiivon’s partnership with GAIN in the Agribusiness Innovation Challenge was to solve the challenges in the different value chains, eliminate waste, support sustainable development, create decent jobs and reduce poverty in Benue.
GAIN is a Swiss-based foundation focused on tackling human suffering caused by malnutrition.