Entrepreneurial young Ghanaians selected to take part in the 2019 AgriTech Challenge, run by the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), have started their first market research tour to enable them to appreciate the agricultural sector better.
The 12-day market search is part of the 10-month road map for the 101 selected participants in the KIC AgriTech Challenge.
They will visit six regions — Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Northern – to learn about the challenges facing the country’s agricultural sector.
The market research tour is an integral component of the KIC programme which exposes the future, “AgriTechies” to the key players involved in the agricultural value chain, from farming practices through to packaging and sales.
“During this tour the AgriTechies, who are drawn from all over Ghana, will interact directly with farmers and regional agri-businesses to learn about the challenges facing those involved,” a statement from KIC said.
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It added that the tour would also enable the young entrepreneurs to collect valuable insights and inputs from the people they meet, to serve as the future building block to develop their business ideas.
The participants, last month, visited the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, one of the 26 institutions and agribusinesses engaged in cash crops production, livestock, agro-processing, irrigation, packaging and greenhouse farming, among others, to understand wider government and trade practices.
Wealth of talents
Since Kosmos Energy Ghana launched the KIC AgriTech Challenge three years ago, 11 companies, each providing solutions to key challenges in the value chain, have been created.
Expert training, capacity building and mentorship have also been provided to more than 300 young men and women.
“Everyone at the Kosmos Innovation Centre is looking forward to another successful season. This year, the programme has once again attracted another cohort of very talented individuals who have a passion for innovation and who see real business opportunity in tackling challenges in our country’s agricultural sector,” the Vice President and Country Manager of Kosmos Energy, Mr Joe Mensah, said.
He added, “We’re delighted to play our part, supporting ambitious small businesses to grow sustainably and in encouraging young entrepreneurs to realise their true potential.”
KIC was created in 2016 as Kosmos Energy’s flagship social investment programme to help build a brighter future for the Ghanaian economy through young entrepreneurs.
The KIC begins its work by choosing an area of focus from one of Ghana’s many different sectors.
Since its first year, the programme has turned its attention on agriculture – the largest sector of Ghana’s economy – where it continues to pursue and nurture the development of market-based solutions that address development challenges.