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Africa-Korea Agtech Innovation Challenge and Summit

February 8-9, 2023
Nairobi, Kenya
Africa-Korea AgTech Innovation Challenge

The World Bank, with support from the Korea World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF) and the Korean Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF), and in partnership with Plug and Play Tech Center, is launching the Africa-Korea AgTech Innovation Challenge to identify disruptive agricultural technologies (DATs) interested to work in Kenya and Uganda. The World Bank seeks to create bridges between innovators and explore the potential to incorporate DATs into its work.

21 finalists were selected from the online application process, which closed on 30th November 2022. 

The finalists pitched their solutions at the Africa-Korea Agtech Innovation Summit in Nairobi, Kenya on 8-9 February 2023. The Summit showcased the finalists to key government officials from Kenya, Uganda and South Korea, World Bank and United Nations stakeholders, prominent accelerators and venture capital firms (VCs).  View the full program here.

The winning solutions will also potentially have an opportunity to join the One Million Farmers Platform in Kenya.


Theme: Improving agricultural productivity and efficiency

1. Agribusiness Solutions | Kenya 

Agribusiness Solutions Ltd was founde

d in 2014 as a proprietorship consultancy firm, specializing in agribusiness financial literacy, but has evolved into a company with the goal to empower poor rural communities in arid and semi-arid areas in Africa. The company achieves this through manufacturing of avocado oil, briquettes, biodiesel, and black soldier fly farming.

2. AgroCares | Netherlands 

Established in 2019, AgroCares is a global Ag-Tech company based in the Netherlands, providing smart farming nutrient testing solutions and information services for soil. The company supports farmers with fact based on on-the-spot monitoring of nutrients to improve crop productivity and soil health through resource efficient management practices. The objective is to transform traditional nutrient and develop new international standards for sensor analysis affordable and accessible to everyone and everywhere.

3. Akorion Company (EzyAgric) | Uganda

Established in 2015, EzyAgric is an eCommerce platform for genuine and affordable agricultural inputs and services. EzyAgric app helps smallholder households in Uganda to purchase genuine inputs, access farm advisory and consistent market. Digitization provides a cost-effective and sustainable aggregation power that provides the needed products and services to unlock Africa's endless farming possibilities. 

4. DK Ecofarm | South Korea

Founded in 2016, DK Ecofarm Co Ltd. aims to become the leading agricultural solution company based on its sensor and control system differentiation capabilities, which are key components of smart farm solutions especially Controlled Environment Food Production systems. The company strives for the globalization of Korean agricultural technology for the purpose of stable supply of healthy agricultural products through advanced technology. DK Ecofarm utilizes ICT-based smart agriculture and collaboration with farm households based on consistent research and development in the field of Smart agriculture growth environment management. 

5. PlantVillage | Kenya 

Established in 2012, PlantVillage is a nonprofit entity that developed a mobile application called Nuru that farmers use to identify disease symptoms and pest damage on plants. The app uses Tensor flow image detection technology to detect objects on plant leaves and patterns indicating disease outbreak. The AI-powered tool is trained using images of healthy and diseased leaves to enable diagnosis. The mobile app also provides weather forecasts and can be used offline and online. 

6. Satyukt Analytics | India 

Satyukt Analytics, founded in 2018, aims to reduce the high cost of production and crop losses in farming by providing data-driven insights on issues such as unscientific input usage, pests and diseases, irrigation efficiency, and natural risks like floods, droughts, and hailstorms. Satyukt Analytics focuses on developing actionable insights and making them accessible to most farm holders, including small and marginal farmers. 

7. Sherpa Space | South Korea 

Sherpa Space was established in 2016 to provide smart farm solutions to users by utilizing artificial lights to support plant growth and productivity. The company provides an adjustable combination of narrow-band light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are used to provide different plants with their preferred light components at different growth stages. The technology can load and customize light recipes based on customization options such as nutrient and chemical contents. 

8. SunCulture | Kenya 

SunCulture Kenya Ltd has been operating since 2013 and provides efficient, clean and reliable irrigation solutions for smallholder farmers. SunCulture operates in Kenya and Uganda as well as internationally through distributors in Ethiopia, Togo and Ivory Coast. SunCulture's solar-powered irrigation systems are designed to be easy to use and maintain, and they are made with locally-sourced materials to ensure that they are affordable and accessible to small-scale farmers. Sunculture Kenya also provides training and support to farmers to help them effectively use and maintain their irrigation systems. 

Theme: Improving market access and providing downstream and upstream linkages

1. eProd Solutions | Kenya 

eProd, established in October 2015, offers supply chain management ERP solutions to agricultural companies. The platform enables companies to create detailed farmer profiles, increase productivity through input provision and training, facilitate timely and accurate payments to farmers, and communicate through SMS, USSD, and reports. The platform also allows for stock management, creating a market system approach that leads to a transparent, traceable, and accountable supply chain.

2. Inputi | Uganda 

Inputi was founded in 2020 with the mission of bridging the gap between smallholder farmers and the necessary resources for successful crop production. As a digital marketplace, Inputi connects farmers with a variety of high-quality and authentic farm inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. In addition to providing access to inputs, Inputi also offers extension services and information to farmers. This includes valuable information on best practices for crop management, as well as access to markets for their produce and other value-added services. By connecting smallholder farmers to these resources, Inputi aims to empower farmers and improve their livelihoods, while also helping to strengthen the agricultural supply chain as a whole. 

3. Kuza Biashara | Kenya

Kuza Biashara is a private limited company established in 2011 with the goal of empowering underserved communities by building their capacity as entrepreneurs. It focuses on youth, women, and small business owners by onboarding them to an online platform called Rural Entrepreneur Development Incubators (REDI). Agripreneurs on the platform offer bundled services such as crop advisory, market access, agricultural inputs, and credit to smallholder farmers within their communities, earning a commission in return. The company operates in five countries across Africa and Asia, and has a growing network of partners. It also offers its platform as a service to governments, multi-laterals, and the private sector to incubate young agripreneurs. Kuza's OneNetwork, a curated digital marketplace, is used to onboard mission-aligned partners. 

4. SourceTrace Systems | India

Established in 2013, SourceTrace Systems offers digital solutions for agriculture and food businesses, including farm management software, data management, traceability, and supply chain management. The platform offers full visibility throughout the agriculture value chain and promotes transparency and traceability in the food trade. Additionally, the platform is customizable to integrate financial solutions such as ERPs, e-payment gateways, and data management systems, making farming more efficient for farmers.

5. ThriveAgric | Nigeria 

ThriveAgric was established in 2017 as a technology led agricultural social enterprise driven by ensuring food security through improving Africa's agriculture sector while creating rural job opportunities for young people. The company offers a full range of agricultural technology solutions that ensure maximum value at affordable costs to smallholder farmers and other stakeholders. These services include input financing, post harvest services, market access, development and training.

6. USOMI | Kenya 

USOMI was established in 2013 with the goal of transforming smallholder farming into profitable commercial enterprises. The organization works towards this goal by providing farmers with access to technologies, training, and forward contracts. USOMI's mission is to empower smallholder farmers in Africa to produce high-quality and traceable food, promote sustainable farming systems, improve livelihoods and contribute to the overall food security in Africa. The company does this by providing farmers with access to the latest technologies, training programs and forward contracts which enables them to meet the increasing demand for high-quality food. USOMI's approach is designed to be holistic and sustainable, and it is intended to improve the overall standard of living for smallholder farmers in Africa.

Theme: Financial inclusion of farmers

1. agriBORA | Kenya 

Founded in March 2019, agriBORA is an agri-fintech company that aims to de-risk smallholder agriculture by balancing technology and human touch. The company is building a digitally-driven end-to-end ecosystem around smallholder farmers, bringing farming inputs, financial services, and output markets closer together in a way that makes the process affordable, convenient, and reliable for farmers and their business partners. agriBORA's platform provides farmers with access to a variety of farming inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, at affordable prices. The goal of agriBORA is to make smallholder farmers more visible, accessible and bankable, by providing them with the necessary tools to improve their livelihoods and strengthen the agricultural supply chain. 

2. AgroCenta | Ghana

Established in September 2016, AgroCenta is an agricultural technology company that uses alternative data to provide financial services to smallholder farmers. The company's platform connects farmers to a variety of services, such as access to weather information, crop management advice, and market prices for their produce. AgroCenta also provides farmers with access to agricultural inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers, at affordable prices. In addition, the company offers financial services, such as loans and savings accounts, to help farmers invest in their operations. The company's goal is to empower smallholder farmers and increase their productivity and income, while also promoting sustainable agricultural practices. 

3. Amtech Technologies | Kenya 

Amtech started operations in 2007 specializing in ICT systems development in agriculture. Amtech operates a credit scores system that analyzes smallholder farmer datasets (this farm-level data is already present at the farmer organizations) using Amtech machine learning algorithm to produce relevant credit scores and decision tools that enable farmers’ organizations to lend. 

4. Farmer Connect | Switzerland 

Founded in 2019, Farmer Connect is a Swiss based tech company delivering end-to-end traceability solutions. The company empowers action in the areas of digitalization, sustainability, transparency and identity for smallholder farmers across the world. The company that aims to improve the sustainability and traceability of the coffee supply chain using blockchain technology. The company's platform, called "Beanchain" allows coffee farmers to register and trace their beans from the farm to the consumer, providing transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain. The platform also allows farmers to access market information, connect with buyers, and receive payments directly and securely. Farmer Connect SA's goal is to empower coffee farmers by giving them more control over their supply chain, increase their income and promote sustainable agricultural practices.

5. Farmerline | Ghana 

Founded in 2015, Farmerline is a fast-growing Agtech company in Ghana that uses technology to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. The company's platform connects farmers to a variety of services, such as access to weather information, crop management advice, and market prices for their produce. Farmerline also provides farmers with access to agricultural inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers, at affordable prices. In addition, the company offers financial services, such as loans and savings accounts, to help farmers invest in their operations. Farmerline's goal is to empower smallholder farmers and increase their productivity and income, while also promoting sustainable agricultural practices. 

6. M-Cash | Uganda 

Established in 2010, M-Cash Uganda Limited is a FinTech company that provides payment services to the banked and unbanked population of Uganda through partnerships with commercial banks. The company is licensed by the Bank of Uganda to operate as a payment service provider. M-Cash's technology is linked to mobile networks and financial institutions, and offers easy-to-use interfaces such as USSD, mobile apps, POS, ATM card, and e-banking solutions to its customers. This allows customers to easily access banking services such as cash deposits, withdrawals, and money transfers through their mobile phones. The company's goal is to increase financial inclusion by providing affordable and accessible payment services to underserved populations.

7. Mezzanineware | South Africa

Mezzanine started operations in 2009 as a subsidiary of the Vodacom Group. It operates as a tech start-up with the support of multinationals through Vodacom, and Vodafone. Mezzanine’s purpose is to work with its customers and partners to enable a healthy, well-educated society with an economically active adult population. This definition guides their focus on health, education, and agriculture as priority industries. 






Federico Naccarato 

Head of Innovation 

World Food Programme 

Domnic Menjo 

Senior Advisor 

Office of the President, Kenya 

Parmesh Shah 

Data and Digital Ag Lead 

World Bank Group 

Stewart Collis 

Senior Program Officer, Digital Solutions 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

Stuart Tippins 

Information Technology Officer (CSI - Digitalization and Informatics Division) 

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Priscilla Muiruri 

Senior Advisor 

Cabinet Secretary's Office, Kenya 

Bakang Moetse 

Corporate Partnerships Manager - Africa 

Plug and Play Tech Center 

Jamie Anderson 

Senior Financial Sector Specialist 

International Finance Corporation 

Natalia Olson-Urtecho 

Director of Government Partnerships & Institutions 

Plug and Play Tech Center 


Marc Garrigasait 

Fund Manager 

Panda Ag Fund 


Amos Mpungu 

Principal IT Officer 

Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and National Guidance (MICT), Uganda 


Sang-Hyuk Lee 

Director, Agri-tech Start-up Incubator Center

Korea Agriculture Technology Promotion Agency (KOAT)


Mukami Kariuki 

Country Manager Uganda 

World Bank Group 



The submitted applications will be scored according to the following criteria:

  • Potential for impact: solutions that address or ameliorate the challenge theme in a significant and meaningful way

  • Potential for scale: solutions that can scale to impact a large number of farmers, or significantly improve the conditions of the agricultural landscape

  • Business model: applicants have demonstrated or provided a roadmap for developing a viable and sustainable business model for generating revenues and growing

  • Inclusion: solutions that are easy to adopt and affordable in a Sub-Saharan African context, including accessible to smallholder farmers 

  • Partnership potential: Is there potential for meaningful partnerships with other organizations and DATs to amplify reach and impact? 



Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be legally incorporated in respective country(s) of operation before 30th November 2020 (operating for >2 years)

  • Particular interest to work in either Kenya, Uganda or South Korea 

  • Must have a publicly available product, with real users or customers and generating revenue

  • Product must address one of the three challenge themes: agricultural productivity, improving market access or financial inclusion of farmers in an innovative way



  • The top submissions (the “Finalists”) will be sponsored to travel to the “Africa-Korea Agtech Innovation Summit” in Nairobi, Kenya in February 2023, with all travel and accommodation expenses covered. 

  • The winning solution will potentially be offered an opportunity to join the One Million Farmers Platform in Kenya.

  • Finalists have networking opportunities with key global ecosystem players including Kenyan government and World Bank stakeholders and prominent accelerators and venture capital firms (VCs).

  • Learning opportunities and field trips to some of Kenya’s agri-innovation sites

  • Media exposure and features in World Bank publications and channels



  • Information and Onboarding Webinar: 22nd November 2022

  • Deadline for application: 30th November 2022 (by midnight Kenya Standard Time)

  • Fill online application form including by uploading request documents in the specified format

  • Submissions must be in English

  • Announcements of Finalists (indicative): 12th December 2022

  • Acceptance of Finalists: 15th  December 2022

  • Final Pitch: February 2023 (during the Africa-Korea Agtech Innovation Summit).


The World Bank Group defines DATs as digital and non-digital innovations that enable smallholder farmers to leapfrog their current constraints and improve their yields, incomes, nutritional status, and climate resilience.  These technologies range from mobile apps to digital identities for farmers, solar applications for agriculture, portable agriculture devices, and bio-fortified foods. DATs empower farmers by either (i) accelerating agri-food outcomes by multiple folds (3-5x) and/or by (ii) circumventing the conventions of the value chain to achieve the same/better results — but with a more efficient agri-food outcome.

The challenge invites DATs whose solutions address one of the following three themes:

1. Improving agricultural productivity and efficiency:

Why:  Crop yields and livestock productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa are not rising fast enough to meet growing food demand. Growth in productivity has slowed due to increased climate events, reliance on rainfed agriculture, low uptake of advisory and extension services, lack of access to better inputs (seeds, fertilizer, pesticides) and low rates of mechanization.

The Goal: To increase productivity and/or quality of produce while optimizing inputs 

2. Improving market access and providing downstream and upstream linkages

Why: Many smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa sell their produce to the local community or to intermediaries since they lack information and connections to alternative buyers who could give them better prices and conditions. Obstacles to market access include lack of information on demand, prices and production volumes, lack of mechanisms to certify or guarantee product quality, lack of access to high-quality buyers, and inability to get produce to the buyer in time due to logistical challenges and a lack of cold chain facilities.

The Goal: To improve market access and market integration for small-holder farmers, including providing links to better inputs and connecting farmers to buyers who can pay better prices.

3. Financial inclusion of farmers

Why: Access to credit and insurance products can provide a safety net for farmers, who are highly vulnerable to climate events. However, only 1 percent of credit supply flows to farmers. Factors that constrain financial access include lack of reliable data to support agricultural lending decisions, lack of collateral to secure financing, high transaction costs for providing financial services to rural areas, and lack of data for assessing risk and delivering financial services (for example, high costs of traditional claims processing for agri-insurance). Additionally, the high cost of credit translates into a lack of demand for credit by farmers.

Goal: Improving access to credit, insurance, and other financial instruments for smallholder farmers.


  • Application Deadline: Nov 30, 2022
  • Dates of Summit: February 8-9, 2023
  • Location: Nairobi, Kenya