Zimbabwean agricultural innovators win at Innovation and Rural Transformation Expo
They presented their projects related to the digitalisation of production and the use of AI
Three Zimbabwean agricultural innovators have been nominated for sponsorship at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Innovation and Rural Transformation Expo held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
The initiative, which followed the Kinshasa Declaration on Rural Transformation adopted at the African Rural Development Forum, aims to support national and regional efforts in this area.
The event gave 100 young innovators from Southern Africa the opportunity to showcase their projects in food security and rural development.
One winner’s company creates software that allows users to have databases of farmers and their products. Their systems in the value chain make it easier for service providers to connect with farmers in real time.
Another winning company has artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that enable remote sensing for climate change and risk mitigation, as well as early warning systems for diseases, adverse weather conditions. They also conduct digital soil analysis to determine which areas are most favourable for specific crops and understand how the soil naturally provides nutrients to wild trees and vegetation.
Another Zimbabwean company recognised by the jury has started producing new food products that are now available on the market. They utilise local products such as tamarind, castor oil, majanje and others, as well as promoting the use of traditional cereal crops in value chains.
Out of 100 innovators representing 16 countries, 20 were winners.
In his remarks, Agricultural Youth Desk Chief Programme Coordinator Nickros Kajengo said the event helps promote sustainable rural development and creates new opportunities for young men and women living in rural areas.
“This event has become a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration among SADC member states to come up with innovative solutions to improve livelihoods in member states. We are happy to have the support of our state leaders,” he said.
At the heart of the agricultural transformation process are innovation and agro-technology. These are the fundamental building blocks that will take the sector to the next level.
The knowledge exchange among SADC member countries aims to promote cooperation and develop concrete solutions to improve rural livelihoods.
The exhibition, organised by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA), the New Partnership for African Economic Development (NEPAD) and the World Food Programme, focused on sustainable rural development, unemployment and underemployment of rural youth and women.
SADC, which comprises 16 states, aims to promote economic growth, sustainable and equitable socio-economic development in the region, as reported by ZBC News, a partner of TV BRICS.
Through initiatives such as the Rural Innovation and Transformation Expo, SADC aims to strengthen regional cooperation and integration, and promote good governance.