Aiming to give prominence to the work that farmers and agriculturists do in South African agriculture, the Agricultural Writers SA recently hosted awards – sponsored by Monsanto SA, Sanlam, Santam Agriculture and Rovic Leers – to honour new entrants into commercial agriculture and agriculturists for their excellence in commercial farming.
“Every day we are met with the challenge of catering a growing population. With these awards, Agricultural Writers SA acknowledges the role that farmers and agriculturists play in addressing food security,” said Magda du Toit, chairman of Agricultural Writers SA.
The candidates that were honoured were:
Agriculturist of the Year
• Gauteng – Dr Koos Coetzee
• Limpopo – Dr Elsje Joubert
• North West – Dr Annemie Erasmus
• Free State – Johan van den Berg
• Northern Cape – Dup Haarhoff
• Western Cape – Dr Johann Strauss
• Eastern Cape – Jeff Every
New Entrant into Commercial Agriculture
• Gauteng – Dr Brylyne Chitsunge (Elpasso Farms)
• Free State – Solomon Mosoeu
• Western Cape – Warren Bam
Farmer of the Year
• Gauteng – Vito Rugani (Greenway Farms)
• Limpopo – Piet Engelbrecht (Piet Engelbrecht Trust family farming)
• Kwazulu-Natal – Xolani Gumede (Cappeny Estates)
• Western Cape – Charles Back
The National Award recipients were:
- National New Entrant into Commercial Agriculture: Warren Bam
- National Agriculturist of the Year: Dr Annemie Erasmus
- National Farmer of the Year: Charles Back (via Bizcommunity)
Attacq Smart Cities Innovation Challenge Winners Announced
The winners in the Attacq Smart Cities Innovation Challenge were recently announced, each receiving incubation support from the LaunchLab in addition to a share of R100,000 seed funding from Attacq.
Over the past four months LaunchLab ran the entrepreneurial challenge across partner university campuses in the South Africa to source innovative smart city ideas to help build smart urban development Waterfall City. This was done for the second year in partnership with Attacq.
The challenge formed part of the LaunchLab’s Breakthrough Innovation Platform. The challenge was open to anyone with solutions that address opportunities specifically in; locations technologies, transportation, security IoT, loyalty and technology to improve the experience in spaces, where people live, work and play. Their ideas were either pitched at participating campuses or submitted online.
LaunchLab received more than 60 submissions which were then narrowed down to the top 12 finalists. The finalists pitched their smart city innovation ideas on 26 October at the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab to a panel of judges consisting of four senior executives selected from Attacq and the LaunchLab.
The Attacq Smart Cities Innovation Challenge winners, who will proceed to the LaunchLab Lift-Off Programme, are:
- Sxuirrel: an app that connects short-term storage seekers with property owners with additional space they would like to make money from.
- Poynt Bikes: a mobile application-based bike share system aimed at providing a sustainable, convenient, cost effective and alternative mode of transport to all those within a town or city.
- Hydrogen Fueled Drones: drones that are able to last 12+ times longer than current drones and therefore able to perform tasks that were previously not possible.
- Appmit: a mobile app to enable flexible entry into spaces and facilities.
- Y-shop: an online grocery ordering system using a micro-jobbing model.
- Drop Car Wash: an on-demand location-based car wash service looking to help formalise an informal service offering.
Meet the Startups Pitching at the Seedstars Africa Summit
After another year in which the Seedstars World teams traveled to over 80 countries around the world and over 20 of them on the African continent with the mission to find the best tech startups in emerging markets, we are now just weeks away of hosting theirr third Africa Summit in Maputo, Mozambique on December 14th.
The Seedstars Africa Summit is the climax of the local pitching competitions that aims to bring together the Seedstars Network in Africa. Meet the startups selected to pitch at the main stage.
- Mozambique – TABECH Serviços will present MovelCare, which uses feature phones to access funeral insurance.
- Ethiopia – LangBot, created a gamified and AI powered language teaching chatbot.
- Nigeria – Medsaf is an e-health startup that is making the process of buying and selling medication in Nigeria’s complex health system easy and efficient.
- Angola – Tupuca – Is the first online food delivery platform in Angola. Tupuca serves over 20,000 customers. They delivered over 80 000 meals in the first year and created over 75 jobs.
- South Africa – EMGuidance solves a critical problem for medical professionals by aggregating medical content from regional experts in one app.
- Cameroon – Gifted Mom democratises health information access in emerging markets through an AI-based remote medical support platform.
- Mali – Esene is an on-board system that collects soil moisture to provide water and fertilizer for crops.
- Rwanda – PikiWash, an eco-friendly, time-saving solution for motorcycles was selected the best startup in Rwanda.
- Uganda – Numida developed a business financial management mobile app which issues affordable convenient and unsecured credit to small and medium enterprises in Uganda.
- Senegal: MaTontine provides access to small loans and related financial services like micro-insurance by digitising traditional savings circles.
- Cote d’Ivoire – Cinetpay is a mobile money payment gateway that enables e-merchants and merchants to accept mobile money and card payments, online or offline.
- Tanzania – Nefrids Africa, has developed SimuBima, a Mobile Phone Insurance Solution designed to reach as many users across Tanzania using digital channels.
- Ghana – AgroCenta empowers smallholder farmers through innovative technology was selected the best startup in Ghana.
- Zimbabwe – MyRunner – enables anyone to purchase bus tickets online and track bus location at all times, making the experience safer and more pleasant.
- Botswana: Yapili, a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform that connects users to doctors for medical advice.
- Kenya: M-Shule improves learning for every primary student in Africa using artificial intelligence and SMS to deliver personalised, accessible education.