Blog Nairobi ignites for the Consultation Workshop of the AgriTech4Kenya Innovation Challenge 2024

Nairobi ignites for the Consultation Workshop of the AgriTech4Kenya Innovation Challenge 2024 - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

Against the backdrop of Nairobi's lush landscapes and pulsating innovation ecosystem, 130+ experts and stakeholders converged for a high-level consultation workshop to kick-start the AgriTech4Kenya Innovation Challenge 2024 and ignite transformation in Kenya's agri-food sector.

Nairobi (Kenya), 16 April 2024 – Organized by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT in collaboration across CGIAR research centers, and powered by the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform, CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy Initiative, CGIAR Initiative on Nature-Positive Solutions, and Briter Bridges, the AgriTech4Kenya Consultation Workshop served as an opportunity for multi-stakeholder dialogue on the conditions and mechanisms necessary for Kenya’s agri- and climate-tech sector to flourish. The event aimed to feed the Assessment and Design phase of the overall project with local expertise, and to shape its direction and Priority Areas accordingly. In doing so, AgriTech4Kenya is ensured to be a project powered by Kenyans, for Kenya. 

With those in attendance ranging from governmental officials, private sector representatives, academicians, international organizations, NGOs, banks, farmers, farmers associations, investment funds, and more, the agenda progressed through high-level opening remarks, keynote speeches, and expert presentations, before culminating in lively collaborative breakout sessions. These sessions saw heartening enthusiasm from the attending stakeholders, facilitating the application of recommendations and lessons learned from diverse perspectives to the AgriTech4Kenya Innovation Challenge, exploring insights into how the project can unlock the potential of ambitious entrepreneurs and scientists and achieve maximum impact in addressing Kenya’s critical agricultural bottlenecks. 

Watch the recorded live stream here.

Of 130+ stakeholders and experts gathered, an encouraging 103 organizations were represented, with 32% from the private sector and 46% female participants. 86% of attendees were Kenyan nationals, highlighting a commitment to a participatory demand-driven design process that aims to ensure that the project is rooted in the local context and responds concretely to the needs of Kenya’s farmers and value chain players. 

For a taste of the key learnings that emerged –  

  • Patient Capital Prevails: Success in developing solutions hinges on patience and dedication. The willingness of investors to commit for the long haul is essential for sustainable progress. 

  • Mission-Driven Innovation is crucial: Effective solutions tackle real-world challenges with purpose and affordability in mind. Startups must identify clear demand-driven problems to solve to ensure relevance and impact. 

  • Economic Viability Matters: Long-term success and impact require solutions that are not only scientifically-valid, but also economically viable. Prioritizing viability ensures sustainability and lasting positive outcomes. 

The AgriTech4Kenya Innovation Challenge 2024 has been designed to catalyze agrifood systems transformation in Kenya by supporting the development, deployment, adoption, and scalability of high-impact, country-relevant science-based agritech solutions. Partners of the Challenge were each represented at the workshop, showcasing their commitment to unleashing Kenya’s potential in agri- and climate-tech through this timely initiative.  

A4IP stands confident that the workshop gathered critical information and perspectives that will ensure a context-specific refinement of the project’s Priority Areas, which will in turn ensure the scouting of high-relevance startups that meet market demands and local needs. 

Stay tuned for the open call for applications, as well as the official virtual launch event. Likewise, if you see a role for your organization in the Agritech4Kenya Innovation Challenge 2024, as a partner or a beneficiary, do reach out. We will be keen to have that conversation with you. 

Learn more here | Connect with us on LinkedIn | Reach out at [email protected] 

The Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) is the venture space that leverages CGIAR’s legacy in research and innovation to co-design, accelerate, and de-risk the development and deployment of science-based solutions for sustainable agriculture and climate action. A4IP entrepreneurs pioneer models to bridge research products from lab to market, create demand for CGIAR science, and strengthen its role in the innovation ecosystem. The initiative plays a catalytic role for entrepreneurial scientists, startups, and other strategic partners driving innovation that will make our agri-food systems healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable. A4IP is an initiative powered by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT; a CGIAR research center.