FOOD CRISIS: Heifer International Names ThriveAgric, DigiCow, Brastorne AYuTe Africa Challenge Winners 2022

Thrive Agritech from Nigeria, DigiCow from Kenya and Brastorne from Botswana are the AYuTe Africa Challenge 2022 winners


LAGOS, Nigeria [SHIFT MEDIA] Three Young African Agritech innovators have won the 2022 AYuTe Africa Challenge.

The trio; ThriveAgric of Nigeria, Kenya’s DigiCow and Botswana-based Brastorne Enterprise  were announced by Heifer International

All three of the 2022 winners will help African farmers by providing a novel solution to everyday obstacles:

AYuTe Africa Challenge supports agritech innovators. ThriveAgric is a fast-growing start-up boosting farmer incomes and production with its breakthrough “agriculture operating system.” DigiCow is A Kenyan based agritech firm using digital tools to modernize production on small-scale dairy farms, while the digital technology for feature phones developed by Brastorne Enterprises is narrowing Africa’s rural digital divide in Botswana.

M/s Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President of Africa Programs, Heifer International while announcing the winners said: “At a time when Africa is facing unprecedented food-related challenges, it is incredibly inspiring to see these young African champions firmly focused on an agriculture-led future that provides farmers with the innovations they need to succeed,” said  “We launched this competition in 2021, challenging African youths to bring us innovations poised to provide the positive disruption our farmers urgently need. ThriveAgric, DigiCow and Brastorne are more than ready to meet the moment.”

As winners of the 2022 AYuTe Africa Challenge, the three companies will receive a sizable monetary investment: a total of USD 1.5 million  (UGX 5.6B) in grants, along with ongoing support from a team of expert advisers accomplished business veterans to help them translate their funding into an aggressive expansion strategy. This is part of Heifer International’s commitment to support young entrepreneurs developing affordable tech innovations as they work to scale their businesses. Doing so makes new services and technologies available to African farmers to overcome long-standing challenges while attracting a new generation to unlock the huge potential of agriculture on the continent.

All three of the 2022 winners are helping African farmers by providing a novel solution to everyday obstacles:

Who The Winners Are

Thrive Agritech

The Nigerian based firm addresses a key challenge for small-scale farmers in Africa—a lack of access to finance, technical advice, business skills and market opportunities.

Thrive Agritech co-founder and CEO Uka Eje said they have developed the technologies, strategies and partnerships that will build the largest network of productive, profitable farmers Africa has ever seen.

“Thrive Agric’s 500,000 farmers are already producing and earning much more than the average Nigerian farmer. Investors are responding to our potential and this prestigious award from Heifer International will accelerate our plans to expand across the continent,” he said.


Has since its inception in 2014 helped over 20,000 dairy farmers in Kenya increase productivity with technology that provides free access to livestock management experts and links farmers to skilled and qualified veterinarians, artificial insemination providers and feed supply services using the Digi App from their mobile phones.

M/s Peninah Wanja, the co-founder of the Kenyan based Digi Cow said she grew up watching her mom struggle to get their cows to produce enough milk.

I’ve spent 15 years working with small-scale dairy farmers, so I know the challenges farmers face,” said Wanja. She pointed further:  “That’s why it’s been so exciting to see 60,000 farmers—many of them women—now using our DigiCow apps to become more profitable and productive. With this new support from Heifer International, I’m confident we can expand our reach to help small-scale dairy farmers across the continent.”

Brastorne Enterprises

The Botswana based agritec  empowers farmers with apps, such as mAgri, to access access farming information, markets and short-term finance using the capabilities of any feature phone, such as SMS and interactive voice technology. The Brastorne mobile service Mpotsa (“Ask me”) provides rural unconnected mobile users with localized information, and Vuka harnesses USSD technology to allow users on any phone to create profiles, add friends, create chat groups, and more.   These technologies have helped farmers realize a 250% increase in yields and achieve 85% savings in communication and information access. The company also boasts 100% youth employment.

Martin Stimela, co-founder and CEO of Brastorne noted: “About 80% of Africans cannot afford smartphones or expensive data — but they do have feature phones, and Brastorne is ensuring those phones connect farmers, youth and women to the resources they need,” said  “We look forward to working with Heifer International to connect the rural poor with equitable access to markets, information and community.

NB Don’t miss the exclusive interview with the winner in our next publications

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