Youth are catalysts and leaders of innovation in all spheres of life, and agriculture is not different. As part of the European Union funded AGRI-CONNECT programme in partnership with the Government of Tanzania, Rikolto developed the “Generation Food Accelerator”, an incubator for youth-led businesses, together with Sahara Ventures. The incubator supports young entrepreneurs with innovative business solutions to improve the food system in the Southern Highlands to ensure that healthy, sustainable and nutritious food is available for all. It specifically focuses on youth working in the horticulture sector.
On Friday 4 February, the first edition of the Generation Food Accelerator celebrated the end of its incubation phase with a “Demo Day” in Mbeya. During the Demo Day, 30 youth demonstrated their business solutions and after pitching to a jury of experts, 18 businesses were awarded with grants to advance their development. Based on the needs of the businesses, 12 youth received 9 million and 6 youth were granted 6 million Tanzanian shillings. The awarded winners cover a wide range of agri-businesses within the horticulture value chain: Organic fertilizer producers (input supply), organic farmers (production), tomato wine, nutritious cakes and juice processors, delivery and transporter services, and digital solutions to fill gaps within the value chain.