BY TOM JACKSON
Zimbabwean agri-tech startup Farmhut has secured US$100,000 in grant funding after being selected as one of the winners of the annual Hult Prize competition.
Farmhut is an AI-powered marketplace connecting farmers to markets that pay fair prices for their produce. It enables farmers to grow their business fast throughout the year, and ensures consumers get fresh, local, and sustainably-grown food from small producers in their local area.
The company has been selected as one of 11 winners of this year’s Hult Prize, an annual, year-long competition that crowd-sources ideas from university level students after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics such as food security, water access, energy, and education.
As one of the winners, Farmhut receives US$100,000 in grant capital, which it will use to help it expand its product offering and user base. It recently launched a WhatsApp-based chatbot to address the connectivity challenges faced by most farmers in Zimbabwe.
“This investment is not just for Farmhut. It goes to all the farmers toiling every day to put a meal on the table. It sets the stage for us to take our revolutionary solution to the rest of the world,” said Farmhut’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Ryan Katayi.