By Kayode Tokede
The agriculture sector in Nigeria and the larger African continent faces a number of challenges including climate and weather, rural-urban migration, lack of expertise and limited access to funding.
While solutions to address these challenges have increased year on year with great success, more still has to be done before Africa can fulfil its potential of being the “food basket for the world”.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB), one of the biggest financial players in the development of Nigeria’s agriculture sector, has announced the 2020 edition of the FCMB Agritech Epic Pitch, through which it plans to sustain funding for early to growth-stage entrepreneurs to grow and scale their Agritech businesses.
In its 3rd Year, the FCMB Agritech Epic Pitch 2020 will be implemented through Hub One (the Bank’s tech Hub located in Lagos, Nigeria) in partnership with Passion Incubator, a Lagos-based early-stage tech incubator, and accelerator.
For this edition, FCMB will be providing grant funding of N1.5million to 2 tech start-ups in the agriculture sector to support their business growth as well as access to free word-class workspace, steady market and a robust network that stimulates innovation, collaboration and business growth.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FCMB Agritech Epic Pitch 2020 is the first virtual edition of the initiative, but is positioned to deliver the same value to participants, as demonstrated in previous editions. According to Rolayo Akhigbe, Divisional Head, Transaction Banking, FCMB “We are passionate about supporting Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and this initiative is one of the ways through which we are building and accelerating the growth of the Agritech Startups in Nigeria, as well as the larger African continent…”
Also according to Kudzai Gumunyu, Divisional Head, Agric Business “This initiative plays an important role in helping young and driven Nigerian entrepreneurs grow their Agric-focused business. This mission would eventually build investible, sustainable and scalable AgriTech businesses that can contribute to the nation’s employment rate as well as the growth of the nation’s GDP”.
Application for the program is currently open. Entrepreneurs in the Agritech space should apply by visiting https://on.fcmb.com/AEP. The deadline for application is July 24, 2020.
The program will also feature a virtual conference with the theme “Redefining and repositioning Agricultural value chains during and post the COVID-19 era”, which will bring together some global experts to discuss and share some insights on the Agricultural value chains.