Nationwide Agricultural Business competition launched in Ethiopia


A nationwide agricultural business competition, titled  “Green Innovation & Agritech Slam 2019 (GIAS)” launched in Ethiopia on August 7. The competition aims to find innovative solutions to address the critical challenges of the agricultural sector.


The competition was launched by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through its green innovation centers project in collaboration with the Technical Center for Agricultural, Rural Cooperation (CTA), and Iceaddis, Ethiopia’s first innovation hub & tech incubator.


A press release was held on Wednesday to launch the start of the competition. Markos Lemma, co-founder, and CEO Iceaddis explained what GIAS 2019 is. He said that this competition aims to support innovative agricultural ideas and businesses throughout the country. He added, “iceaddis recognizes the need to bring innovation by young Ethiopians to the agriculture scene. It is time we support our farmers better with innovation and technology.”


The competition will award ten creative and bright ideas, and companies with over 1M ETB shared prize between winners. The winners will be recognized on 14th, November 2019 in a grand ceremony. The winners would get ideas and capacity-building support, and they will have the opportunity to travel to Germany for an exposure visit.


On the press release, Laura de Guevara, GIZ – Green Innovation Centres – Ethiopia, said, “GIAS has been held since 2016. Agriculture is the cornerstone of the Ethiopian economy. Disseminating agricultural innovations are essential to increase productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers. By strengthening the private sector, up- and downstream enterprises, and promoting entrepreneurship directed towards challenges of the agricultural sector, the service provision for smallholder farmers can be improved.”


Azeb Assefa, one of the winners of last year’s competition with the agricultural idea which focuses on wheat and beans to fill the protein gap in most Ethiopian dishes. She told Addis Insight that she got lots of benefits after winning GIAS 2018. She said, “the exposure I obtained after winning the competition was the most important thing. I had the chance to meet with successful agricultural entrepreneurs.” Azeb added that she had the opportunity to travel to about 10 places where tene received an experience to develop her idea. Azeb has now founded a company called “Blu Foods,” which will be launched after two months.


This year’s competition has two categories. The Value chain Challenge which focuses on business in the food and value chains of wheat, legumes, or honey. This challenge has a deadline on 1st October 2019. The second one is called Pitch AgriHack Challenge, and it focuses on digital solutions that can solve agricultural problems and supports the sector.


The competition is organized in collaboration with the FDRE Ministry of Agriculture and the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). Every resident of Ethiopia, who has an innovative agricultural business idea, can apply for the competition via  The Green Innovation & Agritech Slam welcomes individuals, private businesses, higher learning institutes, and governmental and non-governmental organizations with innovative ideas and businesses in the selected value chains, as well as young digital innovators offering digital services to the entire agricultural sector.