On July 22, 2016, SUA and the Innovation Portfolio of iAGRI hosted the Tech Talent Innovation Fair and Competition. The day also marked the official opening of the Tech Talent space where students will be equipped with intellectual property database access. The event was the first of its kind in Morogoro and gathered together stakeholders from agro-processing industries, NGOs and investors with interests in supporting and encouraging local youth. A total of 118 participants attended the event including representatives from Small Industries Development Organization, Straight Box, Shambani Milk Company, Empower Project, Beda Ltd, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania, World Vision, Winrock Rock/WARIDI, CONSENUTH, Africa-re, Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC). The three winners of the 2016 Tech Talent Innovation Fair included:
AquaTech: John Peter Hewa Kinyage and E.D. Shirima have developed a fish farming innovation they describe as RAS Technology. The innovation allows fish to be transported live using a unique design that enables water filtration in a transportable unit. The innovation is aimed at improving access to fish in inland areas.
Lilian Richard: Lilian developed a micro-dose fertilizer applicator. She stated “I had this idea for at least a year. But after seeing the Tech Talent event flyer, I decided to work on it and to do something to help farmers.” Lilian’s innovation is targeted at improving the use of inputs particularly for rural farmers.
SECO Group: Amir Martnine and Julius Onsaeli developed a low-cost potato processing unit capable of cleaning, grating, slicing and peeling potatoes. The SECO Group’s Potato Tocha is aimed at providing an affordable unit for small and medium sized enterprises.
Through this initiative, SUA and iAGRI aim to support students and graduates to take their ideas to the next level. Through Tech Talent, 17 young innovators have been identified as having tangible solutions to improving agricultural productivity, nutrition and food security in Tanzania. Their ideas have ranged from agricultural mechanization, irrigation and agro-processing ideas that are practical and scalable. These 17 innovators in turn have been paired with mentors who have donated their time, knowledge and expertise to help bring these ideas to fruition.
Over the next six months, the Innovators will be mentored and coached to continue to develop their products and prototypes. For more information about Tech Talent, contact Dr. Maria Mullei at firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. Bernard Chove at email@example.com. Also visit the webpage for Tech Talent at http://iagri.org/innovation-portfolio/techtalent-initiative/.