Innovation Community

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In addition to our work with the AYuTe Africa Champions, Heifer is leveraging other partnerships to create new opportunities for young African innovators to address the daily needs and challenges of smallholder farmers on the continent and elevate agriculture as a desirable career for the future.


In partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Solve initiative, which aims to solve the world’s challenges, Heifer is uncovering key agro-innovators through MIT Solve’s Innovation Challenge process and providing financial support towards smallholder farming in Africa. Furthermore, we connect these social entrepreneurs with MIT Solve’s Innovator Support program for added technical support to help them succeed and create impact at scale.

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Through our partnership with AGRA, Heifer International is playing a critical role in catalyzing youth and innovation development and agricultural transformation in Africa. To further this goal, Heifer sponsors Pitch AgriHack, a digital agriculture competition powered by AGRA’s Generation Africa. The competition focuses on accelerating entrepreneurial growth and job creation in the agriculture sector by leveraging advanced technologies and youth participation in Africa’s food security agenda.

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In partnership with Mastercard’s Community Pass solution, Heifer is leveraging technology and innovation to accelerate Africa toward a digitally empowered agriculture sector. The goal is to create strong value chain networks that create sustainable living incomes and stability for smallholder farmers and farming communities through access to finance, markets and partnerships.

Through Mastercard’s Community Pass solution, we are addressing infrastructure challenges that arise in digitizing rural communities, such as unreliable connectivity, low smartphone ownership and lack of consistent identification. We are enhancing farmer visibility to enable digital transactions and create a digital farmer presence to better reach and serve rural communities.

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Partnering with KUZA Biashara, Heifer is implementing digitized training and extension services across several agricultural value chains in Africa. 
The Heifer initiative, Digital Agriculture Champions (DACs), is geared towards empowering rural, tech-enabled, young agripreneurs who are supporting African smallholder farmers in embracing the digital economy to improve their production and income, including front-line extension workers across multiple programs.

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Working with Ignitia, Heifer is providing climate-smart information services via text messages to thousands of smallholder farmers in Africa. These messages share information on weather predictions to enhance resilience to climate change and improve farm practices.

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Working with PULA, Heifer is deploying a technology-driven insurance services model to cover losses experienced by smallholder farmers. Through this model, Heifer supports claims payouts to smallholder farmers who have suffered losses from climate change-induced shocks. 

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