French South African Agricultural Innovation Prize: the winners have been announced
The French South African Agricultural Institute (F’SAGRI), created in 2015, provides for capacity building of 3 South African universities (Universities of Limpopo, Venda and Fort Hare) and research institutes in the agricultural and food sectors. It also provides for the development of innovative companies and more generally a close link with companies in the agricultural and agri-food sector.
The French South African Agricultural Institute (F’SAGRI), created in 2015, provides for capacity building at 3 South African universities (Universities of Limpopo, Venda and Fort Hare) and research institutes in the agricultural and food sectors. It also seeks to promote the development of innovative companies and more generally a close link with companies in the agricultural and agri-food sector.
The focus of the 2020 Innovation Prize is on innovation in agriculture. The Innovation Prize is intended for young students and researchers from all the universities of technology in South Africa, or start-up companies - on the condition that the laureates startups then engage in a partnership with F’SAGRI universities by taking interns, proposing study cases, participating in workshops.
The jury was made up of different representatives from the institutional and private sectors: Technology Innovation Agency, Department of Science and Innovation, Agricultural research Council, Business France, French Embassy, French Company, The Small Entreprise and Development Agency.
The four winners for the categories Best applied research - student project and Best innovation - start-up have been announced today:
1. Best applied research prize
Emogine Mamabolo – DISHAT (Development of an Integrated Soil Health Assessment Tool) - Currently doing her PhD at Stellenbosch University
Project: Understanding the status of soil health in agroecosystems is a fundamental step towards agricultural productivity and sustainability. Therefore, the development of soil health diagnostic tools is necessary to support the advancement of sustainable agricultural models. The proposed project aims to develop a soil health assessment tool which farmers can use to measure the sustainability of their production systems.
2. Best innovation - start-up
Louis-Gillis Janse van Rensburg - Fresh Life Produce, a start-up based in Cape Town.
Project: the project includes the incorporation of the use of a vertical, hydroponic growing system called the African Grower, to create networks of home farmers and to provide support and resources to these farmers through Agripreneurs working from food hubs.
Arnaud Blanchet - Shopit, a start-up based in Cape Town
Project: low-income consumers’ first need is to get a better access to quality and affordable food and first necessity products. The project partnered with spaza shops to use technology to address this need. The aim is to make local grocery shops more efficient and help local producers distribute their food using this network.
Mamkhele U Msongela – Ndalo Eco Cooler - Start up
Project: Ndalo Eco Cooler - an electric-less refrigeration product that utilises natural elements to create and maintain cold conditions that are conducive for perishable products storage. Basically the Eco Cooler uses water, wind and charcoal to reach its goal and applies thermodynamics to increase the desired results.