AGcelerate

AGcelerate

Description

AGcelerate is an innovation partnership between talented young people, leading academics, development practitioners, businesses and industry to help co-create the future of Africa’s agrifood. Our aim is to provide knowledge, tools and resources for the next generation of entrepreneurs to build sustainable agrifood businesses that are in harmony with nature. 

Founded in 2017, AGcelerate already unites over ten institutions.  AGcelerate believes in the power of diversity. Our partners stem from various fields and we continue to attract more diverse disciplines to enrich our pool of expertise, tools and resources. More actors involved mean more solutions for sustainable food systems and this expands the flow and web of knowledge. Collaboration is our winning model! We focus particularly on stimulating and supporting young people, especially developing the potential of young women.Each year we organise an AGcelerate LAB in Kampala  to co-create and generate real-world outcomes for young entrepreneurs within agri-food.  The theme of the 2019 AGcelerate Lab is  "Scaling from Ideas to large-scale agribusinesses"


Basic Information

Entry Point

'Rushongoka Wa-Mpiira' of the Open Impact Institute rwampiira@openimpactinstitute.org

Commodities

Country

Uganda

Location(s) of Innovation Platform in Uganda

Participating States, Villages and Institutions

The core participating partners are as follows:

In Uganda; Makerere University and the Makerere University Business School, Gulu University, the Open Impact Institute, the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, RUFORUM Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (85 Universities across Africa), the RUCID Organic Agriculture Training College, the Business Development Centre, as well as the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Agripreneurship Alliance in Switzerland.


Date of Establishment

August 16th, 2017

Status of Innovation Platform

Active

Phase of Innovation Platform Progress

Phase 2

Innovations

Co-creation of new agribusiness ideas, Networking, Interactive training

Description of Innovations

New device for measuring pesticide residues

New organic fertilisers

Soil improvements through native micro-organisms

Apps to support farmers

Interactive training platform for Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness


Partners

Farmers

GUDIE Leisure Farm

RUCID Organic Training College & Farm

Young Farmers Champions Network

A series of young farmers who have recently started their businesses



Private Sector

Business Development Centre, Uganda


Policy Makers

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture - part of the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) 

RUFORUM

Researchers

Makerere University

Makerere University Business School

Gulu University

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Extension

Micro Financing Institutions

Others

The key participants and beneficiaries of AGcelerate are students of the above-mentioned Universities

Open Impact Institute - Ugandan think-tank

Uganda Agribusiness Alliance

Agripreneurship Alliance, Switzerland

Total Number of Stakeholders

11 - 20

Opportunities Addressed

1)     Knowledge Transfer: We engage in explicit collaborations for knowledge transfer partnerships for innovation and agripreneurship to link the academic trajectory with agricultural practice. At the core of AGcelerate are South-South and North-South linkages. This flow of knowledge results in unique solutions. The results are shared in publications in key journals and in conference presentations.

2)     Collaborative Innovations: Our AGcelerate Lab provides platforms, tools and resources for collaborative innovations in sustainable agribusinesses. The Lab harnesses collaborative potential of innovators to build cutting-edge solutions, create jobs, and spearhead community transformation. Every year since 2017, the Lab convenes in Kampala and brings together students, researchers and practitioners to co-create and collaboratively hack solutions.

3)     Young People: Key in driving innovation and change is young people; because they are agile! Sadly though, worldwide, youth engagement in agriculture is low, which is reflected in the associations the word evokes: ‘uncool’. AGcelerate seeks to reverse this mentality.

4)     Environmental Sustainability: We have a deep emphasis on agribusinesses that seek to minimize their impact on the ecosystems or see ecological restoration as a business idea.


Achievements to Date

AGcelerate has already had an impact on the institutions  in the partmership especially through linking people together with similar, or complementary, activities. These institutions and organisations were doing good work previously, but in isolation. Bringing them together within the collaborative eco-system of AGcelerate has already increased the impact and the long-standing sustainability. Some of the examples include linking together the Makaere University Business School and the Department of Agricultural Production bringing business and science together. Students who engaged in AGcelerate in 2017 and 2018 have developed innovative business ideas that have allowed them to win international scholarships for leadership training in the USA. As a result of AGcelerate, the Agripreneurship Alliance, an NGO focused on training in Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness in East Africa, was created and is developing very successfully.  The students following this programme have already created a series of agribusinesses. Due to AGcelerate, funding was obtained for an Erasmus Plus exchange of 5 staff members and 5 students respectively from Makerere University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences  to allow them to teach and study in Uganda and in Sweden. This is on-going in 2019.

Another benefit of AGcelerate has been to introduce the institutions to interactive, facilitated learning as a teaching practice which was not been widely implemented before. This will be further developed through the 2019 AGcelerate Lab.


Challenges Remaining

We need to bring more partners from the private sector into the AGcelerate eco-system including financial institutions.

To build on the success so far with the diverse stakeholders to deliver even more tangible results and expand our sphere of influence.

Sustainability Issues

A more stable source of funding for the AGcelerate Lab will ensure the long-term sustainability of the partnership.

Innovation Platform Members