Congratulations to the Finalists of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy!
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Why AgriTech?

By 2030, the world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion, with more than half of that growth occurring in Africa. We will need to increase food availability by at least 60 percent to meet the demand of the additional people on the planet. Agriculture must change and grow now to meet the needs of the future.

Agriculture is by far the most important economic activity in Africa, employing about two-thirds of the continent’s working population. Yet agricultural productivity growth in Africa is about half that seen in other developing economies. Only 3 percent of smallholder farmers are actively using any form of digitive service. Innovative, affordable integration of technology is needed to close the digital divide, increasing farm productivity, decreasing food loss, and bringing value to farmers.

Agricultural technology (AgriTech) is essential for this growth. AgriTech can allow for tremendous progress in crop yields, farm productivity, plant and animal health, sustainability, waste reduction, and scalability. AgriTech is a fast-growing industry ripe for innovative business models and opportunities. It is good for business and needed for people.

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech addresses the problems faced by farmers on small to medium-sized farms in Africa. More broadly, it is designed to accelerate progress toward the first two SDGs: eradicating poverty and eliminating hunger. For nearly 25 years, extreme poverty was on the decline. The ravaging effects of COVID-19 have compounded a growing climate crisis, and we now face the worst setback in poverty eradication we’ve seen in a generation. It is more important than ever that we act now and accelerate change to end global poverty. Ending hunger is closely intertwined with ending poverty. The root of the food crisis begins at the farm. Increasing productivity and value to small and medium-sized farms is critical for solving global hunger.  

We believe the builders, the dreamers, the creative, collaborative minds will help us accelerate progress and create a more equitable, sustainable, and abundant future.

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Milken-Motsepe Green Energy Prize
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Meet the Finalists: Stories from the Field: Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy competition launched at the Milken Institute Middle East and Africa Summit in November 2022. Aiming to reward innovators working to expand access to reliable, affordable, sustainable energy in Africa, more than 160 teams from around the world entered, and 20 semifinalist teams from 36 countries were chosen to prove the effectiveness of their ideas in field tests. Five finalists, including the teams below, were selected to advance in the competition and deploy their technologies in a live demonstration in South Africa in February 2024. In addition to receiving funds to test their innovations and a variety of special benefits, finalists are competing for the $1 million Grand Prize, which will be announced at the Milken Institute Global Conference in May 2024. Meet the finalists, and learn more about what inspired them to participate in this one-of-a-kind competition program here.

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Milken-Motsepe Green Energy Prize
Press releases

Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy Finalists Announced

Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy Finalists Announced  Five teams to share $350,000 in funding to continue developing and testing innovative off-grid green energy technologies  Los Angeles and Johannesburg (2 November, 2023) – The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation today announced the five teams advancing to the Finalist Round of the Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy. Each finalist team will receive $70,000 to further develop and test their designs in a live field test demonstration in South Africa next year.  The finalist teams are:  AfTrak Micro Electric Agriculture and Energy, for its innovative system of using solar microgrids to power custom-designed tractors for deep-bed farming;  “GEG – Geosleeve” Team for its thermoelectric geothermal power generation from low temperature geothermal; Newdigit Technologies, for its compact, portable device to generate energy and purify water;  OMNIVAT, for its containerized electricity generation and storage system for remote communities; and,   Smart Agri-Centres, for its solar-powered

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News clips

ITWeb Africa: Researchers Unveil AgriTech Plan to Boost Rice Production

ITWeb Africa recently featured IRRI-AfricaRice, the Third Place Winner of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech. In this article, Venuprasad Ramaiah, PhD, head of the International Rice Greenbank at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), details the importance of growing flood-tolerant rice varieties across Africa. Read the full article here.

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