Innovate UK KTN bolsters platforms for collaboration to strengthen the Agri sector in Ekiti State, Nigeria
Global Alliance Africa hosts Innovation Network Convening event with a special focus on innovation in agriculture.
Nigeria is known for its exceptional agricultural production, with over 70 million hectares of agricultural land area with maize, cassava, guinea corn, yam beans, millet and rice being the major crops. Following the recognition of Ekiti State as one of the key contributors to agricultural development in the country, it was fitting for Global Alliance Africa, delivered by Innovate UK KTN, to host its Innovation Network Convening event at the State on 26 July.
With a special focus on innovation in agriculture, the event provided an opportunity for players to network with others who are active players in the Ekiti innovation ecosystem, specifically those who are interested in exploring what innovation can bring to the agri-sector. The face-to-face knowledge-sharing event saw a room filled with key stakeholders such as the KTN Advisory Group members, Professor Ayo Ajiyo from Afe Babalola University, Director General of Ekiti Development Investment Promotion Agency, Damola Ajibade and many more eager innovators.
Speaking of the need to enhance collaboration within Ekiti State, Prof Ajayi says,
One of our biggest challenges in Ekiti is the lack of collaboration. From the entrepreneurs such as farmers, businesspeople, the government, and even investors, we do not connect to address the challenges that the ecosystem faces. We should be grateful for such platforms that are provided by UK KTN that allow us the space to bring more people within the innovation network together.
While the room saw entrepreneurs and innovators that were hungry for knowledge, it also saw opportunities such as those under the Place-Based Innovation intervention in Ekiti, i.e: the Agri Value Chain Challenge. The project is aimed at empowering local innovators, through collaboration. It further helps build a route for greater and more diverse innovation content in supply chains, while opening opportunities for market access, such as the knowledge transfer and expertise between the UK and Nigeria.
Global Alliance Africa Advisory Group Member Odunola Olabintan notes,
We solely exist to ensure that the ideas formulated in the newly launched Action Plan come to life and that we connect local solutions and ideas with the rest of the world. The project does not exist to bring ideas to the people of Ekiti, but the ideas for innovation are from the locals. This is achieved through Place-Based Innovation.
Global Alliance Africa Knowledge Transfer Manager Joshua Adedeji concludes,
These events will be done on a continuous quarterly basis, and this is done to enhance and enable collaboration. When we know each other, it becomes easier to reach out to one another and know what kind of support to expect, enabling the effectiveness of the ecosystem. Although the focus was on the Agri sector, all ecosystems are encouraged to come forward and engage as the knowledge sharing is not limited to a specific sector.
About Global Alliance Africa project delivered by Innovate UK KTN
The Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Four project-level interventions were piloted in 2021 in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with one of the interventions focused on Open Innovation.
For more information about the project, please visit https://ktn-uk.org/programme/africa.
GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 3
Opens: 25/07/2022 Closes: 30/08/2022
The GCRF Agrifood Africa Innovation Awards Round 3 is a £1.3 million funding scheme for collaborative UK/Africa projects to address African AgriFood challenges. Successful applicants will receive a grant of either £20,000 or £30,000 to support their collaborative UK/Africa AgriFood research and i