Rwanda's president Paul Kagame honored Esther Kimani the CEO and founder of FarmerLifeline Technologies for her innovative device revolutionizing agriculture.
At a gala dinner and Africa Food Prize Awards Ceremony on Thursday, September 8, Kimani was awarded the grand prize of Ksh6 million alongside Mark Musinguzi founder of Hya Bioplastics in Uganda.
In attendance at the fourth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition held at the African Green Revolution Forum Summit in Kigali Rwanda was Kagame, heads of state, dignitaries, and international food systems experts.
Kimani's devices helps farmers detect crop diseases and pests at early stages. The machines also leverage solar-powered cameras, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning.
One device's power can last for up to 48 hours and the solar-powered cameras can operate even in rainy seasons.
She noted her device was rooted in the need to find a solution to the unending destruction of crops by delayed treatment or attack by pests.
“The camera system is programmed to capture images of the crops in the field periodically and process the images using advanced computer vision algorithms to determine the nature of the infection or infestation, any pests or pathogens,” Kimani explained.
In September 2021, her innovation was also featured among three other technologies at the Comesa Innovation Awards during the 8th Comesa Annual Research Forum.
Kimani acquired patents for the technology and plans are underway to collaborate with other nations.
Fernanda Lopes, Yara International's executive vice president for Asia and Africa, who awarded the two innovators, lauded them for aiding the food revolution and making a positive impact on their communities, environment, and the local economy.
Lopes awarded the winners on behalf of the Generation Africa co-founder, Svein Tore Holsether.
Holsether thanked the finalists for their visionary work, saying “Once again, I am so impressed with the finalists. They are all truly inspiring and I see them as leaders and role models in a world that so desperately needs that kind of drive and dedication to solve the staggering global challenges we are faced with.”
The fourth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize reached nearly six million people during the entry window from April 19 to June 6, 2022. Organizers received applications from 45 African countries but only 10 countries were represented among the top 12 finalists.