Kenyan Among Three Winners of Ksh 187M for Unique Farming Technology

A flower farm in Kenya.
A flower farm in Kenya.

Kenya’s DigiCow emerged among the winners of the 2022 Agriculture, Youth and Technology (AYuTe) Africa Challenge — an initiative launched by Heifer International, a development organisation working to end hunger and poverty around the world.

Peninah Wanja’s company DigiCow, of which she is a co-founder, was one of three companies that won a total of Ksh187 million (USD $1.5 million between them as part of the competition.

The other companies, ThriveAgric and Brastorne, will also share in the grant and expertise.

Speaking to Forbes on Friday, February 3, Wanja stated that DigiCow is a mobile phone application for dairy farmers that helps to bridge knowledge gaps, maintain records and generate reports.

Peninah Wanja, founder of DigiCow, Agritech startup
Peninah Wanja, founder of DigiCow, Agritech startup.

The platform offers free access to livestock management experts, artificial insemination providers and food supply services. DigiCow also helps farmers tackle various challenges related to agriculture.

Explaining her success story, Wanja stated that she had connected over 60,000 farmers to experts.

She further noted that she was inspired to start DigiCow following her mother's struggle and embarked on a 15-year journey of trying to figure out how to beat the challenges and even help farmers increase their input.

"It’s been so exciting to see 60,000 farmers — many of them women — now using our DigiCow apps to become more profitable and productive.

"I grew up watching my mom struggle to get our cows to produce enough milk, and I’ve spent 15 years working with small-scale dairy farmers," Wanja stated.

To help her launch the application, she pursued an agricultural course which enabled her to gain knowledge and expertise relating to farming technology.

"With this new support from Heifer International, I’m confident we can expand our reach to help small-scale dairy farmers across the continent," Wanja told Heifer International after being named among the winners.

In 2021, Kenyan entrepreneur, Jehiel Oliver, won the inaugural AYuTe Africa Challenge.

His company, 'Hello Tractor', was awarded a Ksh165 million grant by Heifer International alongside Coldhubs, a company owned by a Nigerian.

Jehiel Oliver of Hello Tractor Win Coveted Continental Award on Wednesday September 8
Jehiel Oliver of Hello Tractor Win Coveted Continental Award on Wednesday, September 8