The top eight finalists of the global agripreneur competition, the Future Agro Challenge, faced off on a global stage at the Sandton City Convention Centre, with South African agripreneur Clair Reid, founder of Reel Gardening, walking away with the grand prize - the Agripreneur of the Year Award. Reid will receive ongoing mentorship, partnership possibilities, and an opportunity to expand her business to different markets.
Claire Reid, founder of Reel Gardening and Eletherios Kouvaritakis, Ambassador of Greece
50 selected agripreneur innovators from five continents competed and demonstrated their immediate actions to creating solutions to national, regional and global challenges. They battled it out in front of a live audience and jury.
Reel Gardening produces biodegradable seed tape, which is a unique seed system that can be grown into a vegetable or herb garden in nearly any climate. It takes just five minutes to plant, uses 80% less water and provides hours of joy and months of food. She developed the concept way back in 2002, to address the problems she was encountering in starting and nurturing her own first vegetable garden at the young age of 16. She has won various accolades for her development from various scientific organisations in South Africa, and this award is the cherry on the cake.
Reel Gardening has since then also developed an app that you can download to help others with the planting and growing of their garden.
Last year’s winner, Nicolás Morelli, 25 is one of the heads behind VACuCh, an R&D company and was awarded as the best industrial innovation of Chile in 2016. “Winning the championship opened many doors for me and I look forward to seeing what Reid will achieve being propelled from this platform.”
A bottom-up approach in addressing the revolution of agriculture
“We are experiencing a bottom-up approach in order to address the revolution in agriculture. It is interesting and scary to note that while agriculture is 40% of the world’s workforce, it only contributes 3,8% to global GDP. This means we need to take action otherwise more people will go hungry,” says Carla Tanas, co-founder of FAC.
Michalis Stangos, co-founder of FAC concludes: “This year’s Future Agro Challenge has been so rewarding, it is mobilising agripreneurs to make an impact on individuals, families, and local communities. We wish our 2017 Agripreneur of the Year winner all the best and hope that her business continues to grow and serve the communities in which she operates in.”
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