It is well established that the AgriFood system in Africa is critical not only for food security and nutrition, but also for poverty alleviation, economic growth, reduction of unemployment, and climate stewardship. While the supply of food in South Africa has generally held up through the Covid-19 pandemic, the devastation caused to the economy of the country once again highlights that the agri-food system can — and needs to — play a key role in accelerating growth, ending poverty and hunger, and contributing to job creation.

The AgriFood system is however characterised by several challenges that limit its ability to achieve a higher growth trajectory and generate positive outcomes for Agripreneurs. Despite South Africa’s AgriFood system being robust and globally competitive, it remains dualistic, with the marginalisation and exclusion of millions of subsistence and small-holder farmers from the mainstream. This has meant that they continue to grapple with challenges of productivity, competitiveness, access to markets, and access to capital. 

The necessity of Disruptive AgriFood Innovation to meet some of these challenges in the AgriFood system has grown increasingly urgent over the years, only to be exacerbated by the global pandemic. Our quest is to discover these innovators and enable them to:

FIND like-minded Agripreneurs globally

GET Mentorship from industry leaders

GAIN the attention of investors

WIN over potential clients

EARN the title of Agripreneur of the Year

CAPTURE media attention


Future Agro Challenge (FAC) is the leading AgriFood Startup Pitch Competition globally and a decentralised network of Agripreneurship ecosystems in over 60 countries across 5 continents. FAC discovers disruptive innovations in food, AgTech, and agriculture, and provides key tools and opportunities to help them grow their business and expand them into new markets.

We are honoured and incredibly excited to convene the 2021 Future Agro Challenge competition in South Africa. Applications and nominations are now open, and the final pitch contest will be hosted virtually on the 24th of June 2021. 

This is where the top 10 AgriFood startups will pitch for a chance to be crowned South Africa’s Agripreneur of the Year, and win an all-expenses-paid trip to Thessaloniki Greece, to represent South Africa at the Global Agripreneur Summit in October. 

AgriFood Innovation from farm to fork


AgriFood Innovators are invited to visit the FoodMakers Africa website and apply to compete. AgriFood Innovation champions are also invited to nominate game-changing startups who will be invited to compete.

Competing innovations will go through adjudication to determine the top 10 startups which will pitch at the virtual pitch finals on the 24th of June, where the winner will be chosen by a select Jury Panel.

FAC South Africa relies on a panel of global experts and influencers in AgriFood to select the startups that demonstrate the most potential to disrupt status quos in the AgriFood system in South Africa and Africa towards achieving some of the most pressing UN Sustainable Development Goals.


All competing startups will be registered in the AgFoodNXT Open Community on Sw7. AgFoodNXT Open Community is a resource hub and peer-to-peer community, that includes a curated range of tools, templates, webinars, workshops, and virtual meetings for Agripreneurs to build and scale their businesses. 

Startups could potentially get sponsored into an active cohort, where they will get seed funding, product development support, mentorship, and networked with investors and funders who have a specific interest in investing for impact.


Nowhere is the potential of disruptive AgriFood Innovations more promising than in Sub Sahara Africa, where close to 70% of the population is employed in agriculture. Our challenge is to mobilise timely support and catalytic funding for Agripreneurs, and highlight their potential to accelerate efficiency, equity, and sustainability of our AgriFood system. 

We are happy to meet the challenge, and invite you to join us. 

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