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Monday, July 1, 2013

CTA hosts hackathon on agriculture

The Centre for Technical Agriculture (CTA) is offering East African computer programmers a fantastic opportunity to display their skills in a four-day hackathon, says Ken Lohento, the Programme Coordinator on Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) at CTA.

He also told NaijaAgroNet that the hackathon will take place from 4-8 November in Kigali, Rwanda as a parallel event to the ICT4Ag conference, adding that the competitors would be expected to develop ICT applications that offer solutions to key agriculture information challenges.

Lohento disclosed to NaijaAgroNet that CTA is organising this hackathon in partnership with East African ICT hubs and labs (iHubs), stressing that the iHubs will each propose teams of two or three people, including developers and designers, to compete in the hackathon.

According to him, the top three applications develop and the iHubs supporting them will receive a substantial prize including cash awards, capacity building and incubation opportunities. In addition, the winning applications will be showcased at the ICT4Ag awards dinner.

He explained that this hackathon, is the first for CTA, as a pilot exercise with the aim to highlight the potential of ICT applications in agriculture and to support the development of ICT innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture especially by young people.

In order to ensure that the applications developed meet the needs of those in agriculture in East Africa and that the developers have the opportunity to further refine and launch the applications after the event, CTA are involving, from the start, key East African stakeholders.

International organisations supporting agricultural development, business development or ICT services will also be consulted, while they will contribute to the identification of the agricultural challenges to be used in the hackathon.

“They will also assist in the design of strategies enabling the adoption of the winning application,” he said, emphasizing that a planning meeting will take place from 16-17 July in Rwanda to prepare for the hackathon.

Remmy Nweke
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

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