The Rwanda National ICT4Ag Hackathon was held on 19-20 October 2013 at kLab in Kigali. The event was organised by MINAGRI, kLab and Rwanda ICT Chamber, in collaboration with CTA, m:lab East Africa, MYICT, and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which provided a strong financial support for the hackathon. This event gathered ICT brilliant minds from local and regional institutions, notably from all Rwandan Universities, TVET Colleges and Business community.
At least 50 hackers, organised in 2 groups participated in the hackathon, whereby they went through a 36-hour non-stop programming competition.
All the participants, like in all the other hubs that take part in the regional “Agri-Hack Championship”, had two challenges to work on:
How can bidirectional information sharing and communication between farmers and extension workers using multiple media be encouraged or improved?
Key areas of concern included information sharing and advisory on soil fertility, fertilizers, weather information, pests, diseases, and access to farming inputs
In what innovative ways can ICT be used to improve access to finance for agribusiness among farmers?
The judges of the hackathon were:
- Cathy Bishop, Professor, CMU-R
- Eddy Kayihura, CEO, BSC,
- Violette Uwamutara, Country Director, DOT RWANDA
- Clement Uwajeneza, Founder & CEO, AXIS Ltd,
- Vianney Rugamba, MINEDUC
The following Prizes were awarded to the five winning teams:
- 1st Prize: MacBook Pro + Incubation,
- 2nd Prize: Laptop i7 + Incubation,
- 3rd Prize: Laptop i5 + Incubation,
- 4th Prize: Laptop i3
- 5th Prize: Samsung S2
The team that won the 1st prize was Fertilizer Logic (Group 12), with Joseph Kaizza, Muramira Hillary, Dukundane Prince Gashongore, Igiraneza Origene and Basomingera Robert as team members.
According to the judges, “The winning product was simple, the team thought out of the box, their technology is easy to use and feasible. Their product had both the hardware and software components. They are using noduinos to make soil pH detection simple, fast and efficient. They made a solar charged sensor gadget that would enable farmers/extension officers make logic and rational decision on what fertilizers to use based on the pH report generated by the gadget. They also made a website that would enable farmers/extension officers get the information anytime.
Warm congratulations to all the winners and teams who participated in the event, and special thanks to KLab for making the National Rwanda Hackathon a success.
This hackathon is part of the larger ICT4Ag International Conference, which will take place from 4-8 November in Kigali, Rwanda. The winners of the Rwanda National Hackathon will represent Rwanda and KLab at the finals of this championship, with other finalists (national winners) from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Madagascar.
Information on the other national finalists can be found on the blog of the Agri-Hack Championship.
(Article written by Sheilah Birgen, mlab East)