Helping Kenya feed itself and the World


Theme: Enabling Kenya to feed itself and become the food basket of the world

Agriculture/food security is complex and requires various solutions, multiple stakeholders, and a strategic long-term approach.  At the same time, we need to start thinking about different ideas or ways around ensuring food security.  Whilst tech is not a silver bullet, a hackathons can be a good way to bring new ideas, smart people together to think of innovative ways to approach the problem.

We are excited to have a multi-stakeholder approach with government, private sector and tech companies in this approach.  We have identified four over-arching challenges in the sector and five problem statements based on the challenges to form the basis of this data driven hackathon.


Challenge 1: Poor productivity

Due to a variety of reasons including lack of inputs, seeds, fertilizers, machinery, irrigation, ability to afford inputs, financing, insurance, etc.  The majority are small farms and lack economies of scale meaning that productivity is very low.  Some of these can only be addressed through government eg land issues, but there are other solutions that the private sector is addressing and can continue to address.

Challenge 2: Wastage

Particularly post-harvest loss. Most of the produce is lost, over 50% in some value chains. The cost of transport and lack of cold-storage facilities means that you will have rotting tomatoes, cabbages, etc in rural areas while people starving in informal settlements and expensive products in urban areas.  No incentive to increase productivity from a farmer’s perspective if so much waste.

Challenge 3: Market linkages

Farmers struggle to sell their produce, middlemen take advantage and farmers get paid very little. As most of what they produce is wasted or sold at low prices, farmers have no incentives to improve productivity/yields.   Little or no value addition means that Kenya ends up importing food.  Many issues around demand and trust, eg high aflatoxin levels, buying local fruits or products, and many paying a premium on imported fruits and veg.  Poor marketing is another issue- Kale is a superfood Sukuma is not, and guacamole is not produced/exported in Kenya but avocadoes are exported.  Can we get Kenyan “super-foods” and value-added products to global markets

Challenge 4: Food shortage crisis preparation & response

There is a lack of granular and real time food security data in the region meaning that humanitarian programme decisions are not always based on the most accurate information to be agile or responsive to changing community needs. It is vital to provide decision-makers with accurate and timely information on the food security and nutrition situation in an area so they can design and implement the most appropriate emergency programmes, interventions, and policies, using resources in the most efficient way. However, many of the world’s most vulnerable people live in hard-to-reach, insecure, or remote areas. How can we utilise the power of mobile technology (voice and text surveys) and data available from mobile operators (such as anonymized call data records) to get a deeper understanding and improve the responsiveness of humanitarian programmes and providing more granular and timely food security data?

What Will You Help Solve?

Problem statements to be addressed in the hackathon

Extension services

How to get extension services- i.e. information through multiple channels to help people/farmers improve productivity?

Pricing information

How do we get pricing information to farmers/people in rural areas?

Demand data

How do we get demand data- what people are buying within Kenya and externally to farmers?

Crisis Management

How do we develop better early warning systems to help with better preparation of crisis and how do we use data to enable real time decision making once we are in crisis?

Availability data

How do we get availability data- what is being grown currently in Kenya to buyers and food producers?

Key Dates

The Hackathon will be at Wowzi House from Thursday 30th March with Prize giving on Saturday 1st April

Registration Opens:

Friday 17th March 2023


Tuesday 28th March


Friday 31st March to Saturday 1st April

Prize Giving:

4th April

Format of the Hackathon

Industry mentors will be available to help teams think through and develop their solutions

Apply for the hackathon in teams of 3- 5 people. 10 teams will be selected to take part in the hackathon weekend, that demonstrate workable ideas.

We do not expect teams to have fully formed ideas and the judges will be looking at the ideas that demonstrate the most potential to meet the criteria above.

The top 3 teams (up to 5, if the competition is close), will be selected to get support in developing their ideas further. Please register by filling in the form below, the closing date for the Hackathon will be Sunday 26th March at midnight.

Judgement Criteria

The following criteria should guide the solutions that teams come up with:

Data- Driven Approach

Solution must be data driven

Solutions / Product / Service Approach

Must result in the development of a tangible product or solution

Ease of Development

A solution that can easily be deployed as a pilot

Commercial viability

Solutions that can be monetised, commercialised

Innovative approach

Demonstrates different approaches in thinking etc


Winning teams will receive a personalised “prize basket” including:
Strathmore Course and Certificate on Data science
Personalised Networking and opportunities to meet with FCDO and British High Commission
Opportunity to present winning ideas to relevant stakeholders- including government, industry, development partners
Sponsorship of conference in the UK
VIP package at Kenya Innovation Week
Media/Influencing pack from Wowzi

Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world"

- Paulo Coelho

Hackathon Location

The Hackathon will be at Wowzi House from Friday 31st March with Prize giving on Saturday 4th April


Join The Challenge

Please register by filling in the form on the application page. Your solution could help Kenya feed itself and the World. The deadline for registration is Tuesday 28th March at midnight (EAT).


Working Together For A Bigger Goal