A South African agripreneur Claire Reid, founder of Reel Gardening, has won the prestigious Agripreneur of the Year Award, beating seven finalists during the finale held last week in Johannesburg.
Reid will receive ongoing mentorship, partnership possibilities, and an opportunity to expand her business to different markets.
Fifty 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. Reid enjoyed home grown support, when she was competing in the final rounds of the competition earlier this week.
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 through the planting and growing of your garden.
Carla Tanas, co-founder of FAC says: “A warm congratulations to Claire Reid, we are excited that our championships was held for the first time in its third leg in South Africa and crowning a South African as the most innovative agripreneur.”
Last year’s winner, Nicolás Morelli (25), is the one of the heads behind VACuCh, a research and development company. He 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,” he says.
“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, but only contributes 3,8% to global GDP. This means we need to take action otherwise more people will go hungry,” adds Tanas.
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.”
Photo: Claire Reid, left, is the South African winner of this year’s Agripreneur of the Year Award