The first edition of Freetown Pitch Night 2020 was held at the British Council, on the 11th March 2020; Time 18:30-20:30 (6:30-8:30).
The theme for this edition was SDG 2- End Hunger.
How can we achieve Zero Hunger in Sierra Leone: The SDG2 aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people–especially children–have sufficient and nutritious food all year. This involves promoting sustainable agricultural, supporting small-scale farmers and equal access to land, technology and markets.
Entrepreneurs have a role to play in meeting this goal. Freetown Pitch Night put out a call to entrepreneurs to send in their ideas on achieving Zero Hunger in Sierra Leone. Out of 10 entries, 5 were chosen to pitch.
Madam Emily Fanday, the cheerful and energetic host of the Freetown Pitch Night opened the event with individual prayers. She then proceeded to highlight some shocking statistics relating to food and hunger around the globe. From her statistics, one out of night people still go to bed on an empty stomach. Even more – one in three – suffer from some form of malnutrition.
A brief statement on the background of the Freetown Pitch Night was given by Mr. Francis Stevens George, the Managing Director of Innovation SL.
The Freetown pitch night was graced by dignitaries from various sectors; in her opening, the keynote speaker Madam Nyabenyi Tito Tipo, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative to Sierra Leone cited that “Albert Einstein did not have a computer to work with and yet, he made impactful contributions to mankind; therefore young entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone can do more with all the modern communications technology available to them.”
The four personalities with a wealth of experience constituted the panel of judges were Mr. Emeka Okafor; Directoraite of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI), Alimamy Sesay; World Food Program, Mr. Kishin Sham Mahtani; Project Manager at Shakandas Group, Ms. Hannah Max McCarthy from Wonder Stove.
David Meek Jah, Melvin H. Foray, Seinya Amie Bakarr, Abdul Aziz Mansaray and Alie M. Koroma were the five that pitch their ideas on to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) – 2/ Zero hunger.
David Meek Jah
David meek Jah value preposition is Digital economy Infrastructure for agriculture to increase production by Data analytics and Real-time Monitoring of farms. The proposed solution leverages satellite technology to enable crops to be monitored efficiently, which involves Geo- tag a few control farm, Soil moisture monitoring. David meek Jah asks for Technical partnership with local and central government. Technical partnership with national and regional regulators in the produce sector, technical partnership with Telcos and Technical partnerships with Central Banks, commercial Banks, and MDAs.
David meek Jah email:[email protected]
Melvin H. Foray
Melvin H. Foray`s from Mello Foods transforms agricultural produce into healthy, conveniently accessible, and affordable food products (package green-leaves) directly from farm-to-market that are efficiently manufactured. Mello Foods produce vegetable products through automated production: improving availability and affordability; impacting nutritional levels of the diets of poor households. Mello food needs Machinery & Equipment, Financial Investment. Partnership and human resources.
Seinya Amie Bakarr
Seinya Amie Bakarr from Jalimi farms pitch on snail farming. Jalimi Farms provides a one-stop-solution that helps to increase yield, increase income and provide training for coastal farmers. Jalimi farms promote sustainable agriculture and mitigate lack of access to basic farming advances and unsustainable practices by utilizing innovative technology in snail farming.
Seinya Amie Bakarr
Tel/whatsapp: +23278221295 or +23299974050
Abdul Aziz Mansaray
Abdul Aziz Mansaray pitched on addressing the challenge of malnutrition and severe hunger among primary school pupils. His solution is production of nutritious rich fresh fruits and vegetables. He emphasized the essence of his solution is to ensure growth, development and to create awareness of fruits and vegetables eating habits. He seek to offer on-time delivery of nutritional fresh fruits and vegetables and he is looking for investment opportunity to enhance seeds and inputs, farming equipment, Greenhouse and packaging equipment, Irrigation system and Warehouse and transportation.
Abdul Aziz Mansaray email:[email protected]
Alie M. Koroma
Alie M. Koroma focused his presentation on empowering subsistence farmers to produce large food products by creating linkages between farmer organisations to Agro processor, and the market. He offers organic product marketing, value addition in food, nutritional security and embrace new technology for knowledge transfer. Alie M. Koroma is looking for mentorship and human resource, financial investment and farming equipment.
Alie M. Koroma
Mohamed Samu, a graduate from Njala University; developed a Utility Mobile App which he named “Help the Farmer” that determine soil moisture content. According to him, it is also a pest and disease detector which determine the soil fertility, pH and nutrient levels. It has the ability to ascertain high quality and sustainable processing of crops. He was given five minutes to make a presentation about his App to the audience while the judges went to decide their verdict.
Utility mobile app link http://www.appcreator24.com/app886936
Madam Nyabenyi Tito Tipo announced that Seinya Amie Bakarr emerged as the third best pitcher, David Meek Jah second, and Melvin Foray the winner. Madam Nyabemi Tippo motivated all the pitchers by saying “there are no losers at the Freetown pitch night”.
On behalf of the judges, Mr. Kishin said the five pitches were excellent and it was a tight call to choose amongst the five pitchers.
Madam Tuzlyn Bayoh from UNDP Accelerator Lab gave the vote of thanks; in her statement, she encouraged the pitchers to continue their brilliant work and also thank all partners and individuals for contributing to the achievement of the United Nations` Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The event ended with cross section of attendees posing for pictures and networking.
The event is managed by GEN SL and innovation SL; officially sponsored by Mutzig, other sponsors were Ecobank Microfinance, Brussels airlines and capital foods. Implementation partners: GEN SL, British council, Cordaid, Insight Magazine, Innovation SL and Innovations Axis.
Juliet Josiah, Intern Innosl, FPN Producer
Foday Kamara, Intern Innosl
 Ms Nyabenyi Tito Tipo on 23rd June, 2016 presented her credential to the Government of Sierra Leone through the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Ms Tipo becomes the first female FAO Representative to Sierra Leone since the country became a member of the organisation in 1978. She joined FAO in 2012 as Livestock Officer in Juba, and from 2014 to May 2016, she has served as Assistant FAO Representative, Programme in the FAO Representation in South Sudan.
Nyabenyi Tipo has a rich experience in humanitarian, gender and animal health programme management.
At the FAO Representation in South Sudan, she developed a comprehensive decentralised plan of the cold chain system in South Sudan to support the livestock vaccination calendar; developed the livestock component of Emergency Livelihood Program (ELRP) after the December 2013 political crises; lead the development of FAO South Sudan Country Program Framework; and lead the resilience outcome of the UN Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF 2016 – 2017).