The digital challenge of African agriculture

A strategic sector but still far from achieving satisfactory levels of innovation. Something is changing: 10 apps to improve the lives of farmers and breeders, and a platform for e-commerce that could revolutionise the business of wheat producers.

The agriculture of the future will be intelligent

The agricultural sector in Africa is worth over 100 billion dollars a year and is the main driving force behind the continent’s economy. In many countries, however, it is still tied to old production methods, focusing on the physical work of humans and animals, with a very low rate of technological innovation. If you set off down the path of digitalisation the results will not be slow in coming, both in terms of improving the quality of life of the workers as well as increasing productivity and turnover. According to experts, a smarter agriculture would be worth $ 3 million more each year.

Ten apps available to farmers

The website “Ventures Africa” recently published a list of 10 applications designed to “digitalise” the work of breeders and farmers, some on a local scale, others active across the continent. They range between various services from consultancy to meteorology, from veterinary health to pricing strategies. I-Cow, for example, allows Kenyan livestock farmers to exchange information and advice on their business. VetAfrica, on the other hand, allows for the diagnosis of livestock diseases and suggests potential treatments. Then there is AgroHub, Modisar, Kuza Doctor and Cocoa Link (dedicated to Ghana’s cocoa producers) which play a purely advisory and informative role, with guidance on the best crops and their management. The most commercial, however, is the service provided by M-Farm, which allows you to monitor in real time the prices of products, while Kilimo Salama is a great tool for learning about the progress of the weather. Lastly, there is Esoko, which aims to connect small producers, investors and public offices in order to create positive synergies, and EZ Farms, which allows those who have invested in an agricultural business to monitor its progress remotely.

G-Soko: African grain is sold online

Another interesting initiative that combines agriculture and new technologies is that developed by Virtual City, a Kenyan company in the technology sector, in partnership with the East African Grain Council. It is a platform for the online sale of wheat, designed to support the work of producers in East Africa. With this new tool wheat farmers can take advantage of a simple, transparent and convenient system of e-commerce that promises to improve their turnover.