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article imageHow agtech is disrupting African farming

By Tim Sandle     Jul 28, 2018 in Business
Agtech offers new solution for farming, centered on improving efficiency with new technology. This is most notable across Africa. A new report has identified 2 agritech startups continent-wide.
The new report comes from Disrupt Africa, and it looks at the impact of agtech on the continent, considering connected technology and data driven solutions designed to improve productivity and to protect crops from wildlife, pests and variations to climate. The data driven approach signals that farming is no longer just about big, steel machines and farmers’ intuition.
Disrupt Africa is a site for information and commentary relating to the continent’s technology startup and investment ecosystem. The new report is called “African Tech Startups Funding Report.”
The report finds that South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are the top three areas for technology investors, in terms of numbers of agriculture technology deals and in relation to the total amount of funding. These countries are followed by Egypt and Ghana.
The report tracks funding raised by startups across African nations. As an example, considerable founding was invested in Kenya’s Twiga Foods. This startup raised a $10.3 million. The company uses technology to consolidate the fragmented purchasing power of urban retailers. This avoids individual farmers or food producers from having to visit markets individually, offering collective purchasing power.
The CEO of Twiga, Grant Brooke, told Disrupt Africa: “Agriculture is one of the largest, and most untapped by technology, sectors of the economy. I think investors are targeting agriculture because it’s a huge market, that touches just about everyone.”
A second example comes from Nigeria’s Farmcrowdy. This startup enables users to sponsor farms and to earn financial returns. Recently this startup secured a US$1 million funding. Co-founder Onyeka Akumah explains why his company, and others, is securing such investment: “There is growing interest in funding for agritech startups that focus on the real problem of food security and enabling better use of technology to grow the agriculture sector as a whole. It is a welcome and attractive idea for investors.”
With other agtech startups called out in the survey, one-third apply e-commerce to the agriculture industry. Other companies offer information and knowledge-sharing platforms or they are involved with delivering financial technology solutions for farmers. With data gathering, this includes information relating to crops, finances, families, water use, farm and environmental conditions.
More about agtech, agritech, Agriculture, Farming
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