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April 13th, 2018 / East African Business Week

Information technology is being utilised more than ever to improve agriculture in East Africa.

The sector is responsible for 83.9% of imports and 80% of total employment in Ethiopia alone. Technology-led transformation promotes good business practise and encourages farmers to work collaboratively.

On a larger scale, aerial images from satellites, weather forecasts and soil sensors are making it easier to manage crop growth in real time.

Successful ventures have the potential to open up huge markets and are attracting investors from around the globe.

According to African Tech Start-ups Funding Report 2017, agri-tech start-ups across the continent raised a combined total of US$13.2 million last year. Not a huge amount, but certainly an increase on the US$50,000 raised in 2015. It is a sector that has suddenly, and quite dramatically, sprung up.

Adding efficiency to the supply chain is only possible when farmers work as a large team and not small groups. In order to bring these people together the right information needs to be shared openly and on a consistent basis. Companies such as Kenya’s HSBS are developing apps available to access via the internet, smart phones or a simple SMS. These include real-time growing news, historical data, payment solutions, HR solutions and even marketing. Read more