Technology changing farming in Africa, but will it be enough to feed the growing population?
Africa is projected to be the home of 2 billion people; this is according to the Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations that the world population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050. Whereby the food production will grow by 70% that will feed a large number of groups. The farm productivity must accelerate at a faster rate than the global average to avoid continued mass hunger.
Africa face a lot of food challenges:
The African government has tried to make some policies in order to improve the farm productivity. However, some of the farmers are still depending on their historical norms and some cannot afford the expensive tools.
Moreover, The African entrepreneurs are now interested in how farmers work and how they can help them improve their yields. They dropped technology such as cloud computing, computing systems, connectivity, open-source software, and other digital tools that have become increasingly affordable and accessible. Entrepreneurs can now deliver solutions to small-size African farms at cost models that farmers can afford.
For example, aerial images from satellites or drones, weather forecasts, and soil sensors are making it possible to manage crop growth in real time. Automated systems provide early warnings if there are deviations from normal growth or other factors. Their some institutions that have made a startup in different country.
The Zenvus helps to measure and analyzes soil data like temperature, nutrients, and vegetative health to help farmers apply the right fertilizer and optimally irrigate their farms. The process improves farm productivity and reduces input waste by using analytics to facilitate data-driven farming practices for small-scale farmers.
The Ujuzikilimo uses big data and analytic capabilities to transform farmers into a knowledge-based community, with the goal of improving productivity through precision insights. This helps to adjust irrigation and determine the needs of individual plants.
Furthermore, their financial solution that are designed for assisting farmers to reduce the cost like banks that provide loans, pricing data to remove price asymmetry between farmers and buyers, making it possible for farmers to earn more, deploy mobile and web technologies that bring farming advice, weather forecasts, market information, and financial tips to farmers, who are traditionally out of reach, due to barriers in connectivity, literacy, or language, and uses SMS and web tools to offer market information and farm record management services to farmers.
Major global corporations have tried to advance digitalization of African agriculture by launching payment system, credit platforms, and digital insurance. Technology makes farming activities more exciting and increase more job opportunities.
Introduction of Digital Technology In Africa
Digital technology opens vast untapped potential for farmers, investors, and entrepreneurs to improve efficiency of food production and consumption in Africa. From precision farming to an efficient food supply chain, technology could bring major economic, social, and environmental benefits. Indeed, the sheer optimism across the startup ecosystem is that extreme hunger can be cured in Africa, in this generation, by significantly transforming the industry that employs most of its citizens.