Agribusiness in East Africa is experiencing a new lease of life, thanks to the various digital technologies that are increasingly making inroads into the industry. In 2015, agri-tech startups managed to raise an aggregate sum of US$ 50,000. But that sum ballooned to US$13.2 million in 2017.
This technologies disrupting the agribusiness is stirring the pot in great circles. “Farming has changed drastically in the 21st Century,” says CEO of HSBS, Scott Vaver, commenting on the growing momentum of the merger between the Agribusiness industry and digital technologies. “For agriculture to improve in East Africa we need to promote good business skills and make use of the IT channels available. This will help the region grow and become more tech-savvy.”, he added.
This article delves into how 5 Key trends are driving this unprecedented transformation of the agribusiness world.
Leading the pack of technologies that are transforming the agribusiness industry, smartphones are growing more indispensable by the day to farmers across all levels. From educational resources to information on best practices, and live updates about critical environmental factors, smartphones are serving up invaluable solutions to the various challenges facing every farmer. All these resources are highly beneficial not only in the present, but in the long-run as well, enhancing growth in sales, fortifying the supply chain, and curbing food wastage.
The Surging Tide of Successful Agribusiness Start-ups
Entrepreneurs in East Africa are pulling in investors from all parts of the globe as they’re stepping up to the plate to establish promising ventures. These entrepreneurs are transforming once dormant technological fields, such as aerial imagery, into highly expedient utilities. Together with other technologies such as sensors, these successful start-ups are providing farmers across the board with expedient tools for analyzing and predicting the conditions of environmental factors consistently, including geographic data, disaster and emergency alerts, etc.
The Digital Transformation of the Supply Chain
From fertilizers to seedlings and everything in-between, there is a plethora of agro-allied products that are now being distributed through the use of advanced IT channels. Farmers can now order inventories through a simple SMS text. By providing farmers with improved access to inventories, the digitally transformed supply chains is boosting profitability and sustainability in the East African agribusiness industry.
The Bludgeoning Alliance Of Farmers Under Cooperative Bodies
The digitally transformed supply chain is also growing effectively. Thanks to the strengthening connectivity technologies that are bringing farmers ever closer together. With access to these connectivity technologies, small-hold farmers are increasingly easing into collaborations with plantations and other farmers, sharing and receiving timely updates and team news. These technologies also make it easier for farmer cooperatives to make collective purchases and funding requests.
Leaning platforms are currently springing up in leaps and bounds to educate young adults about the digital transformation currently sweeping through the agribusiness industry. These learning platforms furnish young adults with actionable information on various ways of tapping into the promising prospects of the digitally transformed agribusinesses. Their impacts are not only creating financial opportunities but are also precipitating a wide-spread social change.
Technological trends continue to drive unprecedented growths in the agribusiness industry, which is one of the largest industries in East Africa. And this is coming at a time when the industry is facing an unprecedented pressure of food demand. These digital innovations ease access to financing, improve crop efficiency, enhance precision farming, and boost investor confidence in the sector.