How agritech is transforming Africa
24-03-2020 11:04:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 3853 | Tags:

Food consumption in the African continent has been on a steady rise since 2016, according to a report from DownToEarth.

Even now, the agricultural sectors in the African nations are struggling to meet the demand, with each full-time farmer expected to produce enough to feed two city-dwellers. It’s become clear that agriculture in Africa is in dire need of a paradigm shift, even in how capital is spent. In light of this, the Malabo Montpellier Panel conducted a report on the main challenges, proposed solutions, and recommendations in reaching a sustainable rate of food production.

Agricultural Adversities in Africa

The chief hurdle that African food production has to mantle in achieving food security in the continent is climate change. A study published in May 2019 established a clear link between the rigors of climate change and a degeneration of food nutrition value. The most notable examples of countries with significant caloric yield drops include Ghana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

The three countries experienced losses of 8 percent, 10 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. A myriad of factors, including intense thunderstorms, underdeveloped infrastructure and power grids, conflicts over land and water rights, and a general temperature increase of at least 0.5 °C were cited as the reasons for the inefficient crop yield.

The Digital Solution

A main point of interest for the Mamopanel is the implementation of farm management apps. Such apps will provide comprehensive information to farmers, eliminating the time-consuming need to look into things themselves. This allows for crop management decisions to be made faster, streamlining the agricultural process. Along the supply chain, similar digital tools are being introduced to smooth the revenue stream along. 

This digital revolution comes alongside various hardware improvements, such as modernized tractors and other farm equipment. Such equipment will be linked to their own mobile apps for easier control and management. Most notable of these apps are the innovative “Uber Of Tractors” which will allow farmers to rent farm-equipment on an as-needed basis, further making the profession less expensive. These tech-centered upgrades are what Mamopanel pins their hopes on, along with farm equipment and utility vehicles such as trucks becoming more affordable in the modern market..

Youth Takes Center Stage in the Agricultural Revolution

This tech-centered approach to redoubling the agricultural strength of the African continent places the youth in a prime position to pitch in like never before. This unprecedented amount of opportunity will see openings all throughout the tech sector, from more software-oriented jobs such as app development and fintech, to heavily hardware-involved ones like weather sensing and UAV drone surveying and monitoring. This increased requirement for digital literacy is why the Mamopanel strongly recommends increasing education budgets across all African nations.

Agricultural success in Africa faces a swathe of challenges, but Mamopanel is optimistic that reinforcing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among the African peoples is the key to the abundance it deserves.

www.downtoearth.org.in