Nearly 60% of the world’s arable land falls within Africa with roughly 300 days of the shining sun and thus, the expansion and optimization of this arable land remain an important factor.
And the people of this diverse continent understand that. It’s why agriculture has witnessed a boost in innovation.
The following are some of the many agribusiness innovations:
Calling itself, “Intelligent tools for agriculture”, Aerobotics is a South African drone software company is aimed at farmers, optimizing their output with the help of artificial intelligence. The AI-based solutions company has built a data-analytics platform named Aeroview, combining three technology branches – satellite, drone, and artificial intelligence in order to improve agricultural practices. The Agri-Tech company has created an early detection and warning system that monitors each tree in the orchard/farms in order to provide detection of pests and disease before they have the chance to happen.
Alluvial aims to solve Africa’s food insecurity with block farming. The Nigerian company is working to help over 100,000 farmers with different projects in African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda using its own Service Delivery Model (SDM). This service model offers comprehensive support to small farm enterprises as well as smallholder farmers. The Alluvial solutions include technology, training, irrigation, land preparation, supplies, along market access within farms in community blocks.
The company has partnered with Busara Centre for Behavioural Economics, 60 Decibels, and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture and IDH. Read the case study here.
Twiga Foods is a mobile-based supply chain platform that brings together fresh food producers, FMCG manufacturers, and retailers on a single B2B e-commerce platform. The Kenyan company lies somewhere between Agri-Tech and FinTech sectors, essentially fills the logistics gap and reduces the fragmentation in the produce market, connecting urban shopkeepers and small-scale Kenyan farmers.
It also offers vendors credit/loans to support their businesses. In 2018, IBM and Twiga Foods announced that they are offering blockchain-based microfinancing for food kiosk vendors in Kenya.
Biodegradable seed tray for rice farming
FFF Sarlu is a Madagascar-based company that produces biodegradable seed trays for rice farming.
In order to increase rice production, it is important to transplant rice seedlings, however, the cost is high. But this innovating seed trade sows seed in pots made of paper, aptly named BG or biodegradable germinators. Farmer’s transplant seedlings into clumps that are easy to transplant with a high tilling capacity. This helps in increasing rice yields and possibly expanding their area of cultivation.
Wassim Chahbani, a social entrepreneur and co-owner of Chahtech, has a patented innovative irrigation system named Buried Diffuser. The diffuser following its mantra, “more crop for less drop” is aimed at delivering water along with nutrients to plants at the root level with underground irrigation.
Besides minimizing the use of water, this diffuser also produces healthier plants, optimizing crop quality; it also eliminates herbicide use, reduces soil salinization, and improves soil aeration and energy savings.
This patented system consists of diffusing parts that enable water infiltration of the soil. The water flow is regulated to the plants through the connection to a water distribution pipe.
The Uganda-based founder and Managing Director of InterConnect Point Ltd, Abraham Natukunda developed and implemented an “eNose” and analytics platform for tea cultivation. This innovation supplements the current tea processing procedures through low power sensor devices to evaluate the optimum levels of tea fermentation.
These innovations and ideas may do wonders for Africa’s many countries and pave the way for much more in the future. Keep watching this space by Africa Business Ventures.