The agriculture sector in Africa plays an important role. It employs 65% of the continent’s labor force and accounts for 32% of gross domestic product (GDP)
As its population rises over the years the farm productivity remains low, this is exacerbated by weather changes, lack of technical equipment and expertise, and rural-urban migration that deprives farming communities of young people.
These factors threatened food security in Africa
With the help of technology, African entrepreneurs are increasingly eager to develop solutions that do everything from helping farmers increase their yields to providing better access to markets and increase revenue
Farmboek is a platform that helps farmers with information essential to running a farm it’s like having a specialist in the palm of your hand. It not only offers planting, pest control and fertilizing advice for various crops but also on livestock health and feed. In addition, it provides recommendations on tractors, along with contact details of suppliers in a specific area.
The weather forecasting tool, designed by agri business Syngenta, provides farmers with very specific weather information, such as for example a “spray window” to facilitate data for precision farming.
There is no cost involved with using the service.
A Scotland based tech company – Cojengo, in partnership with Microsoft created Vet Africa.
The VetAfrica app, which is designed as a decision support system for proficient farmers, animal health workers and veterinary professionals, gives users diagnostic advice on animal diseases as well as the most effective drugs for the ailment. It also helps farmers to record animal data, thereby addressing the challenges faced by livestock farmers in Africa.
The App which has already undergone field testing will help to change the lives of farmers in Africa for the better.
Specifically, the app is now available to farmers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania. Adopters of the app will be able to use the health solution through their mobile phones.
Of all the regions in Africa, East African countries, particularly Kenya and Tanzania, have been hailed for their quick adoption of digital and mobile technologies towards improving living standards.
This app connects NGOs, businesses and government to farmers. Currently operating in nine countries across Africa, its platform provides automatic and personalized price alerts, buy and sell offers, extension messages, and contact profiles via SMS. Esoko provides agricultural content, marketing, advisory and monitoring services for farmers and potential investors.
Esoko Networks Limited in April 2009. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Accra, Ghana.
Kilimo Salama or safe agriculture was created with a Kenyan telco and provides farmers with up-to-date and full climate data via text message. Farmers that are connected to this app also receive information on ways to increase productivity, ensure food security and also protect their crops during bad weather.
Modisar is a farm management (desktop application and web on BETA) productivity software application that can be installed on a farmer’s computer or laptop and allows the farmer to capture information about the farm better and faster.
This application does not require an active internet connection to function. It allows a farmer to work offline and to synchronize data to cloud servers once there is active internet connection. By synchronizing data, the farmer will have a backup copy of data safe on the cloud which can be accessed via Modisar Farm Management Web Application.
Farmers in Botswana are able to track their farm records, cattle herds, farm costs and sales. Modisar sends advice to farmers on animal vaccinations, feed and nutrition also, they receive instructions on finance via text messages. This app won the Orange African Social Venture award in 2014.
One of the most critical details on a herd is identification of cattle with reproductive problems, identifying animals with shorter lactation period, cow drying date management, and calves distribution, among others. The Breeding Wheel app allows you to access personalized animal data of your dairy herd in the form of a wheel.
File with a specific cow’s data, including the image, can be shared between devices for remote assistance from a technician. The kind of app for anyone who wants to manage animal breeding through a Smartphone app.
With the sheer optimism of digital start ups, a vast untapped potential for farmers,investors and enterepreneurs can be opened. Indeed, technology could bring major economic, social, and environmental benefits. The good news is technology can aid in curing hunger in Africa.