Building a better e-agribusiness
In this issue
The new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is expected to be a game changer, boosting inter-African trade, spurring manufacturing, and creating economic opportunities. But for its benefits to be realised, the details need to be negotiated; and Africa's leaders need to commit to AfCFTA for the long haul.
To encourage value addition of cassava and provide employment opportunities for local farmers, women and youths in the Democratic Republic of Congo, young entrepreneurs have established eight processing centres across the country.
Private technology developers across the Caribbean are creating market information systems to help farmers make better decisions in the field and link them to new markets. These emerging e-agriculture business models are improving crop production and marketing, and increasing revenues for farmers and developers alike.
Agricultural products in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have been awarded geographical indications (GIs), which has seen farmers receiving as much as 200% price increases and 100% growth in demand.
Kasope Ladipo-Ajai co-founded OmoAlata, a Nigerian food packaging business, in 2012. With plans to export products internationally, her company has already redefined the fresh foodstuff business in Nigeria.
The planned launch of grain futures contracts in Zambia will help farmers and other stakeholders to protect themselves from volatile prices and could encourage other countries to follow suit.
Multinational corporations in the agrifood sector are increasingly including social and environmental aspects as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, although significant progress has been achieved in favour of farmers, more needs to be done.
by Sophie Reeve
Across Eastern and Southern Africa, over 235,000 farming households are improving the health of their soils and boosting their climate resilience by adopting conservation agriculture techniques.
To improve food security in one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, communities in Vanuatu are being provided with training in new farming techniques and the production of climate-resilient crops.
New technologies are helping to transform dairy farming into an increasingly lucrative occupation for Kenyan smallholders. The use of digital weighing scales and solar-powered refrigerated transportation units are helping to minimise waste and maximise farmer profits.
Ismaël Tanko, a 33-year-old entrepreneur, has created a fast-growing company whose tomato purees are already on sale in several West African countries. The next step is a more industrialised production line and an increased number of sales channels.
Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, CEO and Founder of blueMoon – Ethiopia’s first youth agribusiness incubator – shares her experience as a woman entrepreneur in Africa’s agricultural sector and stresses the importance that agribusinesses ‘think digital’.
The recent boom in ag-tech start-ups has helped to further agricultural transformation and improve farmers’ access to valuable ICT-enabled services. But to continue this progress it is pertinent that entrepreneurs design sustainable business models.