Agritech start-up ideas for African entrepreneurs

As the effects of COVID-19 exacerbate, other factors such as climate change, conflict, cost of living, and political mismanagement have contributed to massive food and water shortages in the African region.

Agritech start-up ideas for African entrepreneurs

While the root causes vary from country to country, the needs are largely the same - access to food and water.

But there is hope we live in the digital age, if we can build automated vehicles, can’t we use technology to save us from starvation.

Information age technologies have been used in agriculture ever since the beginning of the 21st century.

Regardless of the developments, African countries have not fully exploited these technologies to their full potential. 

Demand for African agritech solutions has grown in recent years. Here are some agriculture technology ideas you could develop in Africa today:

Vertical farms

By adopting a controlled environment, vertical farming stacks layers of plants vertically to produce food in spaces such as rooftops, warehouses, and shipping containers.

It is made possible by using sensors, management software, optimal energy sources, and other inputs.

Vertical farms reduce the risk of losing arable land due to an increase in population and urban development.

Using blockchain to facilitate cross-border trading between farmers

Blockchain could promote fairer trades by removing trade barriers, reducing overreliance on US dollars, and hence encouraging the use of local currency when carrying out cross-border trading.

Farmers can utilize the peer-to-peer model to reduce middlemen interference when trading commodities with end-users.

Developing sensors to monitor the health of crops and livestock

Sensor and monitoring solutions can be integrated into existing farming processes to generate precision data for daily decision-making.

These provide up-to-date information on irrigation equipment, soil moisture, crop growth, and fertilizer consumption. 

Hence optimizing the processes without spending unnecessary resources.

Use of AI and computer vision to monitor farms

The combination of artificial intelligence, computer vision, and image acquisition through remote cameras could facilitate non-contact and scalable sensing solutions in agriculture.

There are a variety of use cases ranging from visual quality control, automated inspection of quality standards, animal monitoring, and much more.

These use cases could impact the complete food supply chain by providing useful insights about the entire farming process, facilitating real-time operational decision-making, and improving farming practices.

Use of big data to improve food supply efficiency

Big data could counter the pressures of increasing food demand and climate change; hence policymakers and industry leaders can make decisions on how to better manage food supply at a national and regional level.

In conclusion

The Agritech industry has a lot of potential in Africa as long as key stakeholders in the sector are willing to shift from unsustainable farming methods.

PS: I am not an expert in the agriculture industry but I can assure you that if we do not act swiftly and change our agricultural practices will be in serious trouble. 

We might be able to survive viruses and resolve conflicts but we can’t last more than a week without food and water.