Agriculture is a major economic activity and source of livelihood for many in Africa. More than 500 million African, or about half of the continent’s population, depend on the sector for food and economic returns.
Technology has grown to be a key component of this sector all over the world and Africa has not been left behind. There have been discoveries and innovations that have played a key role in improving agricultural activity on the continent.
Here are 10 tech solutions that are changing how agriculture is done in Africa:
It is a free mobile application used by cocoa farmers in rural parts of Ghana and Ivory Coast. It enables farmers in these west African countries to access information on good farming practices, farm safety, pest and disease prevention and poor-harvesting methods that should be avoided. It uses Short Message Services (SMS) and voice messages.
It was founded in 2011 at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The application enables farmers to get information on the best crop production practices, farm management methods and also links them to the market to make it easier to sell their products. It is accessible both on internet and Short Message Services (SMS). It is mostly used by rice farmers.
M-Farm was developed in 2010 and offers farmers in Kenya and across East Africa the latest market prices for products, price information on 42 crops and collective selling of crop produce by small-scale farmers. To register for the services, farmers send their names and location to a code number which then send them periodic information for free.
It was launched by Tanzanian telecommunication firm Tigo in April 2013. The mobile application helps farmers to get information on weather patterns and forecasts and good agricultural methods to improve their crop yields. It provides information by the use of Short message Services (SMS).
It is used by farmers in Kenya to monitor the gestation progress of their cows. They use Short Message Services (SMS) to register their cows and dates when they administered artificial insemination (AI). It responds on the expected dates of delivery and also the best days to administer AI. This application also provides farmers with information on the best nutrition, breeding and milk production practices for their cows.
This application was developed by Cojengo, a technology company based in Glasgow, Scotland. The application helps veterinary doctors, animal health workers, and farmers in rural parts of Africa to diagnose the diseases afflicting their livestock in a quick and accurate manner and help get the best drugs to treat the diseases. It is currently in use in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
This is a marketing platform meant for the small-scale farmers and buyers in rural parts of Africa. It provides information on market prices of different products where buyers send their product requests and sellers match them with their prices. It uses both Short Message Services (SMS) and the internet. Rural eMarket offers services in different languages that are spoken across the continent. However, it does not enable electronic transactions to take place and so people must meet physically in order to complete deals.
It was founded by Mark Davies in 2004. Esoko links farmers across the continent to government, aid organizations and the business community, providing a platform upon which they interact. It provides advice to farmers on the weather patterns and forecasts, market prices for their products and also tips on how to grow crops in the best practices in order to maximize on the yields and help mitigate huge losses that can be caused by crop failure due to diseases and unpredictable weather conditions. It is operational in several countries across the continent.