Week 06: agricultural technology startups in Kenya

Agriculture is big business in Africa. According to the World Bank, the sector employs 65 per cent of the continent’s labour force, and accounts for 32 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP)” The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations affirms that the world population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050, and to feed that number of people, global food production will need to grow by 70%. For Africa, which is projected to be home to about 2 billion people by then, farm productivity must accelerate at a faster rate than the global average to avoid continued mass hunger.

Whereas it might be early to evaluate the impacts of this digitalization of farming systems in Africa, and so in Kenya, in terms of productivity and improvement of human welfare, there is already a promising trend: Technology is making farming exciting for young people. As they see that developing mobile apps alone cannot feed Africa, many turn to farming as a business. hbr.org fao.org


Kenya

Farming continues to make a big difference in the lives of many Kenyans today. In fact, the young and elite people who in the past felt that the activity was best left to the elderly and uneducated have now realized that there is gold to mine in it. M-farm app comes in handy, helping the enthusiastic to acquire knowledge on how to make it in the field. Specifically, they can get reliable information on the prices of produce in different markets. muva.co.ke: mfarm.co.ke

Kenyans are increasingly embracing the idea of buying agricultural produce online. With online stores like Jumia gaining popularity, start ups for agricultural online stores  like  Farm shop, Mkulima young and Olx are among the platforms that connect with buyers and farmers in the sell agricultural produce. businessdailyafrica mkulimayoung.com farmshop.co.ke

Applications are open for the latest edition of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), which will provide 1,000 startups with training, mentorship and US$5,000 in funding and deadline is 1st of March. “When we launched the TEF programme and committed US$100 million, I knew we would create impact, but I never imagined it would be of this magnitude. We’ve unleashed a movement of African entrepreneurs – a force so strong, I am confident they will collectively transform Africa,” said TEF founder Tony Elumelu. disrupt-africa.com

Kenya ranked top for agriculture innovations. According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the move by several universities and other institutions of higher learning in Kenya to embrace Farmer Field School (FFS) initiatives had made Kenya climb the ladder among 90 countries. “Although Kenya has experienced a myriad of challenges especially for farmers and pastoralists, FAO believes that we need to address these challenges in multi-sector approach, and not confining it to farmers and pastoralists,” said Debora Duveskog, FAO representative at the Kenya Agricultural, Livestock and Research Organization centre in Mtwapa during the Field School graduation for 16 Pwani University students.nation.co.ke