TechInAfrica – A European Union-funded CTA firm has named Kenya as the leading county in Africa for the use of agricultural technology (AgriTech). The CTA says that digital farming technologies in the country are well implemented that lead to the increase of farmers’ annual profit, from between 7% and 76.3% as what was predicted by Nesta, UK-based innovation foundation.
According to the CTA, the increased use of AgriTech in Kenya is caused by the deep penetration of mobile phones in rural areas, creating relatively digital-savvy population who use digital solutions to address agricultural challenges in the country.
The data in 2018 by the Communications Authority of Kenya found that mobile penetration in Kenya hit 100% while active customer subscription stood at 46.6 million.
“While Digitalisation for Agriculture (D4Ag) solutions are present in at least 43 out of 49 Sub-Sahara African countries, over half of the solutions are headquartered in East Africa and nearly two-thirds of registered farmers across all solutions are based in EAC region, with Kenya leading the way,” stated the report, as cited from weetracker.com.
Furthermore, the report also highlights that technology has a high possibility of boosting deeper engagement in the agricultural sector, especially from women and youths as well as create employment opportunities. In Kenya, agriculture accounts for over a third of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), thus, makes it the dominant sector of the country’s economy.
With the rapid adoption of mobile technology in the country, many international and local companies have finally explored technology to tackles challenges in agricultural sectors. An international company specializes in software development, IBM has even launched a project in Kenya to allow farmers to use weather data and IoT to predict suitable conditions for farming. IBM even partnered with the local company, Twiga Foods to introduce blockchain-based microfinancing for food kiosks owners in the country.
Furthermore, in April this year, the World Bank launched a digital agriculture technologies innovation platform providing solutions in productivity, market access, financial inclusion, and information to local farmers.