How Youth-led Agritech Businesses are transforming Africa’s Food Sector; A case of Agritech Companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia

Smallholder farmers in Zambia’s Lusaka receive detailed information on crop diseases, weather patterns and changes, and other relevant information through the AgriPredict application and a USSD code-based service on their mobile phones. Essential information that is specific to local conditions which would otherwise be costly to attain is now accessible with the use of mobile devices. Agritech firms led by young innovative farmers are bridging the information gap for smallholder farmers across the country by providing them with a risk-management tool that enables them to increase the efficiency of agricultural production (Brown).

Africa’s agriculture sector is experiencing a transformation through the rise of agritech (agriculture technology) businesses that tap into the underutilized potential of the industry. Agritech essentially involves the use of digital technologies to tackle market barriers and improve agricultural productivity and sustainability (Hruby and Mengoub 06). It provides a valuable opportunity for those in the sector to take advantage of the ongoing digital revolution and make efforts to construct resilient food systems, diversify supply chains, and enlarge access to agricultural markets, thereby progressing towards achieving food security (Hruby and Mengoub 06). Agritech companies in Africa not only offer access to financial services, agricultural inputs, information, and shared assets but also facilitate enhanced market access, shortened value chains, and promote a shared economy for mechanized equipment.

The youth are at the forefront of transforming agriculture in Africa. With a greater inclination to innovation and the adoption of modern technology, Africa’s young farmers and entrepreneurs are incorporating technology to provide solutions to contemporary agricultural challenges. International development organizations also launch competitive initiatives that encourage youth-led agritech businesses to showcase their innovations and scale them up through access to financial support and mentorship. Notable examples include the YOUTHADAPT Challenge jointly organized by a coalition of organizations including the African Development Bank, and the AYuTe Africa Challenge organized by Heifer International. Such efforts motivate young farmers and agripreneurs to develop innovative solutions to agricultural challenges.

Youth-led Agritech businesses revolutionise Africa’s food systems and agriculture

ragarama

Raga Ramakrishnan has interned with the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa in New York wherein she worked on advocacy of STEM education and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in the African continent. She received a bachelor’s degree in business economics and management from the University of Nottingham in Malaysia and a master’s in international studies from Christ University, Bangalore, India. Her interests are sustainable development, education, and food systems. With a passion for reading and writing, she avidly follows the work of multilateral organizations in achieving sustainable development.

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