• Ikechukwu Kalu

Agritech Innovations: 8 Companies Blazing the Trail

Agritech innovations are on the rise in Africa. This does not come as a surprise because according to a Brookings research report, farming accounts for 60 percent of all jobs on the continent.

Africa’s population is expanding. Hence, food production in the continent also needs to grow by 60 percent over the next dozen years to ensure food security. With over seven billion people on earth already and expectations of the population reaching 9.7 billion by 2050, the question begs;


How do we feed all these mouths?


The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 reported a growth in the number of hungry people in the world. The numbers stood at 821 million or one in every nine people as at 2017 and are nowhere near slowing down. Therefore, African farmers must break out of their traditions to sustain the ever-growing population.

Africa could play a significant role and take on future food challenges. However, it needs to leapfrog the innovation gap with other continents to make this happen. Although some African farmers are still resistant to technology and new methods of farming, innovative solutions have stepped in to save the day.


8 Agritech innovations blazing the trail include;


Ignitia

Ignitia is the world’s first and most accurate tropical weather forecasting company. With 84% reliability, Ignitia’s proprietary forecasting model predicts tropical weather patterns down to a 3km2 range. The forecasts are delivered to West African farmers via SMS in partnership with mobile network operators.

Since its commercial launch in 2015, the company has established partnerships provide small-scale farmers daily, monthly and seasonal rain forecasts. As a result of this, the farmers can avoid the adverse impacts of an ever-changing climate, hence, increasing productivity.


Anitrack

Founded by Tony Marfo in 2016, Anitrack is a revolutionary product for livestock farmers across Africa. The company has developed a collar for livestock that tracks the health and location of the animal. The farmer has this information relayed to a mobile application.

This product allows farmers to pinpoint sick animals within groups and treat them before the illness spreads thereby preventing outbreaks. Furthermore, it provides a new sense of security as stolen or runaway animals are tracked and thus, can be recovered.


GUSS

Guss is a remote controlled, driverless sprayer. It uses software to drive the vehicle, thus, removing the operator from the tractor. This innovation thus, reduces the required labour on the farm by saving farmers hours of work thanks to the driverless sprayer. Also, Guss boosts productivity by spraying the plants against pests and diseases. Primarily for use in orchards, Guss features a low-profile design that keeps it from dislodging any low hanging fruits. The machine utilises advanced vehicle sensors and software to guide itself.


The Well Watch 700

The Well Watch 700 is a commercial grade sonic water level sensor designed for municipal, agricultural, and oil/gas applications. It monitors water level by sending an acoustic pulse into the casing and doing a simple time/distance calculation on the reflection.

The Well Watch 700 allows farmers to ensure that they are accurately predicting water levels and thus avoiding future waste. It is simple to install and needs no yearly calibration or maintenance thereby, eliminating recurring fees that are common with other water level measurement products.


Fieldnet

Fieldnet is a wireless management tool for irrigation operations. It gives farmers fast, easy access to view and control their irrigation systems from virtually anywhere. This innovation results to less time in the field for farmers as well as less spent on valuable resources.


Saphon Energy

Founded by Hassin Labaied and Anis Aouini in Tunisia, Saphon Energy’s “The Saphonian” is a blade-less wind turbine that creates energy by leveraging sailboat technology. The Saphonian offers an efficient, reliable and eco-friendly way to harness the wind and generate Green Energy.


QualiTrace

Qualitrace is a vibrant start-up that uses track and trace technology to authenticate product inputs and outputs. The focus of QualiTrace is to confirm agro-inputs (crop protection products) using a mobile validation system thereby empowering smallholder farmers and consumers to use technology to improve their health and livelihoods.


Agroseal Limited

Agroseal Limited  is a commodity trading company that empowers smallholder fruits and vegetable farmers through innovation and technology to gain reliable and constant access to the higher-end market thereby increasing income levels and reducing poverty.


Conclusion

Africa is finally set to claim its fair share of the global market and provide for the population with the aid of agritech innovations. The 8 agritech innovations listed on this article are making sure this happens sooner than later.

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