The Agribusiness Innovation Challenge, co-created by the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center (NCIC) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), invites young entrepreneurs aged 18-35 passionate about agriculture and technology to develop solutions to improve the food supply chain in Nigeria.

Winners will secure a 2,000,000 naira ($12,700) equity-free grant and other benefits, with applications closing on July 26th, 2024.

Published in Brief_simple

To enhance the livelihoods of farmers, technology entrepreneurs have introduced a comprehensive solution designed to optimize production and streamline marketing processes.

Ghanaian start-up Complete Farmer has developed CF Grower, an agritech solution that allows farmers to enhance their productivity, gain access to global markets, and improve their livelihoods through data-driven agricultural tools and techniques. The Accra-based company, founded in 2017 by Charles Ofosuhene, Desmond Koney, and Zoussi Ley, has raised over $20 million since its inception to develop its technology and facilitate growth.

The platform, which does not have a mobile application, requires users to create an account using their email address and password. Once registered, users can access various services and establish a farm within days. CF Grower provides farmland for rent, hires qualified farm managers, and offers agricultural inputs and services for purchase to optimize farm production.

Users who already own farmland can add it to the platform, along with all the necessary information for an agricultural expert to support the project. If a user chooses to engage an expert from the start-up, the expert will provide online and on-site support throughout the agricultural season. The agritech solution leverages collected data and provides information to help achieve consistently high yields and profits across various crop families.

After harvest, users can sell their produce via the Complete Farmer network. The start-up facilitates connections between farmers and local and international buyers. Additionally, CF Buyer provides buyers with access to its network of growers and allows them to track the progress of their orders with complete transparency.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

Agricultural producers frequently face challenges in marketing their products. A new digital solution addresses this issue by directly linking them with potential buyers, streamlining the sales process.

Senegalese agritech startup, mLouma, has developed a digital marketplace that provides agricultural producers and suppliers with direct access to their customers via a web and mobile platform. The company, founded in 2012 by Aboubacar Sidy Sonko, is based in Dakar.

The application, available exclusively on Android, allows users to create either a producer or customer account. To do so, users need to provide the necessary information and complete the registration process. Customers can make purchases directly on the application or web platform, which features a variety of online boutiques selling local products.

To streamline payments, mLouma has integrated several mobile money payment systems. Also, for delivery, it has partnered with Senegalese startup Yobante Express. mLouma also features a USSD code service, designed to enable those without internet access to learn about products and prices, and to list products for sale on the mLouma platform. “This service was developed to enable people without internet access to inquire about products and prices, and to submit products for sale on the mLouma platform. This data will be recorded and displayed on the web platform after validation,” mLouma explains.

Since its launch, the mobile application has been downloaded more than a hundred times, according to Play Store data. In 2013, mLouma won the m-Agri Challenge organized by the World Bank.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The bespoke solution was designed by a Beninese entrepreneur in a bid to enhance access to fresh produce. 

In 2020, Beninese startup DigitAll Farmer introduced Aliments Bénin, an e-commerce platform that aims to enhance fresh product accessibility. The platform bridges the gap between consumers and producers, fostering a vibrant marketplace for agricultural goods.  

Founded by Novalie Houngbédji, Aliments Bénin operates as a web-based platform, eliminating the need for a dedicated mobile application. Users access the platform via their browsers, where they register by providing their email address and creating a secure password. At this juncture, users make a pivotal choice, choosing the “seller” status for those marketing their products or the “customer” status for those seeking to make purchases.

Aliments Bénin boasts an extensive array of offerings, ranging from locally-produced beverages to butchered meats, grocery staples, fresh fruits, vegetables, cereals, tubers, and seafood. By connecting producers directly with consumers, the platform has catalyzed awareness and amplified sales for nearly a hundred agricultural entrepreneurs. Households, restaurants, and pastry shops alike have embraced the convenience of ordering quality agri-food products at equitable prices.

We were able to help nearly 100 producers increase the awareness of their products and increase their sales by more than 7,000,000 FCFA [11,500 USD] in 2021. Several households, restaurants, bakeries, and others were able to order and have quality agri-food products delivered to them at fair prices,” Novalie said in 2022. 

To ensure swift fulfillment, Aliments Bénin also operates a delivery service. Once orders are placed, the platform takes charge, dispatching goods to customers across multiple communes within the country. The solution has earned DigitAll Farmer several recognitions, including the Encouragement Award (XOF5 million) at the 2021 Tremplin Startup UEMOA competition. Additionally, in November 2022, the platform secured third place in the inaugural Moov Africa Startup Challenge, earning an XOF1 million check and in-kind prize worth XOF540,000.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

With climate change disrupting water resources, soil fertility, and crop health across Africa, agricultural entrepreneur Tafadzwa Chikwereti is turning to digital tools to empower farmers and boost their resilience.

Tafadzwa Chikwereti (photo), a young entrepreneur and graduate of the National University of Science and Technology, is the founder of agritech firm Murimi Electronic Agriculture (eAgro), established in 2020.

eAgro’s mission is to bolster farmers’ resilience to climate change, offering a suite of digital tools for climate-smart farming, including data analysis, artificial intelligence (AI), satellite imagery, and an intelligent agronomy tool, Cropfix. The company also provides a credit rating system through Credfarm, facilitating access to affordable financial services for farmers and agribusinesses.

Credfarm assists financial institutions in developing loans tailored to the needs of small-scale farmers by providing an agriculture-specific, data-driven credit risk assessment model.

eAgro’s smart farming platform, Cropfix, uses AI, satellite imagery, and natural language processing to deliver personalized agronomic advice to farmers via text, USSD, and WhatsApp, helping them detect and manage pests and diseases.

Chikwereti has received several accolades for his work. He was a finalist for the Anzisha Prize in 2021, won the Startupper of the Year award from Total Energies in 2022, and was a finalist for the Global Student Prize in 2023. He was also named one of the 12 finalists in the GoGettaz Agripreneur Competition organized by the Africa Food Systems Summit in Tanzania.

Melchior Koba                                       

Published in TECH STARS

The Kenyan agritech company aims to be a modern and advanced alternative to its competitors. It uses megadata to improve its production.

Founded in 2015 by Joseph Rehmann and Steve Moran, Victory Farms is a Kenyan agritech company specializing in tilapia farming and commercialization.  Through its web platform, users can purchase tilapia in bulk or per unit (depending on the size of the fish).  

"We sell to mass market Africans via a highly innovative RTM cold chain which uses predictive data to push fish to thousands of market women every day all across Kenya with less than 1% spoilage. [...] This allows us to innovate and create more cost-effective solutions through our systems and the power of data to deliver a better, fresher product to more consumers," explained Joseph Rehmann, CEO of Victoria Farms, in 2022. 

To place an order with Victoria Farms, buyers need to visit the startup’s web platform –as it currently has no mobile application, create an account, or sign in if they already have. They can then place their orders and pay using the mobile money service M-Pesa or via bank card before or at delivery.  

To help buyers locate the nearest branches, the startup issued a USSD code that can be dialed to locate one or more of its 54 sales outlets where more than 15,000 market women stock up on fish. 

Since its launch, the company has raised over $43 million to, among other things, improve its technology, develop its activities, and accelerate its growth both in and outside Kenya. “We’ve got several initiatives underway and planned to build the world’s first carbon-negative fish platform. And I think it’s very exciting because we’ve got a lot of tangible and measurable dimensions built into the business to achieve that,” indicated Joseph Rehmann.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

He has a PhD in computer science and has worked for several international firms. After venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, he launched an agritech startup that offers solutions to help stakeholders make the right decisions.  

Dieu Donné Okalas Ossami (photo) is a trained computer scientist and tech entrepreneur. Born in Congo, he studied in France where he graduated (in 2002) with a Master of Advanced Studies in software engineering from the University of Franche-Comté. He also holds a PhD in computer science (in 2006) from the Marketing Academy in London, England.

In 2015, he founded E-Tumba, an agritech startup that combines mobile technologies, big data, connected objects, and mechanistic agronomic models to make productive and sustainable agriculture a reality in Africa. Based in Montpellier, France, it designs, develops, and supplies smart advisory and decision-support tools for agriculture and the environment for producers and technologically under-equipped areas in Africa.

His startup has designed and developed two main technological solutions. The first, Fieldsim, is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that helps producers make their agricultural sectors more sustainable. The solution, focused on agriculture and the environment, combines three service levels, namely industry management, advice, and decision support.

The second solution, BioFuncTool, is aimed at all players in the agricultural value chain. It is a digital solution comprising a mobile field application and a SaaS web application enabling non-specialists to measure, assess, and preserve the biodiversity of agricultural soils.

Since 2013, Dieu Donné Okalas Ossami has been an IT Security Analyst for VeriFone Systems France in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. His professional career began in 2005 at I.U.T Nancy-Charlemagne, where he was an assistant professor.

A postdoctoral researcher at Compiègne University of Technology between 2006 and 2007, he joined electronic payment solutions provider Hypercom as head of payment platform security and compliance. He worked there from 2007 to 2011.

Melchior Koba

Published in TECH STARS
vendredi, 01 septembre 2023 12:56

Kenya: DigiCow digitizes livestock management

DigiCow Africa Ltd has developed several digital solutions to help farmers. Among them, the DigiCow Dairy application, its major solution, has won several awards. 

Digicow Dairy App is a mobile application developed by Kenyan start-up DigiCow Africa Ltd, formerly FarmingTech Solutions. It provides “verified, reliable, and timely information on animal husbandry” to farmers. The solution was launched by Peninah Wanja, a Kenyan practicing extension officer determined to address the challenges faced by farmers in her country after witnessing them firsthand.  

“It's a gap that I saw because when you look at the statistics and what is on the ground, our government has provided one extension officer for close to 4,000 farmers. So, there is a need for these critical services,” the tech entrepreneur explains. 

The Digicow app is available for Android devices only. Once installed, it enables farmers to register by providing all the necessary information on their livestock. Based on that information, Digicow assists the farmers in their various tasks by notably providing real-time reports and sending notifications concerning important cow breeding dates. 

"The App is designed to use the data and feedback production, financial reports, breeding and health reports. The farmer has the option to access analyzed financial statements and receives important alerts such as dropped milk production, when to observe for heat signs, indicating a failed conception, and when to expect the cow to calf among other advisories," Digicow indicates, describing its Android app.  

The app features a virtual training room, available 24 hours a day. The training room includes on-demand written audio and video content. There is also a real-time chat room where farmers can interact, exchange ideas, and discuss with group experts.  

Thanks to the Digicow app,  DigiCow Africa Ltd has set up an ecosystem to help farmers increase milk yields, ensure better herd health, and improve farm organization among other things. Digicow also has a lending mechanism designed to provide farmers with credit for personal and agricultural expenses. 

In 2019, DigiCow was named Kenya's most innovative agritech in a World Bank challenge. It claims to work with over 200,000 farmers.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

To offer his compatriots the opportunity to cash out from agriculture, Nigerian tech entrepreneur Adama Joseph Adama developed a solution that allows everyone to invest in farm projects and get a share of the profits generated. 

Farm4me is a contract farming solution developed by a Nigerian agritech start-up. It allows users to invest in farm projects of their choice and receive dividends after a set period. 

Through its Android app, a user can create an account and access the various investment opportunities offered by the agritech startup. With Farm4me, investing 227,000 naira (around $294) in the cultivation of a hectare of maize will yield 27,240 naira after 6 months, while a hectare of rice will cost 298,278 naira for a 53,690 naira profit over the same period. The company also offers investments in crops such as sesame, sorghum, and soybeans.

In addition to this service, the startup also rents out agricultural equipment, trades in agricultural products and inputs, and loans out farm inputs to small-scale farmers. Farm4me boasts some 32,223 users and 22,311 jobs created. The startup farms over 356,213 hectares. According to Play Store data, its app has already been downloaded over 5,000 times. 

In 2021, Farm4me was awarded the prize for the best digital agricultural investment platform in West Africa by the Nigerian Institute of Brand Management. The same year, the World Quality Institute also awarded Farm4me the prize for the best provider of quality agricultural equipment sales and rental services in Africa.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

Owing to the number of middlemen in the agricultural value chain, food prices usually skyrocket from farms to markets. Despite that fact, farmers are usually unable to make decent living income from their products while consumers have to pay high prices for those same products. Jangolo wants to change that. 

Jangolo is an e-commerce platform developed by a Cameroonian start-up. It gives consumers direct access to fresh produce via its web and mobile platforms. The Douala-based start-up behind the platform was founded in 2016 by Bertrand Foffe, Rodrigue Kwanga, and Paulin Nguekam. The aim is, among other things, to reduce local producers' post-harvest losses and boost consumers' purchasing power.

"We realized that by the time products go from farms to markets in Douala, their prices usually rise three folds on average.  At least six middlemen intervene in the process, putting much pressure on the farmer who sells at a loss,” said Bertrand Foffe while expanding on the reasons that prompted the launch of Jangolo. 

So, with two friends, Bertrand Foffe embarked on the Jangolo adventure. The start-up has developed an Android app, Jangolo Farm, which simplifies the buying process by allowing users to add products to their basket even when they are offline and validate the order when online.  Users can also order via the web platform. Before anything, a user needs to be logged in or register an account. Once the orders are validated, the start-up's delivery service takes care of the delivery. 

"Our services are focused on improving the living and working conditions of local farmers. We support farmers in their day-to-day operations. This means they can focus on their core business, and no longer worry about marketing” aspects,  adds Bertrand Foffe.

Currently, the startup is only available in Douala. It says it is currently unable to serve other cities because some areas are hard to reach. In the areas covered, delivery costs CFAF500 (around $0.82). Buyers also have the choice to go to one of the startup’s sales outlets to simply pick their orders. 

Jangolo boasts over 70,000 users, more than 5,000 products on its platform, and over 600 shops. Its application has already been downloaded more than a thousand times, according to Play Store data.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions
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