The quest to explore opportunities and possibilities in Agriculture through technology is on the rise. Agritech companies in Africa are leveraging technology to improve efficiency, sustainability, and profitability. They are also using tech to manage potential disasters and risks like diseases, pests, and droughts.
A 2018 research revealed that agri-tech space in Africa experienced a profound boom in 2016 and 2017. Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana are currently dominating the Agritech market. While other businesses have scaled down their operation or even been unable to run due to the pandemic, the agri-food sector has shown more resilience. Today, we take a deep dive into the top agritech companies across Africa.
1. AgriProtein (South Africa)Agriprotein is an award-winning agritech company based in Cape Town, South Africa. It was founded in 2008 by David Drew and Jason Drew to upcycle local waste nutrients into protein. Its mission is to reinvent the unsustainable use of fishmeal. The company uses insects to turn food waste into proteins. It breeds black soldier fly larvae by feeding them food waste.
After the larvae pupate, they are processed into an insect-based protein product called MagMeal. This can be fed to fish, pets, chickens, and other monogastric animals. The company also recycles organic waste obtained from restaurants, farms, supermarkets, and food factories into valuable products. Agriprotein products can promote sustainable farming in Africa, considering the scarcity of resources like water and fertile land.
2. Thrive Agric (Nigeria)Thrive Agric is revolutionizing the agriculture industry in Nigeria by linking farmers to capital, the global market, and data-driven farming practices. Ayodeji Arikawe teamed up with Uka Eje and established this company in 2016. The technology-driven company deploys its skilled workers in farms to establishing relationships with their farmers. They engage them with better farming methods to increase yield.
The company tracks farmers’ activities using a well-structured reporting system. Then, it links them to local and global markets. Thrive Agric has a vision of building one of the largest farmers’ networks in Africa. The aim is to empower farmers by getting rid of barriers to capital access and financial services. The company’s mission is to “create a food secure Africa.”
3. Aerobotics (South Africa)Aerobotics focuses on offering intelligent tools for agriculture. It empowers the industry with yield as well as tree insights. James Paterson and Benji Meltzer founded this company in 2014. By providing this information, this agritech firm gives South African farmers the chance to make informed decisions. Aerobotics seeks to support a more integrated approach to farm management. The company believes in making farmers more skilled, intelligent, and productive.
It seeks to use its intelligent technology to support farmers to practice more sustainable and profitable farming. Its team includes product developers, engineers, agronomists, customer service experts, and creatives. These professionals are committed to offering intelligent tools to farmers across South Africa. Farmers across the continent can manage their farms efficiently using the insights and tools offered by Aerobotics.
4. Farmcrowdy (Nigeria)Farmcrowdy is one of the most famous agritech companies in Nigeria. The company was founded in 2016 by Akindele Phillips, Onyeka Akumah, Ifeanyi Anazodo, Jimoh Maiyegun, and Tope Omotolani. It helps stakeholders in the food value chain to enhance their output and increase profits using technology. Farmcrowdy connects hundreds of thousands of participants in the food value chain to finance. It also helps them to scale down their cost of production, access ready market, and harvest better yields. All that is achieved through the company’s game-changing platform—Farmgate.
The company provides an ecosystem of services that help farmers to connect with other stakeholders in the food value chain. That way, farmers are empowered to make smarter decisions, which results in low production costs, better yields, and increased profits. Farmcrowdy can empower smallholder farmers in Africa and ultimately increase domestic food production and security in the continent.
5. Twiga Foods (Kenya)Twiga Foods is one of the leading agritech companies in Kenya that are revolutionizing African retail. Founded in 2014 by Grant Brooke and Peter Njonjo, the company uses an organized supply chain platform to bridge gaps in food supply and market. Precisely, it connects farmers and vendors from around the country.
Its team sources processed food and fresh produce from farmers and food manufacturers. Those food products are held temporally in collection centers. Every product is captured in their system. Vendors place orders and then Twiga Foods delivers them at fair prices.
Many farmers in other African countries experience challenges when it comes to accessing a ready market for their produce. Similarly, vendors have difficulties in accessing quality products at fair prices. Twiga Foods’ business model can come in handy in addressing these food challenges in Africa.
6. Agrimatic (Egypt)Water scarcity, limited fertile land, and slow agricultural development are some of the leading drivers of food insecurity in Africa. Agrimatic is on a mission to resolve these issues by offering alternative sources to food security. Mohamed El-Naggar and Marwan Nabil founded the company in 2014. Today, Agrimatic offers innovative integrated solutions that can convert any terrain into a productive and highly efficient agricultural environment.
It invests in research to develop soilless technology that helps to provide a stable, secure, and affordable food supply. Agrimatic is among the Agritech companies in North Africa that are revolutionizing agriculture. It grows high-quality and affordable fruits and vegetables while advancing innovative and sustainable soilless farming technologies. Considering the growing water shortage coupled with limited fertile land in Africa, this company’s soilless technology can be an affordable alternative in food production.
7. Apollo Agriculture (Kenya)Apollo Agriculture focuses on helping smallholder farmers to maximize their profits. Established by Eli Pollak and Benjamin Njenga in 2016, the Kenyan agritech firm employs technology to help farmers access customized advice, high-quality farm inputs, and credit. Its founders discovered that most small-scale farmers were unable to access fertilizer, hybrid seeds, and insurance. As a result, many could not increase their income.
In addition, many smallholder farmers in Kenya relied on manual and human-driven financing processes that are slow to scale and costly. Apollo Agriculture founders saw this as an opportunity. They sought ways to simplify and digitize those processes. Today, the company leverages mobile technology, remote sensing, and machine learning to build credit profiles for its customers. This data helps it to make credit and lending decisions to farmers. Apollo Agriculture business model has the capacity to transition farmers in the continent from subsistence to commercial farming.
8. Complete Farmer (Ghana)Complete Farmer is changing the farming narrative in Ghana using technology. Desmond Koney and Zoussi Ley established this agritech company in 2017. It revolutionizes farming through an end-to-end online marketplace. Using this marketplace, global industries source agriculture commodities that are grown to their specifications. The mission of the company is to enable stakeholders in the agriculture value chain to connect and also gain a competitive edge using disruptive technologies.
This Accra-based agritech firm welcomes Ghanaian farmers with at least 5 acres of land. Upon joining the company, they are introduced to unique farming approaches to become expert growers. Given this kind of support and empowerment, African farmers can farm precisely and sustainably.
9. iProcure (Kenya)iProcure is a Kenyan agritech company that was established by Nicole Galletta and Stefano Carcoforo in 2013. It operates one of the largest supply chain platforms in rural Africa. It provides data-driven stock management and business intelligence across the supply chains. Manufacturers can track their products all the way to ensure they get to the end customer.
Also, the company provides real-time data regarding their clients’ market share, sales data, and product performance. iProcure offers businesses valuable data regarding customer needs and trends. This information saves them time and cost and also helps them to make better and profitable decisions. The company also supports businesses to quickly offers after-sales service to their customers. iProcure’s platform can help African businesses to easily connect with customers in remote areas and understand their needs and buying trends.
10. AgroCenta (Ghana)Michael Ocansey and Francis Obirikorang founded AgroCenta in 2015 to enhance the agricultural value chain in Ghana. They wanted to address two critical issues that faced smallholder farmers in rural areas. The first problem was the lack of access to the market, which led farmers to sell their produce to middlemen at exploitive prices. The second was the lack of access to finance. These problems hindered many Ghanaians from becoming commercial farmers.
The company solves these issues using its LendIt and Cropchain platforms. LendIt is a financial inclusion platform that supports farmers to access crop insurance, micro-lending financing, mobile money payments, and other digital services.
On the other hand, Cropchain is a supply chain management platform. It enables organizations to manage agricultural supply chain processes and activities. Thus, AgroCenta supports farmers in Ghana to contact buyers directly. If extended to the rest of Africa, this company can enable farmers in the continent to sell goods quickly without disruptions or exploitation by middlemen.
11. Bulrush Agritech (South Africa)Bulrush Agritech supports farmers with intuitive and simple digital tools with the aim of helping them to embrace efficient and profitable livestock farming practices. Sean Rennie and his wife, Kristi Rennie, launched the company in 2019. According to them, overgrazing is an enemy to food security, farmers’ profits, and the fight against climate change. That is the reason Bulrush Agritech has developed The Stockman. This is an interactive livestock management software that empowers farmers to ensure efficient and profitable grassland grazing.
So, a farmer simply needs to input the livestock number, herd movement, and rainfall level and The Stockman does the rest. It provides data-driven analysis and insights. This kind of data can help livestock farmers in the African continent to manage their grasslands effectively. Since farmers cannot control rain, Bulrush Agritech helps them to make better decisions for their lands.
12. Save Our Agriculture (Cameroon)Save Our Agriculture is one of the top agritech companies in Central Africa. The company, which was established by Flavien Kouatcha in 2016, specializes in aquaponics agriculture. It uses aquaponics systems that support an artificial ecosystem in which fish, plants, and bacteria live in symbiosis. In such an environment, the waste of one species becomes food for another. The firm mainly breeds fish and grows vegetables without using chemical fertilizers.
Headquartered in Douala, Cameroon, the company also designs and manufactures individual kits and aquaponic units for Cameroonians wishing to produce their food at home. Their kits allow farmers to not only cultivate plants but also breed fish. Using its kits, Save Our Agriculture can empower farmers from different parts of Africa to grow organic foods easily.
13. MLouma (Senegal)Founded in 2012 by Aboubacar Sidy Sonko, mLouma is an innovative company that uses technology to connect actors in the agricultural sector in Senegal. In particular, it brings together customers, businesses, organizations, and suppliers and puts them in direct contact to make it easier for each party to express their needs and find solutions.
To achieve that, mLouma runs a platform that collects and disseminates climate information. It also offers a communication network between stakeholders in the sector. Furthermore, the company has an online learning platform for capacity building. This platform helps to transfer skills across actors in the agricultural world. In Africa, MLouma’s business model can support stakeholders in agriculture to sell and purchase products in a fast and efficient way.
Africa imports tons of food every year. Food production in the continent remains low mainly due to inherent factors. These include limited fertile land, growing population, lack of skills, and low development in the agricultural sector. Nonetheless, these agritech companies are changing the farming narratives by using technology to enhance yield, sustainability, and profitability. They demonstrate that Africa can solve its food crisis by embracing agriculture technology.
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