Technology is coming into farming and agriculture and its effects are already being felt. In a panel at the CIO Year Ahead event, players in the Agritech sector discussed about the opportunities small scale farmers have when they incorporate technology to Agriculture.
Small Scale farmers are responsible for 80% of the food we consume globally, and therefore they need to learn how to cut costs and maximise profits. The panelists John Muthee (AgNexus), Imelda Ngunzu (Mastercard), and Evans Muriki (Kilimo Guru Ltd) all hinted at growth of Agritech in the year 2022.
According to Evans, the growth of the digital farmer has been brought about by various reasons like the effect of Climate change, the increase in demand for safety in agricultural products, and the need for sustainable production.
“There’s an emergence of digital enabled solutions in agriculture and farmers are being made aware of. Organisations in the Agritech sector are making available their technology to farmers. There is interest for small scale farmers to move from subsistence farming to commercial farming,” Imelda noted as the main reasons behind the growth of the digital farmer.
John also agreed saying that technology has helped farmers access information.
In Kenya, for instance, most farmers are small scale farmers. The technology that some of these farmers have been benefitting from is the use of remote sensors, and satellites. Farmers need these companies to do the research and collect data from weather, and soil condition tests done and give back feedback.
This is the kind of data that farmers can use to maximise their products by planning their farming activities better. However, we are a long way from other technologies like the metaverse.
“We have a long way to go to get to the metaverse. However, Kenya seems to be a little bit ahead of other East African countries in terms of agricultural technology. When you go to Uganda and Tanzania you can find that the challenges farmers are facing have been solved by technology in Kenya,” Imelda noted.