Climate change and the pandemic are partly to blame, as are the food supply challenges being amplified by the war in Ukraine.
As the global population continues to grow, pressure mounts on the agricultural industry to increase production to ensure everyone has access to food while at the same time reducing waste and protecting the environment.
However, to achieve this, agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa will need up to eight times more fertiliser, six times more improved seed investments of US$8 billion (€7 billion) in basic storage facilities and $65 billion (€59 billion) for crop irrigation.
These are big numbers but investing in small-scale farmers could make a real difference. Through technology, they can produce more food, diversify production, and supply rural areas with nutritious and locally grown food.
Through our eVuna platform, this is possible.
Already used by more than a hundred thousand East African farmers, the past year has seen them access more than a million dollars of capital provided through the platform, increasing their yields by 80% and generating a US$600 uplift in revenue per farmer.
As one of the fastest growing agri-tech platforms in Africa, eVuna has seen the number of small-holder farmers on the platform double, with more than a million kilograms of produce sold in 2022.
Even though 250 million smallholder farmers drive Africa’s food supply, less than 15% of them have access to information that can significantly improve productivity yields and income.
Through eVuna, our cloud-based web and mobile platform, farmers can get tailored insights about the weather, crop health and soil quality, as well as general advice on best practice. This can even be scaled up to technical advice and support around supplies and services.
When it comes to finance, eVuna gives farmers access to credit, insurance, and mobile payments to help them build their agriculture business and to protect against crop failure.
eVuna also enables farmers to work with other businesses within the industry, such as buyers, vendors and manufacturers who can interact and transact through the platform.
For example, they can connect with retailers who may want to buy crops and produce directly or companies that sell farming supplies such as seed, fertiliser and pesticides, as well as machinery such as tractors or irrigation or logistics companies, who can offer transportation services.
Designed to function and operate on any mobile device, the app can also operate offline meaning the farmer could perform a transaction in a location without signal, updating the platform when they are back online later.
Bringing immediacy and transparency to transactions, eVuna increases productivity, yields and income for all players in this digitally enhanced ecosystem.
By connecting small-scale farmers to the people and resources they need, we can support their success. Through appropriate training, learning and support, farmers can also become more resilient and climate smart in the face of significant and worsening environmental changes.
This is technology unlocking new opportunities to enhance food security in Africa, improve livelihoods and help communities become more independent.