There is a boom in the African agri-tech as the number of startups operating in the market grew 110 percent over the past two years, with over $19 million invested in the sector at the period, according to a recent industry report by Disrupt Africa,
The report, Agrinnovating for Africa: Exploring the African, which tracks annual startup activities in the agri-tech space reveals that there are 82 startups in the sector and that the market grew by 110% in the last two years.
The research shows that while Kenya was the early pioneer of the African agri-tech sector, accelerating interest in West Africa over the past two years means this region now dominates the market; and is home to two of the top three agri-tech ecosystems on the continent.
Kenya and Nigeria both take the lead in the agri-tech sector, and both countries alongside Ghana collectively account for more than 60 percent of active startups on the continent.
the report shows that over the course of this period, over US$19 million has been invested into African agri-tech startups, with annual fundraising figures growing rapidly. The amount of funding raised in 2017 grew by over 121 percent on the total for 2016.
Gabriella Mulligan, Disrupt Africa co-founder, in a statement, said the report shines a light on the extent to which the entrepreneurs on the continent are disrupting the agricultural industry.
“Behind the scenes, there has been a formidable acceleration in the agri-tech market recently, and it is one of the most interesting spaces to watch in Africa today.”
“Everyone knows how important the agricultural sector is across Africa, but until very recently it remained relatively untouched by tech innovators,” said Tom Jackson, Disrupt Africa co-founder. Jackson further stated that investors have realised the scale of the challenges in the industry as well as the huge opportunities that it poses.
Startups serving as eCommerce platforms to the industry have the largest share, accounting for 32.9 percent of total startups in the space. Other popular sub-sectors of the agri-tech space include information and knowledge sharing, and fintech solutions to farmers.