By Samson Echenim
A new report on the state of agriculture in Africa is projecting a market size of $1 trillion for the continent by 2030.
The report, jointly prepared by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and Dalberg Advisors, also stated that agriculture is likely to continue as a catalyst for sustainable development, primarily for enhanced food security, and secondarily, in the reduction of poverty and the overall growth of the continent’s economy.
According to the “State of Digitalisation of Agriculture in Africa 2019” report, technologies such as mobile telephony or blockchain have become enablers that can be used to solve some of the challenges plaguing the sector.
The report identifies online marketplace solutions such as Agrikore as significant use cases of how digital tools are being built to tackle major challenges of attracting and retaining a significant number of buyers and sellers, and in thus doing, help to solve the problem of inefficient and fragmented agricultural markets.
The study also identified Cellulant as being among only 390 active Digitalization for Agriculture (D4Ag) solution providers that are working across the continent and have the potential to not only support agricultural transformation but also the ability to do so sustainably and inclusively. The report presents evidence on how these enterprises have proven that digital tools can improve market efficiency, transparency, aggregation and integration.
Speaking on this finding, Cellulant co-CEO, Bolaji Akinboro, stated that “technology is at the heart of transformation in Africa. We believe by innovating around how supply and demand are organised, we can solve Africa’s food crisis. We are scaling up our existing payments products in the agriculture sector, this will allow us to increase access to payments for the millions of farmers who are still unbanked, despite the financial inclusion revolution”.
Unlike many of the D4Ag solution providers studied in the report, Cellulant’s Agrikore solution was noted to be one of the few marketplace players that are focusing on digitizing at both the input and produce stages by linking all the players in agriculture at the input level (farmers, agro-dealers, financial institutions, governments, development partners ) and at produce level
The report noted that the bundling of digitally-enabled Agritech solutions was gaining popularity with some enterprises incorporating either third party or proprietary payment solutions. The report cites the use of Cellulant’s Tingg payments platform which powers Agrikore, as an example.
Africa’s Agritech market netted an estimated $143-million — out of a total addressable market of $2.6-billion in 2018 according to the report. Digitalisation for Agriculture (D4Ag) is an emerging sector with an estimated total addressable market revenue of between 2.3 billion (mid-range estimate but with potential to go as high as 5.3 billion in 2019) and growing at 44% per annum.