Agritech is one space that’s proving to be the next big thing for startups with various application and technological innovations to improve efficiency in output and the number of agritech startups creating solutions to eliminate farm losses.
Agritech, the use of technology in agriculture horticulture and aquaculture to improve yields and profitability, has helped optimize the farming process.
In Nigeria, agritech startups continue to tackle some of the challenges farmers face by streamlining the agricultural value chain, however, more needs to be done to make the process easier and provide the necessary support to scale.
In my recent chat with Comfort Onyaga, Founder Izanu Africa, on Tech Trends show, she discusses how we can leverage technology to build a viable agricultural sector.
CFA: Comfort, glad to have you on tech trends today.
Comfort: Yeah. It’s my pleasure, CFA.
CFA: Okay. Let’s start by understanding how blurry the line between technology and the agricultural industry has become today
Comfort: Thank you very much. So, when you talk about technology and the agricultural industry especially the ecosystem in Nigeria in Africa as a whole, the line is very blurred.
It is very blurry in the sense that we do not have the technological infrastructure in Nigeria efficient enough to drive the agricultural sector and ensure the optimization of the value chain especially in the rural communities where most of the agricultural activities take place.
It is not enough for us to say that we have a proliferation of agritech companies springing up here and there at the rate of less than a 110%. Yes, it’s happening but the line is still very blurry due to a lack of policy implementation.
We do not have the infrastructure; advocacy is happening but it’s not enough. The question is: how concerted is the effort of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is working with stakeholders across the different segments of the agricultural value chain to ensure that technology is integrated into the agricultural space?
CFA: That leads me to the next question. We know how countries like Israel even though they are smaller in terms of the population have done well with agriculture. Do we have a national strategy that can help us maximize the use of technology in agriculture?
Comfort: Yeah. Just recently sometime around October/November last year, the DG of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) launched a 10-year national strategy plan. So, there is a strategy but implementation is where it lies.
The strategy is geared towards ensuring that Nigeria becomes one of the top three countries that ensure food sufficiency and also driving exports of standard agricultural produce.
You can watch the full interview here.