- Technological awareness received a great leap in 2020 and various sectors of our lives actually plugged into this to redefine their businesses.
Agritech also benefited from this in no small measure and quite a lot of the startups from the sector are making waves in the tech space with their innovative ideas.
Quite naturally, while companies were badly hit by the effect of the pandemic, others readjusted their processes and embraced the new normal to upscale their businesses leveraging tech innovative ideas.
In spite of the difficult year, some of the Nigerian startup Agritech innovators came up with groundbreaking inventions that are changing the Agritech landscape across Nigeria and the continent.
For this category, we sampled 20 of the more visible Agritech startups and narrowed it to 5 on three grounds which are the expansion of product line, media publicity, and positive feedback from the customers.
Most of the publicity came when these startups applied for funds or pitched during events.
This post does not imply that other startups did not pitch at events or generate some publicity, however, the list has space for the top 5 only.
This company definitely put in a lot this year. 2020 saw Farmcrowdy pull out moves after moves while building on its previous achievements.
It started in 2020 with the acquisition of Best Foods, a livestock processing company that has been around for more than 16 years.
During the pandemic heat, Farmcrowdy launched its online market platform called Farmcrowdy Foods where people can shop for foodstuffs.
Finally, in November, the startup launched Farmcrowdy 3.0 which focuses on 6 new business units. The units are:
- Farmcrowdy Tech and Data
- Farmcrowdy Structured Finance
- Farmcrowdy Insurance
- Farmcrowdy Marketing
- Farmcrowdy Aggregation
- Farmcrowdy Foods.
Releaf is another startup that stood out in the course of the year with groundbreaking wins in the sector.
Not only did the startup participate at the African Development Bank (AfDB) AgriPitch competition, but it also emerged as one of 6 finalists that competed for a share of the $120,000 prize in the
Releaf is redefining the food processing sector in Nigeria leveraging technology. It started with the processing of vegetable oil and has expanded since then.
It will be recalled that Releaf won $20,000 in the early startup category of the AfDB Agripitch competition in November 2020. Earlier in June, Releaf reportedly benefitted from the $200,000 Harambeans Prosperity fund.
The startup has been scaling steadily since it launched in 2017 as an aggregator and reseller of farm produce.
Foodlocker started as a foodstuff and grocery startup that aggregates the outputs of smallholder farmers and FMCGs, then sells to large buyers.
As a result of joining FFA, the startup received $40,000 in investment and about $290,000 in tailored support services.
Foodlocker also emerged as the winner of the AFDB agritech competition in November and clinched the $40,000 prize in the mature startup’s category.
Additionally, Foodlocker was the diamond winner of the Impulse Startup Accelerator award in September.
The startup won an equity-free sum of $50,000 and has kept up a steady delivery of its groceries in Lagos and Oyo states.
Reelfruit started this year by getting selected as one of the winners of the Village Capital accelerator. The startup produces a wide range of dried healthy fruits and nuts snacks.
The fruits processing company launched another flavor of its fruit flakes recently, which is fast gaining traction in the market.
It also launched an ‘All in One’ pack that allows people to enjoy different fruit snacks in one purchase.
Farmspeak is another startup that is revolutionizing the sector. it is leveraging artificial intelligence and the internet of things to help farmers practice data-driven agriculture.
This, in turn, reduces wastage and improves overall farm productivity.
Although fintech also played a major role in the productivity these Agritech startups enjoyed in 2020 even in the face of Covid scare among other socio-economic setbacks of the year.
Investments in Agritech startups heightened and measurable productivity is unprecedented.
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