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With the sharp increase in food demand in Africa and the World, and given the Pan African Vision of an influential Africa that is a global player and partner, the rise in agricultural productivity that is required to meet these needs will not be possible without harnessing digital and mechanisation solutions.
The agricultural sector of Sub-Saharan Africa is the least mechanised in the world; farmers have on average a tenth of the mechanised tools of their peers in other developing regions. This lack of mechanisation has undermined the competitiveness of African farmers, reducing their productivity and exacerbating a vicious cycle where they are unable to invest in the machinery and technology that they need.
Technology, from new machinery and irrigation techniques, through to new digital models for market access, pricing and financing, has the potential to drive radical changes in the sector. It is critical to identify these new technologies and models and find ways to bring them to market so that farmers – and in particular the smallholders that make up the largest part of the region’s agriculture sector – can access them.