We are always looking for our next BSP Fund investments and researching the latest innovations in the mobile tech and agriculture sectors. Here are some of the stories that caught our interest this week.
Digital Farming- New App to Help Horticulture by Agatha Ngotho on The Star
A new app has been developed in Kenya to help over 50,000 farmers with data management. The Farmforce software is designed to help farmers manage and file the paperwork associated with food safety standards. Not only will this software save time for the farmers, but it will also alert field staff when paperwork is filed incorrectly. The software, which can be downloaded onto a traditional mobile phone, will be available to the 70% of Kenyan farmers who already own a mobile phone. In the long-run apps like Farmforce will ultimately improve the country’s agricultural standards.
Agriculture Lies At Heart of Africa’s Growth on New Era
Last week’s World Economic Forum on Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa, focused on the importance of growth in the continent’s agricultural sector. Jane Karuku, the President of AGRA, explained that the impact of investment in the agricultural sector is three to four times greater than investment in other sectors. Due to the high return, Karuku urges larger investments in agriculture, particularly in mobile technologies that can help farmers to buy inputs and sell products more effectively.
FG commences distribution of fertilisers in Kuje, Abuja on The Premium Times
Nigeria’s federal government launched a new program on Monday to help optimize the distribution of fertilisers and grains to farmers in the Kuje Area Council of Abuja. The Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) is utilizing text messaging to subsidize the prices of inputs and to educate the farmers on the best times to buy. With this technology farmers will be able to improve yields and increase their income.
Mobile Money Accelerates Financial Inclusion by Masimba Biriwasha on The Standard
Zimbabwe’s mobile banking product, Ecocash, will increase financial inclusion to thousands of rural farmers. Ecocash uses the basic functions of a mobile phone to transfer money, pay bills, and provide security and convenience to the majority of unbanked within Zimbabwe. Rural customers are targeted specifically due to their failure to meet the requirements to open a bank account and their lack of access to traditional bank branches. Mobile banking has the potential to reach the 70% of unbanked rural Zimbabweans and enable a large section of the population to access financial services.