Meet GoGettaz agri-tech innovations that are facilitating maximum yields for farmers

The future of farming lies in technological innovations providing solutions to our current food systems. Impressively, GoGettaz alumni companies  are taking a center stage in driving these innovations as well as harnessing the immense opportunities that exist in the agricultural value chain.

Globally, farmers continue to feel the pinch of the impact of climate change necessitating solutions that promote mitigation and adaptation. Changing weather patterns have led to uncertainty by farmers on planting and harvesting season; other challenges include: hailstones which damage crops, pests and diseases, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity loss, pests and diseases, high cost of inputs, fluctuating market prices and post-harvest losses. A major development for African countries in the just concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) is the proposed establishment of a loss and damage facility and increased funding to countries vulnerable to climate change which should be effective by 2023.

To obtain maximum yields, farmers should get it right at production level and ensure they respond to external threats of production which include: poor quality of seeds, pests and diseases, drought, and wrong or poor application of fertilizers amongst others. In order to address these challenges holistically, there is need to include farmers in national and international discussions on agricultural policies, creation of an open knowledge sharing platform with all stakeholders to learn from each other as well provide solutions to challenges being witnessed in the value chain, support agritech startups led by youth to scale up their operations and national governments should invest more in agricultural research and development (R&D).

These GoGettaz companies are transforming the food system by facilitating high yields for farmers.

Farmer Lifeline Technologies (Kenya)

In 2020 a locust plague hit the East Africa region in what was described by many as the worst for Ethiopia and Somalia threatening food security, livelihoods, and farmland for livestock. This is a classic example of how pests and diseases are a big threat to food and nutrition security as well as to livelihoods. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates up to 40% of food crops are lost due to plant pests and diseases annually and encourages farmers to adopt integrated pest management practices which involves growing healthy crops while minimizing use of pesticides.

Esther Wanjiru, CEO Farmer Lifeline Technologies and winner of the 2022 GoGettaz competition has developed a crop pest and disease detection device that enables farmers to correctly ascertain the type of pest in their farm and use the correct fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers purchase the device which is solar powered and mount it in their farms, the device has the capacity to scan the farm by rotating and taking pictures frequently within a radius of 300 meters to identify if there are any pests or diseases.  In case a pest is recognized or disease identified, the data is sent to an analytic dashboard for analysis and results sent to the farmer through an SMS for action. Early detection of crop and disease helps farmers maximize their yields and prevent post-harvest losses.

Alley Capital Group (Zimbabwe)

With increasing challenges of traditional methods of spraying crops to mitigate against pests and diseases in the farm; use of drones is now a common phenomenon preferred by many farmers because of accuracy of its sensors, takes less time to spray an acre farm, can target lower crops in their early stages of growth and they are able to navigate in hard-to-reach areas maximizing on efficiency and saving costs.

Alley Capital Group, Zimbabwe offers affordable spray crop services using drones. Farmers request for the service and upon payment of an initial deposit, a team is deployed to the farm with the appropriate drone equipment to spray the field using chemicals provided by the farmer.

The startup through its “support-for-youth-initiative” recently partnered with Zimbabwe Farmers Union which boasts of over 100,000 farmers  to offer agronomic support and guidance in their farms with an aim of promoting high yields hence contributing to its national food security strategy efforts.

Imara Tech (Tanzania)

In order to address labor shortages, use of outdated farming machinery and save time taken to complete some tasks in the farm, Imara Tech, a Tanzania-based start-up uses lean manufacturing methods to efficiently build mechanized agricultural equipment for smallholder farmers in East Africa to enable them increase their productivity levels for instance, during threshing which is separating seeds from the harvested plant mechanically, farmers are forced to employ casuals in the farm to help them thresh seed crops which usually takes many hours or even weeks depending on the amount of harvest. Imara Tech leases out its multi-crop thresher to farmers which is portable and fits well on a motorcycle for easy transport to their farms.

The multi-crop thresher is used to separate sunflower, pigeon peas, sorghum, maize and beans from their plants reducing grain and seed damage enabling farmers to sell high quality produce, save money on labor and increase their household incomes.

Ujuzi Kilimo (Kenya)

Ujuzi Kilimo is an agriculture technology company that assists farmers with crop yield optimization through soil analysis and offers recommendations on good agricultural practices. The quality of soil used in farming is directly linked to the crop quality and amount of harvest; this is because soils provide essential nutrients to crops needed to grow and flourish.

Using its sensor technology, Ujuzi Kilimo supports rural smallholder farmers to monitor their soil fertility and ensure there are optimum conditions for good crop production that are maintained constantly throughout the growing period resulting to maximum production. As a result, farmers increase their revenue while contributing towards the reduction of the  current global food crisis and prevalence of hunger witnessed in many countries across the continent.

Stay Updated! Follow our page GoGettaz and see how young agripreneurs are transforming Africa’s food system.