Africa realised revenue of 127 million euros along the agriculture value chain last year, despite the availability of a market valued at 2.3 billion euro, the Digitisation of African Agriculture Report (2018-2019) has said.
That, according to the report by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), a global body, was even due to the significant increase in the use of digital technologies, innovations and data in agriculture.
Advisory and information services accounted for 54 million euros of the 127 million euros revenue with market linkages raking in 39 million euros; financial access 21 million euros and supply chain management, nine million euros.
With more investment in ‘digitalisation for agriculture (D4Ag)’, the report forecasts that the continent could harness the huge untapped opportunities in the sector for the continent’s transformation.
The report, conducted in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal and the Sahel region, was launched yesterday at a news conference ahead of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2019.
The forum is being attended by about 2,300 global players in the sector who would be discussing practical actions that will transform agriculture in Africa and help the continent harness the huge untapped opportunities.
The aim of the report was to explore the gains D4Ag had made towards reaching its potential as well as serve as the barometer for the current state of D4Ag in Africa.
It revealed that the turnover was achieved by 33 million registered smallholder farmers and pastoralists across the continent that use D4Ag solutions, with 200 million expected to register by 2030.
As of 2018, it said there were at least 390 distinct D4Ag solutions across the continent, an indication of the fast growth of the sector from 42 solutions that existed before 2013.
These solutions , included advisory and information services, supply chain management, market linkages , macro agric-intelligence , financial access with 22.6 million farmers registering for advisory and information services.
A combination of the agri-solutions, the report said, could increase income by 57 per cent and yields by 168 per cent.
Commenting on the report, Michael Hailu, Director of CTA called on African countries to go all out to take advantage of digitalisation instead of the piecemeal approach to agriculture.
He said although Ghana was one of the countries making some progress, it needed to scale up efforts by collaborating with all stakeholders in the sector and creating opportunities for all.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, said the government recognised technology as a tool to drive transformation in the sector and would continue to encourage the use of various digital solutions.
On concerns about data protection, Dr Agnes Kalibata, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa said it was an issue that would be discussed at the forum to secure data provided and used by farmers.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR