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AgriTech Initiative

This EEIP Initiative focuses on how the 4th Industrial Revolution can have an impact in the Agriculture sector, by leveraging emergent and established technologies to improve the performance of black smallholder farmers in South Africa.

Global trends in Agriculture will mean that feeding the world’s growing population will need to happen with minimal land use and with a focus on improving yields while becoming more efficient in the use of our natural resources, especially water.

Much of the food in South Africa is produced by large commercial farms, but there are two million estimated farmers engaged in smallholder farming. The potential to improve the effectiveness and output of these farmers is key to meeting the challenge of revitalizing the sector and feeding our burgeoning population.

The AgriChallenge

Through our AgriChallenge we invited established, successful and innovative technology companies working in the Agriculture sector and related supply chain to apply and pitch their prospective solutions to South Africa’s most pressing concerns that affect black smallholder farmers.

The AgriChallenge was not just about technology, but about high-impact solutions that have an innovative, sustainable business model underpinning them.

From Problem to Challenge to Solution

We worked with a team of experts to understand where the areas of greatest pain are for black smallholder farmers in order to bring focus to our AgriChallenge. The challenge asked the question – Using technology, how do we:

  • • Improve efficiencies in farming to increase yields, create consistency and improve quality?

  • • Reduce cost of production?

  • • Conserve our natural resources?

  • • Reduce post-harvest losses?

  • • Improve access to local and international markets

  • • Improve compliance with legislation and other regulations?

  • • Strengthen linkages through the value chain?

  • • Make better access to information and intelligence available to farmers so they can make more informed decisions around not just production, but access to finance, access to markets and new developments?

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How it Worked

We looked for AgriTech companies with innovative solutions to partner with, who could develop and roll-out various high-impact solutions in the horticulture and animal production sectors, that will make our valued black smallholder farmers more competitive and improve their efficiencies. The successful applicant from the AgriChallenge was selected to receive investments to help bring their solutions to life.

Applications were evaluated through a few rounds to determine business viability, technological applicability, sustainability, and of course impact on our black smallholder farmers in South Africa.

Applications are closed.