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.
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
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
• 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?