Promoting digital agricultural innovation in Africa

Project description

Title: Scaling digital agriculture innovations through start-ups (SAIS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: Bayer Cares Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Country: Global (Africa)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2019 to 2026

Context

The agricultural and food industry is a crucial sector of the economy in many African countries. Particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, it has the potential to promote economic development and generate income.

Innovative solutions are the key to boosting productivity, income and employment. With their digital innovations, young companies often address well-known industry problems. They advise small farmers, facilitate market access, improve cultivation and harvesting methods, organise storage, logistics and processing, or make financial services available to the rural population.

However, despite beneficial innovations, most start-ups fail to achieve their full potential. The solutions developed reach only a limited number of users.

Objective

Proven digital innovations for the agricultural and food sector have been distributed in selected markets and are generating income.

Approach

The project operates in three fields of activity:

  • It identifies start-ups across Africa that provide digital innovations for the agricultural and food sector but have not yet achieved growth.
  • It develops the management and technological skills of the start-ups to make them more attractive to investors.
  • For promising start-ups, the project facilitates investments and partnerships for growth.

The Bayer Cares Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are cofinancing the project. Additional cooperation partners include Venture Capital for Africa, Startup Wise Guys, Melanin Capital, the Impact Hub Network, Ounic IT Consulting, Greentec Capital Partners, Luvent Consultant and Ucotra.

The project contributes to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations 2030 Agenda. The focus is in improving income. In addition, the project contributes to achieving gender equality, ensuring decent work and economic growth, and supporting innovation.

Last update: August 2022

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