December 09, 2021
Connectivity is transforming Kenyan agriculture
Original article by Patrick Ndegwa, SEACOM East Africa Business Sales Lead
The agriculture sector employs 38% of Kenya's total population and accounts for roughly 32% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Agriculture is the primary source of income for 70% of rural Kenyans, making it an integral sector of the economy that should not be overlooked.
Short shelf lives, inconsistent product quality, a lack of knowledge or financial resources, fluctuating pest and disease patterns, and increasingly volatile weather owing to climate change are all issues that agricultural businesses face. Traditional farming approaches may not be able to address these issues, but new digital technologies are emerging that may be able to help.
These digital technologies could be the key to increased productivity, profitability and climate change resilience. They may also be important in supporting Kenya's food security. As the country's population grows, so does the demand for food. As outlined in the government's Vision 2030 plans and the Big 4 Agenda, food security is one of our national priorities. To meet increased demand, digital transformation may not only be beneficial but also imperative.
Connectivity lies at the heart of agricultural transformation
Agriculture used to be the least digitised sector in the country, but it is rapidly transforming thanks to ongoing technological advancements. Previously, these advancements were mostly mechanical. Artificial intelligence, automation, analytics, geo-data and real-time sensors are now paving the road for higher yields going forward. The successful implementation of connectivity in agriculture may add between 7% and 9% to the global economy in terms of additional value.
Decision-making, operational efficiencies and risk management are all improved by these technologies. Geo-data from satellites, for example, can be used to map and forecast important variables such as crops, soil, water, weather and livestock.
Almost all farm work in less developed areas, on the other hand, must be done manually without the use of connected technologies. This will undoubtedly change as internet penetration throughout Kenya continues to expand.
Connectivity is the backbone of digital transformation in the agricultural sector
Connected technologies have the potential to empower millions of smallholder farmers by providing financial inclusion and access to guidance from agriculture industry leaders. More established farm owners now have real-time visibility over their crops, delivery and payments, thanks to last-mile digital solutions.
Other digital solutions make inventory management easier and lessen the risk of excess supply. However, in order for these systems to function, fast and reliable connectivity is essential.
We need to connect more people to the digital world if we want to achieve a sustainable future where food is secure and every smallholder farmer has a chance to thrive and be successful. For more information or to get a quote for our various connectivity solutions, email us at email@example.com or leave us a message.
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